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Medical Devices / Commercial Operations

Devicemakers Call Nation-States Top Cybersecurity Threat

Aug. 9, 2017

Devicemakers view government-sponsored hackers as the top cybersecurity threat, according to a new survey from KPMG.

The audit, tax and advisory firm surveyed 100 executives responsible for information technology and security at drug and device manufacturers. They found that 53 percent named nation-states as the top threat to cyber-security. Sixty-three percent said bad actors sought patent and clinical research data. The threat is largely from nations that seek to obtain intellectual property without the associated research and development costs, according to KPMG partner David Romack.

Respondents were also asked about priorities for improving their organizations’ cybersecurity protocols. The top priority among devicemakers was better technology, at 36 percent, followed by strategies for data collection and protection at 28 percent. Only 9 percent of respondents, devicemakers and drugmakers alike, viewed increased staffing as a priority. This reflects a tendency among organizations to emphasize tech solutions at the expense of improved processes and training, according to Romack, who called this a “grave mistake.”

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