Top Emerging Technology Trends in Life Sciences for 2022

Technology Trends for Life Sciences

Maintaining a proactive technology stance will allow your life sciences organization to grow and be competitive in the fast-paced world of biotech, pharma, biomedical, and other life science startups. Companies that do not stay abreast of evolving tech could be missing out, and depending on how fast your business adapts, left behind altogether.

Technological change is accelerating at an increasingly rapid pace. As a result, it can be challenging for startups and small- to mid-sized companies to leverage emerging tech. In addition, not all tech trends are appropriate for all businesses, especially when it comes to information technology for life sciences. That is one of the benefits of partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable IT partner with experience in providing life sciences technology.

We constantly see lists touting the latest information technology trends to watch. However, it can be a challenge for leaders of drug development, medical devices, research and development, and clinical development companies, among others, to keep up with the latest and make informed strategic decisions about tech investments.

We’ve broken down some of the technologies of most interest to life science companies.

5 Technology Trends in Life Sciences to Watch

  1. Hyperautomation

The growing use of artificial intelligence in business processes is having a powerful impact on the way businesses operate. One of the main results of this is hyperautomation, where businesses use automation technologies to speed up and improve their outcomes. Hyperautomation involves the automation of business and technology processes through AI, Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and various other tools and platforms. It allows businesses to program simple, repeatable tasks and creates opportunities for more intelligent automation.

  1. Low-Code/No Code

Low-code and no-code allow non-developers to create custom solutions without specialized knowledge. Low- and no-code platforms typically use visual programming interfaces that enable non-developers to combine automated workflows or application and data integrations. Sometimes referred to as citizen development, these platforms allow enterprises to solve business problems faster and more completely than could be accomplished with full-on software development. This evolving technology is expected to support digital transformation in the healthcare and life sciences industry.

  1. Networking, Connectivity, and Security for Distributed Work

Networking, connectivity, and security are key considerations for any distributed work model. Whether formalized or just a liberal remote work policy, protecting data and systems is essential. In fact, Ladders predicts that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. This shift will top the priorities for IT professionals looking to balance collaboration and connectivity with security.

  1. Privacy Enhancing Computation

Privacy-enhancing computation (PEC) consists of a collection of methods to improve data privacy. With most financial and medical records available online, data protection is critical for both consumers and the highly regulated industries serving them. With PEC, data can be shared without exposing or releasing the actual data to shared parties.

A number of techniques have exciting new applications across the business landscape, including multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, and trusted execution environments. Without getting too far into the weeds about how these technologies work, the main takeaway is that PEC will transform how organizations share data and maintain compliance as the need to protect personal information and other data continues to grow.

  1. Cybersecurity

Finally, the cybersecurity landscape is always evolving, and cyber threats will increase across all fronts, but two types of attacks will likely see increases.

First, businesses can expect to see more 3rd party and supply chain attacks, as well as vendor breaches. In addition, protecting users from multi-channel phishing will be critical. Phishing attacks will expand beyond email to include collaboration tools such as SMS and text, Slack, LinkedIn, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and other platforms.

Additionally, the increased number of devices and locations accessing cloud-based data will increase the complexity of data security. Therefore, expanding the focus on good data governance and security will be crucial to protecting data and systems.

Technology Trends in Life Sciences and Your IT Strategy

While these are not the only tech trends of note, they are trends that we expect to impact the life sciences sector. We stay on top of emerging trends and work with clients as they need to better understand their impact on their industry and business.

As your life sciences firm scales, it is necessary to adjust your IT strategy accordingly. As a leading managed service provider with a focus on technology for life sciences and full IT lifecycle solutions, Coretelligent can help guide your business in determining what technology enhancements are appropriate to incorporate into your firm’s IT strategy.

Cybersecurity for Broker-Dealer Firms

Cybersecurity for Broker-Dealer FirmsAs a broker-dealer firm executive, you know that one of FINRA’s key mandates is to help prevent cyberattacks against its regulated firms. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, is, of course, a not-for-profit regulatory organization authorized by Congress to protect investors and ensure market integrity in the United States. This post will explore some of the most common cybersecurity threats faced by FINRA firms.

What are the Most Common Cybersecurity Threats for Broker-Dealer Firms?

Now more than ever, broker-dealer firms rely on their technology infrastructure the cyber landscape presents a regular number of security challenges requiring robust preparedness for brokerages and other financial services firms.

1. Imposter Websites

According to FINRA, member firms routinely report phony websites posing as FINRA members and using registered names and company data to establish fraudulent sites that market investment services and products. These sites attempt to steal both personal information and money by leading visitors to believe they are interacting with a bona fide business.

2. Customer And Firm Employee Account Takeovers (ATOs)

Email account takeovers can occur with both customer or firm personnel accounts and begin with a comprised email account. Cybercriminals can gain unauthorized access to email accounts through data breaches, phishing emails, or websites that trick users into clicking on malicious links allowing them to execute unauthorized transactions in financial accounts, firm systems, bank accounts, and credit cards.

One of the dangers of an ATO for an employee account includes criminals creating fake identities to establish accounts for automated clearing house (ACH) or wire fraud.

3. Malware and Ransomware

Malware is malicious software and can take many forms, including viruses, spyware, and ransomware. These malevolent programs can steal data, encrypt it, delete it, and even hold it for ransom by infiltrating and taking over computing operations. Phishing is one of the most common ways that malware is introduced. Ransomware is a type of malware that, when launched, can encrypt data and prevent access to networks until a ransom is paid to the attacker.

4. Data Breaches

A data breach is a security incident in which hackers gain unauthorized access to confidential data like financial records or personally identifiable information (PII). Data breaches can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, lawsuits, and fines and penalties.

What Can FINRA Firms do to Prepare?

Core Cybersecurity for Broker-Dealer FirmsEarlier this year, FINRA, along with the SEC, Homeland Security, and other agencies, alerted members to the increased likelihood of cyber attacks as part of the invasion of Ukraine with a Sheilds Up warning.

In a recent op-ed, written by Jen Easterly, the director of CISA, and Chris Inglis, the national cyber director, the pair consider when the Sheilds Up warning might be lifted:

When will we be able to put our shields down? In today’s complex, dynamic, and dangerous cyberthreat environment, the answer is that our shields will likely be up for the foreseeable future.

For broker-dealer firms, this means continuing to follow the guidance provided by FINRA as well as cybersecurity professionals with experience within the financial services sector. There are cybersecurity controls that can mitigate the risk of cyber attacks.

To learn more, download our Guide to Effective Cybersecurity Controls for Broker-Dealer Firms.

Additionally, our Cybersecurity Threats and Effective Controls for FINRA Firms Infographic provides a quick overview of the threats faced by FINRA firms, as well as the controls to implement to reduce the risks from those threats.

Combining Cybersecurity Controls and Expertise

Balancing business initiatives with security and technology can seem challenging, particularly for broker-dealer firms without an internal team of cybersecurity experts, but Coretelligent can help. We offer our expertise and robust cybersecurity solutions to solve the challenges of the highly regulated financial services industry. In addition, we have years of experience working with broker-dealer firms and other firms like hedge funds, venture capital, and family offices. As a result, we understand the pain points these firms face in the digital world and have the solutions—from compliance and cybersecurity to growth and business transformation—to solve them.

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security technology that requires multiple methods of authentication from distinct categories of credentials to verify a user’s identity. It is a crucial component of a robust multilayered cybersecurity posture to help mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack. It is also considered a best practice for organizations of all sizes and across all sectors to meet compliance standards—especially in highly-regulated sectors like financial services and life sciences.

Multifactor Authentication Explained

The multifactor authentication method should be familiar to all readers at this point. Companies from Apple and Google to Facebook and Amazon utilize (or require) multifactor authentication to reduce risk. Many more will follow in their footsteps as the threat landscape intensifies from cyber-attacks and data breaches and as regulatory agencies require the process.

When MFA is implemented, systems require users to present a combination of two or more qualifications to verify their identity for login. The first authentication consists of a password, which is all that’s required with single-factor authentication. The second verification can vary but often involves asking for a code sent via text or email to a device or account that has previously been verified.

MFA increases security because even if one credential becomes compromised, unauthorized users will not be able to meet the second authentication requirement and will not be able to access the device, network, or database. MFA prevents the unauthorized access of data—including personally identifiable information, intellectual property, and financial assets—by a third party who may have discovered a single password through illegal channels or via a phishing attack.

Multifactor authentication is an element of identity and access management, which consists of policies and practices designed to manage access to enterprise resources and keep systems and data secure. Additionally, Privileged Access Management (PAM) is a subset of IAM that allows for an even more granular distinction between users and access to more sensitive data.

Two-Factor vs. Multifactor vs. Adaptive Multifactor

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the simplest and most common form of multifactor authentication. With 2FA, users must supply two distinct proofs of identity for access. In nearly every case, two-factor authentication is a massive improvement over single-factor.

On the other hand, two-factor authentication might not be flexible or robust enough for certain situations and specific industries. With MFA, more than two factors are required for authentication, enabling more variables and security. To elaborate, MFA can grant degrees of access across a broad spectrum of possibilities depending on various data points and multiple factors obtained from the login.

Adaptive Multifactor Authentication is yet another certification tool that uses contextual information and business rules to determine which authentication factors to apply to a particular user, at a certain time, and in a specific situation. It combines user authentication with AI and is an effective tool for balancing security requirements and the user experience. Adaptive MFA also makes access decisions based on data, such as: consecutive login failures, geo-location, geo-velocity (or the physical distance between consecutive login attempts), device type, time of day, and 3rd party intelligence data.

MFA and Multilayered Cybersecurity

While MFA can help strengthen your security, it is still best employed as part of a multilayered cybersecurity program based on a defense-in-depth strategy. Defense-in-depth is a cybersecurity model that employs continuous multilayered security for real-time, holistic protection. The reality of today’s cyber threats is that no one cybersecurity practice is enough to protect on its own. Instead, overlapping layers of cybersecurity protections are recommended. A layered defense helps security organizations reduce vulnerabilities, contain threats, and mitigate risk.

It is also important to note that it is still critical to practice good cyber hygiene, even with MFA. Organizations should set password management policies and educate end-users about best practices. Such policies should include requirements for unique passwords and review the frequency of password rotation, among others.

Which is Right for Your Organization?

The answer to this question depends on the specific needs of your business. However, in general, as the threats faced by organizations have become more sophisticated, it has become clear that single-factor authentication is no longer enough to protect data and systems.

Organizations must implement additional layers of security, and MFA is an essential part of that process. Therefore, when selecting an MFA solution, it is important to consider your firm’s needs and choose a solution that will be easy to use and manage by both your IT team and your end-users.

Reach out to our security experts for help in determining which is the right solution for your business and security needs. We can help you assess your risk exposure, determine any compliance requirements for your sector, and evaluate the ease of deployment and implementation necessary, along with other factors.


About Chris

As Chief Technology Officer at Coretelligent, Chris Messer is a transformational and strategic IT leader who establishes and leads Coretelligent’s technical vision and technological development. Click here to learn more about Chris.

****Afternoon Update (7/22/21)****

At approximately 11:27AM EST Coretelligent was made aware of a spike in outage reports across a variety of online services and websites. Based on reports, the source of the problem is Akamai. “We are aware of an emerging issue with the Edge DNS service,” the company said in an update it posted on its website. “We are actively investigating the issue.”

Coretelligent is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as they become available through email and here on our blog.

There are many benefits to public cloud platforms as a whole, and if your organization has not moved to the cloud, now is a great time to do so. In these uncertain times, organizations should ensure their most critical IT assets are highly available, secure, and optimized for performance.  To meet these objectives, an increasing number of organizations are turning to public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure. According to Gartner, public cloud end-user spend will grow by an additional 18 percent in 2021 as a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic challenges. Organizations are more interested in public cloud environments that are on-demand, scalable, and cost-effective, yet also ensure business continuity.

Public cloud platforms are owned and operated by third-party providers with their services delivered over the internet. All datacenter infrastructure is owned and operated by the provider. Many small- to mid-sized businesses choose public cloud solutions due to their many advantages, including:

  • Reduced costs: public cloud solutions reduce capital expenses of buying hardware or software, and your organization will only pay for services you need
  • Increased performance: public cloud providers utilize best-in-breed technologies to deliver consistent system and application performance
  • Reliability: public cloud platforms offer massive scale and advanced fault tolerance to deliver high availability

Some organizations have shown hesitation before migrating to public cloud environments because they were unsure of the security levels, but Microsoft states that public cloud environments can be just as secure as private or hybrid. Public cloud security is enforced through proper security methods like intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS). With these measures, public cloud computing offers a broad set of technologies, policies, and controls to strengthen your security posture while protecting from incoming threats.

If your organization has on-premises IT infrastructure today, the prospect of moving to public cloud may be intimidating. To ensure a successful migration, many organizations turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) with expertise in public cloud platforms. MSPs can configure, monitor, and manage your organization’s public cloud effectively to lift the burden from your team. By partnering with an MSP offering Azure expertise, especially a Microsoft Gold certified MSP, your current strategy will be optimized by the following and more:

  • Migration and deployment from dedicated project managers
  • Infrastructure, architecture, and configuration
  • Issue mitigation 24/7/365
  • Escalation support
  • Monitoring and alerting
  • Guaranteed compliance and security

Public cloud solutions managed by certified MSPs are able to be customized and tailored to your operational requirements. Optimizations and enhancements need expert-level guidance from dedicated resources, and migrations may not always be as easy as they sound. This process is best handled by a trustworthy, experienced MSP that is also able to provide around the clock service. If you feel your organization’s public cloud strategy is missing out on major enhancements, contact Coretelligent, a Microsoft Gold Partner, to reconfigure your cloud roadmap.

Coretelligent’s Recommendation

Coretelligent is recognized as a notable Microsoft Gold Cloud Solution Provider with certified engineers who have mastered Microsoft Azure public cloud offerings. Acting as an extension of your team, Coretelligent’s professional services engineers and project managers can easily migrate your assets to Azure’s public cloud with their extensive knowledge in designing, implementing, and managing Microsoft cloud-powered solutions.

As a response to our strengths, knowledge, and execution of Azure public cloud solutions, Coretelligent has a close working relationship with Microsoft. Even as the public cloud landscape adapts to workspace challenges, Coretelligent is prepared to help organizations leverage the full potential of their cloud environments. Our award-winning, white glove solutions provide your organization security and the essentials you need to grow. Our team will set you up for success. Contact us today to learn more about our public cloud solutions powered by Azure.