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Case Study: For VolitionRx, Cybersecurity Is Critical to Saving Lives

As we’ve said before, healthcare is uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks, and is prone to ransomware in particular. Organizations within the industry work with extremely valuable – sometimes even irreplaceable – data. This is especially true of research firms.

Consider, for instance, the recent spate of cyberattacks targeted at research into the novel coronavirus. Although it’s likely these attacks are all financially motivated to some extent, their nature varies wildly. They range from the exfiltration of treatment and vaccination data, to patient information theft, to simply locking down critical systems.  

Criminals understand well the importance of this research data. They know how valuable it is; unscrupulous state actors and criminals alike will pay top dollar for it on the black market. The fact that these datasets so often contain personal patient information only further sweetens the pot.

Life sciences organization VolitionRx Limited is acutely aware of this fact. Founded with the goal of making the diagnosis and treatment of cancer more efficient, more affordable, and less invasive, VolitionRx has, since its inception, treated cybersecurity as priority one. As a multinational company, it operates in multiple regions, each with its own regulatory climate. 

“Security is absolutely paramount for us,” says Louise Batchelor, VolitionRx’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “While our intellectual property is important, the privacy of our patients and the trust of our shareholders is even more essential. We simply cannot afford to breach that trust, nor can we ignore the multiple regulatory frameworks to which we must comply.”

Recently, VolitionRx’s Group IT Manager Daniel Halter identified the need for a better cybersecurity solution. The firm had, until recently, relied largely upon traditional antivirus vendors. While they did their job well enough, they were not without their issues.

“The techniques used by cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated,” Halter explains. “Traditional signature-based antivirus software, in addition to being performance-intensive and time-consuming, is falling behind. We recognized the need for something better – real-time, intelligent protection that provided worldwide coverage and visibility into our infrastructure.”

VolitionRx found that in BlackBerry® Protect. A powerful and lightweight endpoint security solution, BlackBerry Protect uses machine learning to provide an automated safeguard against both simple and sophisticated threats. It does this without the need for signatures, heuristics, sandboxes, cloud connections, or extensive human intervention.

With BlackBerry Protect, VolitionRx can spend less time putting out fires and updating virus definition files, and more time focusing on doing what it does best – carrying out life-saving research. 

“Caught early, cancer is actually a highly-treatable disease,” explains Batchelor. “For us, what we do is about more than efficiency – it’s about saving lives. And with BlackBerry Protect, we’re free to focus more on that, secure in the knowledge that we’re protected against an ever-changing threat landscape.”

Health research organizations, in many ways, represent an ideal target for cybercriminals. Their servers, which are often geographically distributed, contain a wealth of extremely valuable intellectual property, patient data, and research information. VolitionRx is keenly aware of this fact.

And that’s precisely why it chose BlackBerry.

Learn more about how VolitionRx is using BlackBerry Protect.  

Nigel Thompson

About Nigel Thompson

Nigel Thompson is VP Product Marketing at BlackBerry