Digital biotech: tackling industrial espionage and GDPR

By Brigitte Ehret on 28. June 2018

Biotech zwischen Industriespionage und DSGVO_750x250

IT security: as their own research results are like gold to biotech companies, they should be stored in a safe – even online. The digital data room is always kept up to date by IT security experts and has achieved all major certifications. IT administrators and cloud providers can never see or access the contents. In addition, the two-factor authentication process ensures that the only people who can access the safe are those who have been expressly invited to do so.

Digital transformation in the biotech industry is already pretty advanced. Along with the computer-aided processing and interpretation of measurement data and test results, it has had a particular impact on everyday business processes. Companies now share information almost exclusively by digital means – even highly sensitive data such as clinical studies. This is especially true in areas like international collaborations with development and commercialisation partners, outlicensing, due diligence and financing. Sharing information digitally makes these processes much faster and easier – as long as the data has reliable and GDPR-compliant protection. 

Ten per cent more data protection violations

Cyber-attacks also affect the healthcare and life science sectors, as a KPMG study has shown. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of actual or attempted data theft incidents. Almost half the survey respondents (47 per cent) said they had tackled cyber-attacks or other data protection violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) That’s ten per cent more than in the 2015 KPMG survey.
According to the survey respondents, sharing data with third parties is one of the weakest links in the chain. Almost two thirds (63 per cent) said that digital processes in this area weren’t fully controlled by the IT department and that there was a lack of resources to deal with the issue.

Digital safe for data gold

This is where a secure dataroom can help. It enables companies to easily make information available to potential investors and business partners, while simultaneously protecting the data from unauthorised access by third parties. Its top four benefits to biotech companies are IT security, the ability to grant personalised access permissions, the reporting functions, and the cloud system’s usability.

IT security: as their own research results are like gold to biotech companies, they should be stored in a safe – even online. The digital data room is always kept up to date by IT security experts and has achieved all major certifications. IT administrators and cloud providers can never see or access the contents. In addition, the two-factor authentication process ensures that the only people who can access the safe are those who have been expressly invited to do so.

Personalised permissions: the integrated Information Rights Management function enables companies to grant granular access permissions – right down to the individual document level. For example, if a folder contains data for the due diligence process as well as documents detailing chemical research results, the latter can be made available to specific users at a later date. Companies can also stipulate that confidential data can be viewed but not printed or saved to a local computer. 

Reporting: the audit trail provides complete traceability for all activities. In that way, the company’s dataroom administrator can clearly see who has accessed which documents in the dataroom and when they read or edited them. That’s obviously important from the GDPR perspective – but it’s also very useful during a due diligence process. If companies can immediately see how strong a potential partner’s interest really is, they have a clear negotiating advantage.

Intuitive usability: this is crucial, as internal users may otherwise be tempted to avoid the solution via a workaround, like sharing unencrypted data by email or file sharing services. Users don’t need any technical knowledge to use the digital dataroom – anyone can work with it after a quick introduction. The cloud service can be ready to use within a single day, if required.  

Digital datarooms simplify and accelerate data sharing and collaboration – without making any compromises on security. Considering the highly sensitive information produced by biotech companies, as well as the increase in cyber-attacks, it’s important for these firms to use reliable communication solutions.
So how does this work in real life?
Read how the biotech companies Eternygen, Glycotope und PAION use secure datarooms as part of their everyday work. The interview first appeared in the German biotech magazine Transkript.

Collaboration, Information Security

This could also be of interest:

What happens when an internal audit uncovers explosive information

What happens when an internal audit uncovers explosive information

Read more
Family office: efficient and secure wealth management

Family office: efficient and secure wealth management

Read more
Pro Global powers board meetings and collaboration with Brainloop

Pro Global powers board meetings and collaboration with Brainloop

Read more
Credit Suisse chooses Brainloop to securely collaborate with external partners

Credit Suisse chooses Brainloop to securely collaborate with external partners

Read more