Fernando Gamallo
CIO
Sanfer
/
View from the Top

IT, Information Privacy: Areas of Opportunity

By Miriam Bello | Mon, 12/27/2021 - 07:01

Q: What role does technology play in Sanfer’s business model?

A: We are convinced that technology facilitates business. Adapting to changes, opportunities, trends, requirements, regulations and controls is easier using technology. We use it to support different areas. For example, in manufacturing plants and production areas, technology allows us to have greater control of raw materials and of what, when and how is production going. Without changing manufacturing per se, technology does influence the way our plants work. In the warehouse department, automation helps administrating orders, clients and our over 2,000 SKUs.

In management areas, technology provides better control of what the company is buying and selling and helps meet all kinds of requirements: tax, legal or sanitary. Managing data is very important in this regard. In the sales department, tech facilitates better interaction and communication with healthcare professionals, product promotion, benchmarking and strategies. Finally, technology offers fast and responsive communication between all the departments of the company.

Q: How important is cybersecurity in Sanfer and what areas do cybercriminals target the most?

A: The pharmaceutical industry is the second most cyberattacked industry. Sanfer has big technological partners, with whom we work to jointly create an integral IT security strategy. Any company could be attacked and we have to always be alert.  

The attacks aim to steal all kinds of data. Criminals usually target patents, which are key to the industry. Phishing and ransomware targeting both companies and individuals is also common. Identity fraud is another possibility, as cybercriminals are constantly trying to steal employees’ Whatsapp accounts to later extort their contacts, including clients.

Q: How did the pandemic change the technological approach in the industry and in Sanfer?

A: There is no human-being that has not perceived the impact and the accelerated technological adoption caused by the pandemic. This crisis changed the world radically. First, people are no longer afraid of turning their cameras on, appear on TV or use social media. We are now more conscious about our simultaneous double existence in the physical and virtual worlds. Second, the pandemic put everyone’s digital footprint at risk. There is a piece of us in every social media, webpage or search engine we use. If someone is able to collect those pieces, that person will be able to generate your digital footprint and steal your identity. People are now more conscious about IT and technological risks. Finally, productive capacity decreased with technology advances. People dedicate more hours to do the same job due to the distractions caused by computers and mobile phones.

At Sanfer, we help older generations adapt to new technologies, while offering cybersecurity courses and awareness campaigns to become more efficient and avoid distractions.

Q: What are the main challenges for information privacy in Mexico?

A: Common technology users are not conscious protecting their information privacy. They are aware of the applications they use on smartphones but they do not protect their information and will happily share everything they are doing. On the other hand, Mexico’s legal framework is far from being ideal. While the country has general regulations in information privacy, there is no infrastructure to enforce them, such as well-trained cybernetic police. We could imitate other countries to protect people’s data.

With no individual culture and no government’s initiative, the private sector has been working to strengthen information privacy for the last few years, either through alliances with foreign companies or on their own. The goal is to protect both the companies and their clients.

 

Laboratorios Sanfer is one of the leading pharmaceuticals in the Mexican and Latin American markets thanks to its over 80 years contributing in more than 10 therapeutical areas.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst