Importance of Pentesting in Software used in Clinical Studies


Cybersecurity: Critical in Clínical Trials


In recent years, the number of cyberattacks has increased due to the proliferation of viruses, malware, and new and increasingly sophisticated techniques. Therefore, all companies face risks that endanger their systems and can leave confidential information exposed. Still, unfortunately, not all organizations are aware of the risk they face, which is why security breaches continue to grow.


When discussing cybersecurity, we must consider ensuring the information in a system is protected from digital attacks; cybersecurity measures are designed to combat threats against networked systems, whether those threats originate inside or outside a company. Therefore, clinical research regulations demand compliance; it is not the same as cybersecurity responsibilities


According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), healthcare and clinical research cybersecurity has three goals: protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information, also known as the “CIA triad.”(1)


Have you ever heard about Pentesting?


Every day we can see more cyber attacks where criminals try to enter companies’ computer systems. For this reason, practices such as pentesting are essential to guarantee information security


Pentesting involves using ethical hackers to test systems and try to get into them.  All clinical research organizations that use and store data need to protect their computer systems from real hackers; this is why all the resources spent on digital security are an investment to guaranteeing patients a secure environment where their data can be safe.


A penetration test, also known as a “pentest” (short for the English words “penetration” and “test”), is a type of test that companies use to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses in the security of information technologies.  A pentester mimics possible attacks on a computer network and tries to steal the stored data. 


Conducting these real cyberattacks is one of the most effective ways to test a network and verify its stability.  It is a controlled form of hacking whereby a group of people, known as pentesters, perform a programmed attack on the system to find technological weaknesses before criminals. 


These tests are also used to ensure compliance with a specific security policy, know the employees’ awareness about it, and identify the ability of the organization to respond to these incidents.


Types of Penetrations Tests


Sites, CROs, and Sponsors should always validate that their software vendors have this kind of practices in place. Hence, four types of tests would help to guarantee cybersecurity when using clinical trial software solutions:

  • Network penetration
  • Web application penetration
  • Wireless penetration
  • Simulated phishing


Network Penetration Testing


Identifies security issues in the network infrastructure. It is performed by scanning the network and wireless services to ensure the design of the network and its components are well-defined and programmed.


Web Application Penetration Testing


Detects website or web application security issues to prevent data theft or irreparable application damage.


Wireless penetration Testing


It is performed to discover access points and rogue devices, analyze their configurations and vulnerabilities, and identify the status of their patches and versions.


Simulated identity theft


It is an independent evaluation of identity theft (phishing), discovering employees’ awareness regarding this type of risk.


In summary, pentesting is fundamental in any information security management system (ISMS) aligned with standards such as ISO 27001. In addition, it avoids losing brand reputation, prevents infractions, and helps us comply with applicable legislation. 

If you want more information about pentesting and how we carry out this process in INTEGRA IT, you can contact:



  • HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). Cybersecurity in Healthcare. Resources. [Cited October 11, 2022] Link: See Article in Link

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