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Covid-19 pandemic presented cybercriminals an open door to attack on pharma organizations: Expert

Yash Ved, Mumbai
Friday, December 10, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Covid-19 pandemic has presented cybercriminals an open door to implement a broad range of attacks on pharma organizations and these attacks range from spoofs on remote healthcare employees operating out of the isolation of their homes to more brazen attacks on network vulnerabilities exposed by the virtual workforce and outright identity fraud, said Javed Shah, VP, product management, 1Kosmos.

Shah added that the pharmaceutical companies were the prime target for cybercriminals during Covid-19 pandemic as their business is about speed and saving lives and pharmaceutical companies that don’t take necessary precautions are clearly at risk to the same types of attacks and business disruptions.

Covid-19 pandemic placed additional burden on R&D and production schedules and cybercriminals gain access to some of the most valuable personal information and trade secrets on the Internet by seizing the opportunity to trick already over-burdened healthcare workers out of user credentials, stated Shah.

According to a report published by the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS.gov): about 34% of healthcare organizations were hit by ransomware in the last year

"Without adequate controls to ensure healthcare providers are who they say they are, passwords represent one of the last knowledge-based safeguards to protect patient information and healthcare assets. Biometrics and multi-factor authentication can help, but we need to be sure we know whose biometrics we are authenticating. We need to store and utilize those biometrics in a way that prevents them from being compromised or spoofed. Speed and time to access also need to be considered to ensure we are not simply erecting obstacles that healthcare employees will bypass or slow down patient care," stated Shah.

1Kosmos BlockID is a digital identity platform supporting both business-to-employee and business-to-consumer services that easily integrates with existing operating systems, applications, and IT security infrastructure to perform strong, verified identity-based authentication – eliminating the need for passwords, one-time codes, and more.


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