Pharma & healthcare sectors eye advanced cyber-security tools to counter adversaries in digital age: Sherif El-Nabawi

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Pharma and healthcare sectors eye modern cyber-security tools to counter adversaries in digital age. During the ongoing pandemic, there has been a steady rise in cybercrime to cripple medical care access and to target the vaccine development, said Sherif El-Nabawi, VP sales engineering & technology, CrowdStrike Asia Pacific and Japan.

Other factors like increased geopolitical tensions have also led to the rise in e-criminal and state-sponsored attacks on the healthcare sector, he added.

With both pharma and healthcare prioritizing to increase their digital capabilities, we have to understand that adversaries have been using more sophisticated methods making it imperative for the sectors to stay ahead of cyber crime attacks, stated El-Nabawi.

Quoting the recent OverWatch report by CrowdStrike which is a cloud-delivered end-point protection provider for cyber security, he said that the healthcare sector was the 5th most targeted sector in the first half of 2020 globally. Around 75% of the intrusions observed in this sector were attributed to e-crime.

The significant rise in state-sponsored activities can be attributed to the global race to find a cure for the COVID-19 virus. Ransomware attacks on the sector have gone from being an irritant to a business killer in recent times, he noted.

While it is difficult to estimate the exact damage in terms of revenue or work hour loss following a cyber attack, the fact is that it can cripple the systems of a healthcare and slow down their operations which is a huge concern. Healthcare industry is unique from any other industry as it plays a critical role in saving lives, especially in the current scenario.

Cyber-attacks can force a healthcare facility to revert to pen and paper which can delay a lot of critical procedures and add another challenge for to deal with apart from handling additional cost of downtime, breach remediation and lost revenue, El-Nabawi told Pharmabiz in an email.

It is here CrowdStrike with its Falcon platform has revolutionized endpoint security by being the first and only solution to unify next-generation antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and a 24/7 threat hunting service , all of which is delivered via a single lightweight agent.

Our company has been proactively tracking adversaries who have been targeting the healthcare industry all over the world, this has enabled our threat hunting teams to detect and manage these dangers. These are some of the factors which make us an ideal partner to support the healthcare and pharma sector to tackle their challenges, he said.

While the pandemic has helped accelerate the digital transformation of pharma and healthcare, there is still a huge scope for the sector to go for advanced and easy to deploy cloud solutions which can help safeguard cyber threat, said El-Nabawi.

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