Cybersecurity is crucial to organizational success for life sciences companies. With constantly developing technology, and organizations’ increased dependency on digital spaces to conduct business in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals have been on the lookout for more opportunities to attack companies.
Evidently, Accenture’s 2021 State of Cybersecurity Resilience survey showed that their respondents reported a 32% increase in successful attempts at cyber attacks, and an even higher increase in attacks such as ransomware in 2020. The same survey also revealed that 84% of life sciences participants reported that “staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle and the cost is unsustainable,” a 15% increase from 69% from the year before.
Cyberattacks can cause egregious damage to life sciences organizations and their stakeholders. Especially considering these organizations’ work with sensitive and confidential data. Across all operations and the high interconnectivity of these operational networks, even the most trivial cybersecurity breach can lead to a catastrophe. It can also have legal and final repercussions.
So how can organizations become Cyber Champions in their approach to cybersecurity?
What is Cyber Resilience?
Cyber resilience is a life sciences organization’s ability to proactively anticipate, withstand and recover from any attacks or breaches to cybersystems. However, organizations should note that cybersecurity is more than just a technical compliance concern; when managed and implemented correctly, cybersecurity can become an innovative asset. In fact, 84% of chief information security officers (CISOs) agree that their role directly affects their organization’s ability to fulfill business strategy and that cybersecurity strategy should be developed synchronously.
Especially with more life sciences organization set to move their operations to the cloud. Over the next 3-5 years, it is predicted that more than 67% of workload will be moved into the cloud. With about one third of these organizations moving more than 75%, it is more crucial than ever for CISOs to be involved when significant decisions are being made so cybersecurity could be built into every aspect of business strategies.
Here are the four levels of cyber resilience/ business strategy and how an organization can become a life sciences Cyber Champion.
Four levels of Cyber Resilience
Organizations can become Cyber Champions by balancing cybersecurity resilience and business strategy alignment in their decision making. “These organizations are successful in at least three out of four cyber resilience performance criteria. They’re better at stopping attacks, finding and fixing breaches faster and reducing their impact.”
An organization’s standing in this quadrant and the ability to move towards Cyber Championship, can have financial implications. Business Blockers can reduce their cost of breaches by 48%, Cyber Risk Takers by 65% and The Vulnerable by 71%.
Taking the trophy home: Becoming a Life Sciences Cyber Champion!
1. Approach every business strategy with a cyber resilience focus
Moving to the cloud can lower costs, increase productivity, and grant organizations access to the leading technology. However, there needs to be carefully constructed cybersecurity measures built in from the start to ensure success. This gives organizations the opportunity to tailor their cloud architecture and cybersecurity measures to their exact unique business strategies.
2. CISOs reporting structure and c-suite collaboration is critical to overall success
It is crucial for CISOs to not limit their security silos. They should directly collaborate with other c-suite executives. Accenture found that around 70% of Cyber Champions distinguish themselves through their efficient reporting structures — reporting is seven times higher in organizations where CISOs have a close relationship with the CEO, Board and CFO. Consequently, Cyber Champion CISOs utilize these relationships when deciding on cybersecurity strategy and draw from the experiences and insights of all high-level leadership to serve the organization more efficiently.
3. Grow with the advancing technology: Update cybersecurity measures!
We live in a world where technology is rapidly advancing. With these advancements also come more sophisticated cyberthreats and more resilient cyber attacks. Organizations should measure the maturity of their cybersecurity. They should make the necessary changes at least once annually in order to remain Cyber Champions once they make it to the top.
Cyber resilience can be a prodigious asset to life sciences organizations and CISOs are key players in implementing its use. Assessing risk profiles and reporting this data to leadership. This way, CISOs can collaborate with other executives to align organizations’ cybersecurity measures with business strategy for optimal business outcomes. Organizations can unlock their full potential by becoming Cyber Champions. If you would like to talk more about this, reach out to Precision Life Sciences.