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    Efforts Underway to Protect Life Sciences from Cyberattacks

    The consequences of cyber attacks are particularly high in life sciences, with confidential patient and company data at risk.  Experts at the intersection of cybersecurity and life sciences advocate for safer practices in the industry.

    Amry Junaideen, Risk & Financial Advisory Life Sciences and Health Care leader at Deloitte & Touche LLP, says “communicating the value of investments in cybersecurity to senior leaders can be challenging because cyber is often perceived as being highly technical. Leaders might see cybersecurity as an IT issue rather than a critical component of business strategy.” Junaideen states that there is room for further evolution on this front, and lays out 7 tips to shifting corporate culture around cybersecurity.

    Similarly, Privacy & Data Security attorney Peter Mclaughlin lays out his own tips for security management in the cloud. He points out that “What is not up for debate is the extent to which life sciences and digital health firms rely upon increasingly distributed data collection and analytics. Cloud services are especially attractive for data-oriented projects.”

    Digital health is one of the core components of Saudi Arabia’s national strategy for digital transformation, incorporating five-year goals and three executive plans. Emphasizing the need for advancement of cybersecurity in the life sciences, Dr. Saif Abed points out that “when digital maturity increases, it’s normally not matched by an equal investment in security maturity, and the gaps between these two areas are what make healthcare organisations attractive targets for attackers. I call that the ‘Attacker’s Arbitrage Opportunity.’”

    In Maryland, cybersecurity and life sciences are among the state’s leading technology industries. Bill SB 175, which seeks to establish the Maryland Technology Infrastructure Program, is in the legislative queue. State governor Larry Hogan has already promised to allot $16 million in funding to support the program. This week, technology and university leaders – including many prominent voices in life sciences – testified before the senate finance committee in favor of the bill.

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