Dr Reddy’s comes under cyber attack, isolates data centre services

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on October 22, 2020

Data breach hits plants in India and globally

In what can be seen as the first incident of hacking on a major drug-maker in India, Dr Reddy Laboratories Ltd on Thursday reported a cyber attack. The Hyderabad-based company has isolated all data centre services following the data breach.

“In the wake of a detected cyber attack, we have isolated all data centre services to take required preventive actions,” the company informed the BSE on Thursday.

“We are anticipating all services to be up within 24 hours and we do not foresee any major impact on our operations due to this incident,” said Mukesh Rathi, CIO, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

According to agency reports, the company’s plants in India, Brazil, Russia, the UK and the US were impacted by the data breach.

Covid vaccine trials

The cyber breach assumes significance amid the fact that the company is one of the domestic drug-makers working on a Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Reddy’s and Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF have received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India to conduct adaptive phase II and III human clinical trials for the Sputnik V vaccine in the country after filing a revised protocol.

Regular, random event?

However, according to an analyst, cyber attacks are attempted by hackers on a regular, random basis and it might not have had any specific relevance to Covid data. “For a global pharma company, all product data including those on future filings and litigation are very vital and need to be protected,” he told BusnessLine.

According to industry experts, R&D driven pharmaceutical data are key to intellectual property and novel drug candidates being developed.

“Data analytics is being used in a significant manner to develop pointers to the efficacy of drug candidates as well as results of clinical trials; it’s very important to be kept these confidential,” said a senior executive of a listed pharma company. In addition, data on patents disputes are also vital for a pharma company.

The data breach at Dr Reddy’s is a wake-up call for all amid increasing cyber attacks in Covid times, he added.


Published on October 22, 2020

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