Of all the threats that pharmaceutical businesses face, the one truly global threat affecting the whole sector, in common with many others, is cyberattack. Barely a week passes without a press report of a cyber-attack. 2015 saw reports of attacks on a range of targets; Ashley Madison, Carphone Warehouse, the German Parliament and TalkTalk among many others. There is no sign of this changing in 2016.
There have been reports of specific attacks on companies in the pharma sector, notably in a survey by Crown Records Management in 2015, which found that almost two-thirds of pharma companies have suffered serious data breaches and a quarter have been hacked. In 2014, FireEye reported having identified a group that were targeting pharma companies for access to market sensitive data.