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8 Reasons Why Pharmaceuticals Need BYOD and BYOD Security

Posted by Marianna Prodan
8 Reasons Why Pharmaceuticals Need BYOD and BYOD Security

The Pharmaceuticals industry depends on three things: data, collaboration and security. Okay, perhaps four things, the fourth being drugs that work but that’s by and large dependent upon the first two things. Data includes bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry data, in vitro testing data, clinical trial data, marketing data, New Drug Application (NDA) data, and other regulatory and financial filings. Collaboration involves working with third parties such as research firms, contract research organizations (CROs), law firms, marketing organizations, as well as with individual patients, physicians, and others. Security entails protecting intellectual property like formulas, clinical trial data, patent and FDA applications and other proprietary information that would destroy a pharma company should this information ever be lost or stolen.

Increasingly, Pharma professionals and clinical trial patients are using personal devices to access, share and collaborate with one another on data. With the typical mobile worker carrying three devices: a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone, mobile device use (commonly known as “BYOD” or “bring your own device”) is occurring whether pharma companies allow it or not. As a result, they may as well embrace the practice. But pharma companies shouldn’t despair – there are a number of benefits to BYOD.

3 Reasons Why Pharma Companies Need BYOD

  1. BYOD helps Pharma employees collaborate more effectively
    Successful collaboration requires that the right people have the right data at the right time.  Mobile devices give employees access to data wherever they are and whenever they need it. And since they facilitate collaboration through email, messaging, and file-sharing, mobile devices can help employees work together efficiently and effectively.
  2. BYOD saves organizations money
    In a recent IDC survey, 69% of IT departments polled saw a reduction in operational expenses (opex) or capital expenses (capex) as a result of implementing BYOD programs. These cost savings make sense. Allowing workers to use their own mobile devices for work make the organizations more agile. And when employees purchase their own devices, capex declines.
  3. BYOD simplifies eClinical Outcome Assessment (eCOA) data collection
    For many years, BYOD has been used for market assessment and late stage assessments. Some Pharma companies however are now exploring the use of BYOD for Phase 2 and Phase 3 assessments. With the ubiquity of Android and iOS devices it’s now possible to collect data through secure apps, reducing overhead and streamlining trial management.

While the upside to BYOD use is increased efficiency, productivity, and getting drugs to market quickly, there is a downside – enhanced risk of data loss. As a result, pharma companies need advanced BYOD security to ensure the integrity of their data. 

5 Reasons Why Pharma Companies Need BYOD Security

  1. Pharma companies must comply with laws and regulations. 
    Pharma companies must meet arduous data security and data privacy requirements established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as national and regional laws such as the EU Data Privacy Directive (EU 95/46/EC). Under these regulations and laws, Pharma companies must protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI) of their patients and customers. They cannot afford to have employees connecting personal devices holding confidential data to unsecure Wi-Fi networks. Similarly, they cannot afford to have employees lose their devices to theft or misplacement. Ultimately, a Pharma company endorsing BYOD must be just as secure as a Pharma company not endorsing BYOD.
  2. Security attacks are becoming more sophisticated, frequent, and costly. 
    Protecting data is becoming more and more difficult. Data breaches and ransomware attacks are affecting enterprises in all industries, particularly healthcare. The Identity Theft Resource Center estimates that data breaches in 2016 are up 16% compared to 2015. As a result, protecting PHI is absolutely critical for pharma and healthcare companies to remain viable.
  3. Mobile malware is on the rise. 
    Mobile malware poses a significant risk to mobile devices. In fact, malware targeting mobile devices has grown more than five times the rate that PC malware grew. To put this into perspective, in 2015, Trend Micro identified over 20 million infected apps for mobile devices. This malware includes ransomware, which has spread to critical IT systems and crippled the operations of thousands of organizations.
  4. Hackers are targeting healthcare companies for healthcare records. 
    PHI can sell for 5, 10 or even 50 times more than credit card data on the black market. Even a little data can be profitable: An NPR story reported the offer of 10 stolen Medicare records for $4,700. A stolen medical record can be used to purchase medical equipment and drugs, which in turn can be sold for a profit. And stolen records might go undetected for months or years—far longer than stolen credit card data.
  5. Hackers are targeting Pharma companies for industrial espionage. 
    The FBI estimates that industrial espionage costs companies between $2 billion and $400 billion annually. In its 2016 report on data breaches, Verizon’s security team reported that 89% of data breaches were motivated by espionage or some other financial gain. Because drug research is so complicated, time consuming and so valuable commercially, Pharma companies are considered high-value targets for hackers.

The kiteworks Solution for BYOD Enablement and Security

kiteworks by Accellion is a private cloud secure content collaboration platform that enables Pharma companies and other organizations to share their content with external partners seamlessly, with the highest levels of security and control.

With kiteworks, organizations can extend their existing content systems without costly content migrations or disruptions to workflows. Leading Pharma companies use kiteworks to provide BYOD security to their employees, partners, trial participants, and other trusted users.

The kiteworks platform, which supports both private and hybrid cloud deployments, provides the following essential security and collaboration features:

  • Centralized Security and Management
    With kiteworks, Pharma companies can protect sensitive information and intellectual property, in transit and at rest, with enterprise-grade security and encryption to meet rigorous data security and compliance requirements.
  • Single Pane of Glass View
    kiteworks provides centralized access to multiple on-premises and cloud-based content systems through a unified, “single-pane-of-glass” view, from any device and any location without requiring a VPN, providing employees easy access to enterprise information. For pharma companies, these systems typically include Documentum, SharePoint, OpenText, Windows File Shares, and others.
  • Secure Access across All Devices
    kiteworks enables Pharma companies to achieve BYOD security and compliance while enhancing user productivity with native mobile apps designed for the enterprise. The kiteworks platform supports leak-proof editing on mobile devices to protect valuable enterprise content, leveraging a “secure container” that shields that content from unauthorized access or infection from malware.
  • Seamless External Communication
    With kiteworks, Pharma companies can enhance business agility and accelerate time-to-value by enabling employees to collaborate with their partners, vendors, and customers easily and efficiently. With the cost and time required to develop drugs and get them to market, efficiency is critical.
  • Private Cloud File Sharing
    Pharma companies can leverage kiteworks’ private cloud deployment architecture to meet stringent data security and data residency requirements. In addition, kiteworks gives companies sole control of their encryption keys to ensure that data is always in your custody.

To learn more about how the kiteworks platform helps Pharma companies and other enterprises to improve BYOD collaboration and security, contact us