Big Pharma and Biotech Firms Face New Data Security Regulations
May 20, 2013
Wendy Schuchart, the site editor for SearchCIO-Midmarket.com, a portal site designed to provide up to date midmarket information for leaders in the IT sector, recently conducted an interview with Nathan McBride, the vice president of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Of particular importance in the talk was what McBride had to say about the commonalities regarding data security compliance strategies throughout the pharmaceutical industry.
New regulations have cropped up that hold pharmaceutical companies to greater account in protecting the private information of employees and keeping it separate from any data regarding health care patients. While these regulations are, at present, limited to the eastern seaboard, there is a high likelihood that similar data protection legislation will be passed in more, if not all, of the other states. And this new requirement is mandated in addition to all the existing protections in place from HIPAA.
This presents a difficult challenge for pharmaceutical and biotech organizations, since they must essentially construct a firewall between employee and patient data, often keeping two sets of segregated records on parallel computer networks. Moreover, the movement of data between these networks must be closely monitored to maintain separation and security.
This is precisely the type of situation that requires a physical data movement solution rather than electronic. A solution that allows the quick and secure transfer of information between these two systems would increase security for both sides, allowing pharmaceutical and biotech firms to comply with these new regulations without having to construct needlessly complex and costly data shunting systems.
The LOK-IT flash drive could easily serve as a go-between for these segregated networks, and the unbeatable security of the LOK-IT system offers more than enough protection to ensure that neither employee nor patient records could be compromised. The integrated physical gateway housed inside the LOK-IT drive prevents electronic access without manual entry of a security code in the attached keypad. Coupled with military grade encryption, the LOK-IT drive meets or exceeds all known ordinances from HIPAA or state agencies on the protection of sensitive data.
It’s ironic, in a way – that Big Pharma, with it’s billions of dollars in revenue and liability, can look to something as elegant and inexpensive as a LOK-IT flash drive to solve their present regulatory quandaries.
Are Your Employees Unintentionally Creating Security Holes?
May 13, 2013
Earlier this year, The Ponemon Institute – a data protection and information security policy research group – and Symantec – a global leader in computer security software – joined forces to survey 3,500 workers worldwide on a wide range of data management and security issues.
One of the key findings of this survey showed that half of those employees queried admitted to storing company documents and information on their personal computers or in personal email accounts, while over 40% admitted to keeping copies of company information on personal mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
The findings show that American workers are slow to delete anything – ironically, this is most likely born out of a desire to be safe, since losing work product can be a troublesome affair. Since most employees have access to Hotmail, Gmail, or a similar cloud-based email service that provides plenty of free storage space, keeping copies of old documents is no trouble at all. Moreover, having quick access to work files from a personal account can make it easier to move company data from one machine to another.
Keeping a secondary copy of work files might sound like a smart idea, but it can lead to big problems if a hacker discovers the identity of an employee and targets their personal accounts. Robert Hamilton, the Symantec Director of Product Marketing, concurs: “The big issue is that the majority of the people don’t delete any of the data that they move.” So when employees move data to their cloud email, and then back to their work computer, a copy stays lodged in their personal account. Ultimately, these old documents can be compromised much more easily than data on a secure corporate network – hacking into a cloud-based email account is child’s play for most online criminals.
Thankfully, the solution is quite simple – a secure and portable storage device. The LOK-IT drive from Systematic Development Group is an ideal choice. The LOK-IT drive is a high volume, high security physical drive that features a unique hardware-based layer of security, making it immune to electronic intrusion.
Rather than shuffling work documents off to a personal account, using a LOK-IT drive provides the same speed and convenience while ensuring that your company data stays locked up, safe and sound.