Life science organizations hold sensitive data that is highly valuable to cybercriminals. A cyber-attack on a life science organization can result in a loss of reputation, legal liabilities, and financial disaster. Therefore, it is critical to prioritize security to protect your organization’s assets and reputation.
Prioritizing security will not only protect your organization’s assets, but also the well-being of patients. In this guide, we will explore ways to improve your life science organization’s security maturity to give you a better understanding of how to secure your organization’s future by mitigating the risk of cyber-attacks and other security breaches.
What is security maturity, and why does it matter?
Security maturity refers to the level of effectiveness of an organization’s security measures. It indicates the organization’s ability to protect itself from cyber threats and other security breaches. A recent survey found only 57% of IT operational security decision-makers identified their organization’s security as “mature”. Ensuring your cybersecurity is optimized, and your employees are aware of the security policies in place, is crucial.
To improve your organization’s security maturity, it is vital to analyze and address the risks your organization may be facing, address vulnerabilities in the network and systems, and ensure regulatory compliance.
Life science organizations handle a vast amount of sensitive information, including patient data, research findings, and intellectual property. Therefore, security breaches can have severe consequences, including legal and financial penalties, loss of reputation, and even loss of life. It is essential to prioritize security to mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks and other security breaches.
Life science organizations are also highly competitive, and the loss of intellectual property can result in a significant loss of revenue. Cybercriminals may attempt to steal trade secrets or research findings to gain a competitive advantage. Therefore, it is vital to prioritize security to protect the organization’s intellectual property.
Analyze and address risk
Risk analysis is the process of identifying, assessing and prioritizing security risks. The goal of risk analysis is to understand your organization’s vulnerabilities, threats and potential impact on assets. Once risks are identified, your organization can take steps to mitigate or eliminate the risk.
The first step in risk analysis is to identify the assets that need to be protected. Assets can be physical, such as servers and databases, or digital, such as data and intellectual property. Once assets are identified, you can assess the potential threats and vulnerabilities which could impact them. Threats can come from internal or external sources, such as employees, partners or cybercriminals, and be maliciously intentional or ignorantly accidental.
After identifying the threats and vulnerabilities, you can prioritize risks based on the potential impact on your organization’s assets. Steps can then be taken to mitigate or eliminate the risks. Mitigation strategies can include implementing security controls such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems.
Prioritize endpoint protection
Endpoints are the devices that connect to your organization’s network, including desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. Endpoint protection involves implementing measures to secure these devices from cyber-attacks such as malware, viruses and phishing attacks.
To prioritize endpoint protection, implement a comprehensive endpoint security solution that includes antivirus software, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions are advanced security tools which will proactively seek out threats before they have an opportunity to strike.
It is also important to ensure that all devices are updated regularly with the latest security patches and software updates.
Ensure compliance with industry regulations
Life science organizations are subject to various industry regulations related to security, such as HIPAA, GDPR and FDA. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe penalties, including fines and legal action.
To ensure compliance with industry regulations, it is necessary to implement the appropriate security measures to protect sensitive data, including patient information and research findings. This includes implementing policies and procedures for data access and data sharing, conducting regular security audits and ensuring that all employees are trained on the organization’s security policies and procedures.
Establish a culture of security awareness
Communicating the importance of security to your people is a top priority. Ensure all employees are trained on your organization’s security policies and procedures. This includes conducting regular security training for all employees, such as current phishing scams and recent cyber incidents in your industry.
It is also important to ensure that all employees understand the importance of security and their role in protecting the organization’s sensitive data.
Improve your security maturity with expert help
Improving your life science organization’s security maturity is essential to protect sensitive data, mitigate the risk of cyber-attacks and ensure compliance with industry regulations. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to analyze and address the risks, prioritize endpoint protection, ensure compliance with industry regulations and establish a culture of security awareness.
The cyber security specialists at BCS365 will audit your life science organization, evaluate its security maturity ranking, and recommend the right solutions to improve your security posture and keep your critical data safe.