Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 54 seconds

Pharmaceutical companies, like much of the healthcare industry, are facing massive cybersecurity challenges, with insider threats costing health and Big Pharma $10.81 million in losses annually. External cyberthreats have proven to be a major concern in the industry as well, even outpacing insider breaches in the past year. Further troubling is the course of action taken by such malicious actors, who rely on insecure email communication as an invitation into an organization’s network.

Pharma faces particular hurdles, as they handle a wide selection of highly sensitive information, ranging from Personal Health Information (PHI) to financial documentation. More challenging is a reliance on legacy systems, which create a lack of visibility and overall integration when transferring files across a network. As the race to find a cure for COVID-19 continues to gain speed, protecting sensitive, highly valuable information is non-negotiable, with secure data exchange at the forefront of ensuring cybersecurity efforts in the healthcare sector meet their intended goal.

Data Management Efficiency & File Transfer Integration

Not all pharmaceutical companies fall under the Big Pharma category, with some either being acquired by a larger organization or simply not operating on as large a scale. Legacy networks can easily become a technological crutch, making old network configurations more valuable than they actually are. When a period of growth or transition arises, these systems become obsolete, requiring pharmaceuticals both large and small to re-evaluate their entire network infrastructure. Not doing so can be costly, especially for smaller companies. Implementing one secure, centralized managed file transfer platform greatly increases enhanced visibility and control, allowing for a more efficient flow of data without a paralyzing reliance on personnel. Integration is also essential, allowing for collaboration with third-party applications, partners, or vendors exchanging data.

Automation of Financial Accounting Data & Full Audit Reporting

Creating an easy to follow data flow that requires minimum human interference can save enormous amounts of time and greatly improve accuracy. After implementing a single, centralized managed file transfer platform, automating and protecting all financial documentation is no longer as daunting a task. Each pharmacy has protocols native to its company, and rather than re-training or hiring additional personnel at the risk of leaking sensitive information, relying on an intelligently automated system can streamline financial processes and eliminate interpersonal miscommunication risks. Data compliance is also a non-negotiable piece of a robust security infrastructure, with full audit reporting providing improved diagnostics for areas of needed improvement before it’s too late.

Communication, whether via email attachments, chat applications, the Cloud, or otherwise are all integral parts of running a successful enterprise. Healthcare finds itself in the midst of this digital transformation, struggling to keep up while protecting the highly personal information of its patients and the life-saving treatments that benefit them. Hackers have only ramped up their strategic attacks in recent years, with a heavy focus on data exchange in an attempt to acquire PHI. In order to avoid both the financial and reputational damage that quickly follows such attacks, pharmaceutical companies must consider more comprehensive, visible file transfer platforms that allow for the kind of automated security to digitally transform in an affordable, safe manner.

David Mello serves as Executive Vice President of Technical Services at Globalscape. He is responsible for leading the technical support, professional services, pre-sales engineering and MIS teams. 
Mello has more than 30 years of technical support and operations management experience and has held senior executive positions at several software and services organizations, across a variety of functional areas of responsibility.

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