CenterWatch, a publication serving the clinical trials sector, has warned that having data from clinical trials fall into the wrong hands could jeopardize the outcome of vital medical research. Understanding where information could be compromised or exposed is the first step to preventing cyber espionage in this area from happening.
Two of the key stages in any clinical trial, for instance, are recruiting participants and then retaining them for the duration of the program.
The latter stage is particularly important, given that participants need to report back on results of a new drug or treatment—side effects, periodic assessments, etc. If research teams don't remain compliant in terms of reporting data over time, it could jeopardize the entire trial and result in termination. Trial administrators then have to start recruiting to begin all over again.
Managed services can help here by providing tools to secure devices that become part of the flow of clinical trial data management. The right partners can also assist in securing the way participants collaborate with trial administrators through channels such as video.
Trial administrators should also be aware of the ways cyber espionage attacks work and assess the data loss prevention solutions and practices they have in place.
According to the Verizon report, the most common approach besides hacking systems via backdoors and deploying malware is social engineering. In other words, attackers might use phishing campaigns to dupe clinical trial participants or personnel into clicking on malicious links or handing over credentials.
This means everyone involved in clinical trials should get the appropriate level of security awareness training. Administrators should also think about compiling a list of critical data inventory and fending off cyber espionage attacks through access controls and network segmentation.
It can be difficult for organizations to ensure compliance with all the necessary clinical trial data security areas on their own. A managed services provider can help organizations to respond to risks like cyber espionage and scale as needs change.
Discover how Verizon's managed security services can help you protect your assets and maintain the integrity of your data and applications.