From early-stage companies preparing for a first product launch, to organizations completing clinical trials, to longstanding global manufacturers, no company anywhere in the world can avoid cyber threats without implementing and institutionalizing information security management best practices.
Employee, customer, patient, and company confidential data is collected, processed, and stored for a multitude of purposes, both within organizations and externally through the third parties that provide support and services, as well as the connected nature of products or other patient interactions. All of this information must be protected from the potential of unwanted or unlawful access, theft, or modification.
A robust cybersecurity management program will align with local or international security frameworks, including the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to prevent, detect, and respond to suspected cyber attacks.
An established security program will be able to track and detect suspected incidents, and have communication channels in place to evaluate and respond to those risks.
In practice, especially for early-stage organizations, information security management programs often miss key components or get folded into another related but separate discipline, such as privacy or information architecture. It is important to recognize that privacy and security are separate functions. Data privacy focuses on how a company uses, protects, and shares an individual’s personal information, whereas data security safeguards data from malicious attacks and unauthorized access.
Without such a program in place, organizations take serious risks, including:
Regulatory fines for breaches/lack of notification (General Data Protection Regulation, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, California Consumer Privacy Act, etc.).
Reputational harm from negative news surrounding breach and loss of consumer trust.
Financial harm from interruption of business systems or product recalls.
Costly support for breach response and ensuing investigation.
Shareholder lawsuits for insufficient data protection programs.