Tackling The Critical IT Security Issues In Biotechnology
#ISSUE: Inadequate IT Infrastructure, Systems and Processes
Biotech startups tend to focus all or a major portion their resources on R & D, clinical trials and advanced lab systems, letting their IT systems and infrastructure take a back seat not realizing how counterproductive or even fatal this misstep can be. When a startup starts growing and scaling, it needs a robust infrastructure to support its growing IT needs. Systems and processes need to be integrated, applications and devices need to be managed, 24/7 IT support is needed and so on. So, how can you build a robust IT infrastructure that can support your startup’s growth?
➥ SOLUTION: Outsource IT
No two biotech startups are the same, so why should their needs be the same! New applications or devices that become industry trends is not necessarily the right device or application for your startup. Mismanaged IT systems can result in a big dent in your pockets. Which is why you need to find a trusted technology partner that understands both IT as well as your needs and builds a scalable infrastructure that grows as your startup grows.
#ISSUE: Insufficient Storage Capacity
Even the smallest biotech startups produce tens and thousands of gigabytes of data from high-resolution imaging, expansive clinical trials, high throughput screening systems, etc. This important and confidential data needs to be stored securely. But even the most sophisticated computers and largest external hard drives don’t have the storage capacity for such massive amounts of data. So, how do you store it?
➥ SOLUTION: Cloud Storage System
The most efficient and cost-effective way of continuing to have high-speed storage for biotech companies is to go down the “local storage plus cloud storage” route. This ensures both long–term retention of data and nearly limitless storage capacity. The added benefits include high speed access to the most recent data, automatic backup, remotes access, and easy scalability. And it mitigates the need to find resources or space to store and manage all that data on-site. Your technology partner can help you set up a cloud storage system that is tailored specifically to your company’s needs.
#ISSUE: Data Security
Your Biotech startup’s data and information is highly valuable, but only if it is securely stored in your systems. As soon as that data gets leaked, attacked or is stolen, it loses its value or even worse it causes irreparable damage to your startup. Also, the more you grow and the greater exposure your startup gets the higher the chances of there being a phishing attack, an internal data threat or a targeted cyberattack. Similarly, the more data you produce the higher the chances of something being accidentally or intentionally deleted or infected by viruses. So, how do you secure your data?
➥ SOLUTION: Security System & Security Awareness Training
Your outsourced IT partner needs to find a balance between increasing your storage capacity effectively and keeping your data secure. This requires a security system that can be tailored to fit your needs. In addition, your startup needs to consistently take the right security measures and have security awareness training for its employees. Security training often takes a back seat in most startups. But it should not as 90% of cyberattacks that happen are results of human error.
#ISSUE: Compliance (SOC, HIPPA, etc.) and IT Audits
If you go through a SOC Type-I audit there are might be some preliminary IT requirements (e.g. you need to have a Firewall installed). And, failing an audit can result in investors backing out, putting your timeline at risk, or losing partnerships. So how do you ensure that you meet all your IT requirements?
➥ SOLUTION: Security and Technology Infrastructure Assessment
Hire an unbiased third-party (a technology partner) to review your IT environment with an understanding that you may be involved in an audit (requested by a future investor/client/vendor). The goal here is to prevent your company from being caught off guard thus saving it from major financial losses.
The repercussions of cyber attacks resulting in a major data breach aren’t limited to just loss of invaluable data or unauthorized access of sensitive data. They include loss of reputation and complex legal issues involving consumers, investors, business partners, and government agencies. Need help figuring out how to mitigate security risks and better manage your IT? ECHO can help. Get in touch today!