Indian Multinational Pharmaceutical giant leverages XVigil to combat the sale of counterfeit generic drugs

The Problem

The menace of counterfeit drugs, patented or generic, is a major concern in India. These drugs have adverse health effects and could be potentially fatal. In addition, substandard or adulterated drugs negatively impact the brand and revenue of the pharmaceutical companies being impersonated. Counterfeit generic drugs that masquerade as branded medicines was a major concern for our client as well.

The shortage of original drugs in local markets increases the demand for copycats. Moreover, labeled drugs are being undermined and sold not only over the counter but also on dark web and deep web forums and marketplaces. Tracking authentic products using barcodes and other traceability solutions has helped curb the peddling of drugs across the counter, to an extent. But our client was struggling to manually monitor the sale of generic drugs, on the dark web, which have wrong concentrations of their active ingredient or no active ingredient at all. 

Our client was concerned about the health hazards incidental to counterfeit drugs and the threat such products pose to their standing. They engaged CloudSEK to address these concerns and combat the online market for counterfeit drugs. 

The Solution

CloudSEK calibrated its digital risk monitoring platform XVigil to monitor forums and marketplaces across the deep web and dark web, to detect incidents related to our client, including data leaks, source code leaks, etc. Discussions on Telegram and other social media are also supervised to identify threats arising from dubious exchanges between users. 

XVigil’s Brand Monitor is tuned to track fake domains or applications that attempt to impersonate our client’s copyrighted and trademarked details so as to defraud their customers. 

Moreover, CloudSEK has enabled XVigil’s Infrastructure Monitor to conduct regular scans of our client’s security posture to keep a check on misconfigured cloud storage, open ports and assets, and other vulnerabilities.

CloudSEK promptly alerts the client to the many deep web and dark web marketplaces that infringe on their brand, through the unauthorized use of their trademark. XVigil picks up on the sale of counterfeit generic drugs and also alerts the client regarding other sources of threats. CloudSEK manages and regularly updates the list of keywords provided by the client, to ensure specific, actionable intelligence from XVigil.

The Impact

Pharmaceutical companies are especially vulnerable to cyber attacks because they have valuable assets like research, patents, forumulations, and patient data. In addition, there has reportedly been an exponential increase in the number of knockoff and substandard drugs. While unregulated resellers and wholesalers play a significant part in counterfeiting, online marketplaces and cyber criminals have facilitated the sale of spurious drugs across the globe. 

With XVigil, our client is able to detect the presence of online drug markets that sell counterfeit generic drugs through various techniques such as copyright/ trademark infringement, social media discussions, and fake domains/ applications that impersonate them. They receive real-time alerts, giving them enough time to address such issues, before it affects the organization or its consumers.  

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