India is the sixth country in the world where more and more pharmaceutical companies are being targeted by cyber criminals. Approx, 45 % machines in Indian pharmaceutical organisations, more than 4 in 10 devices, were detected with malicious attempts, said cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. From 44 % of machines infected in 2017 and a 1 % increase in 2018, this year’s number of detected attempts shows that nearly every 5 in 10 devices inside a pharmaceutical facility are now being targeted globally.
Other countries which logged the most number of attacks are Pakistan (54%), Egypt (53%), Mexico (47%), Indonesia (46%) & Spain (45%) with India at 6th position. While it is a known fact that money hungry cyber criminals can easily earn by attacking banks.
As per Kaskpersky report, these hackers & cyber espionage groups are paying a lot of attention towards the industry of advanced medicine. They are slowly realising that pharmaceutical companies house a treasure trove of highly valuable data such as the latest drugs and vaccines, the newest researches as well as medical secrets.
The rise of internet connected operational technology (OT) inside these pharmaceuticals also contributes to the widening attack surface inside this sector. The Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups which have been waging sophisticated spying over pharmaceuticals globally include Cloud Atlas and APT10 also known as MenuPass. “Their attack techniques and behaviour also prove that these attackers’ apparent goal is to get their hands on intellectual properties related to the latest medical formulas and research results as well as the business plans of their victims.
In his own research, Denis Makrushin, Security Architect at Ingram Micro, revealed the risks that come along with the steady migration of hospitals from paper based data storage to electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Widely-used EMR-systems open wider entry points for hackers targeting hospitals said the report.