SECRET serums, industrial espionage and criminal gangs out to profit from the global misery of a pandemic may sound like plot points from a future Bond movie, but they are very real aspects of daily life in the pharmaceutical sector.
And while viable vaccines and breakthrough drugs have always been valuable intellectual property, Covid-19 has catapulted the industry to the fore of Machiavellian minds and brought a wave of virus-driven fraud and cybercrime.
Russian, North Korean and Chinese hackers have already been accused of efforts to disrupt the research, production and roll-out of UK and US-led vaccination programmes and a complex supply chain that ranges from factories in one country to smart fridges in another has plenty of chinks in its armour to defend.
The threat, however, is not purely digital. Pharmaceutical innovations, drug-delivery devices and new medicines all represent a means of making money and consequently physical theft must be guarded against.
Vigilance is vital to ensuring vials do not fall into undeserving hands, be they of opportunists out to make a quick euro shifting stolen items on online auction sites and social media selling pages or those of well-organised gangs seeking sizeable returns on the black market.
Protecting the physical and intellectual property of life science companies and biotech businesses is no mean feat given a typical product journey spans multiple transportation and storage transactions.
Mitigating the vulnerability of each of these stages that precede handover to the purchaser requires a thorough and well-developed security strategy and at the Sharp Group we employ an array of technologies and processes to fulfil this all-important “escort” service.
All vehicles – whether carrying stock or simply visiting a site – are digitally checked in at each location using a barcode system, which is reinforced through the adoption of Automatic Number Plate Recognition.
In addition to tracking all activity electronically at access points, our security officers can also share vehicle-specific details – such as there will be no cab-only arrivals on any given date – with associated sites.
Having a human in the loop – be it physically on site in a sentry capacity or providing around the clock surveillance via a remote control centre – remains a key tenet of our solutions and our high retention rate in an industry renowned for a rapid turnover of staff, means customers benefit from a motivated, highly-experienced pool of people.
Just like our clients in the pharmaceutical sector, however, we tailor the formulas we administer to best meet user needs and are adept at blending traditional security measures with technology’s latest tools.
This approach provides the dual benefits of immunising against incidents of criminality and delivering protection at a palatable price. Denying rogue agents the opportunity to strike may not be the stuff of spy movies, but doing so safeguards against any negative reviews.