Cyberbiosecurity and protecting the Lab of the Future

Date: 21st August 2019

Embracing technology, driving digitisation and connectivity are integral to engaging with the Lab of the Future (LoF).  Whilst this digital transformation offers us exciting benefits in health, efficiencies, reproducibly and a vast array of data access with it also comes vulnerability.  Whilst we’re all generally well-informed on a personal level not to share, for example, our bank security details, in the work place we may not be so diligent in considering the risks and the presence of a wide variety of digital devices and equipment in the lab presents a challenge, whether a voice driven personal assistant, a wearable, AI, VR or lab automation, potential security breaches could have catastrophic results.

Craig Reed and Nicholas Dunaway from Inspirion Biosciences, A biorisk management company, have delved into the implications of cyberbiosecurity in this recent review published in Frontiers of in Bioengineering and Biotechnology where they identify areas of risk, and highlight security practices that enable risks to be mimimised.  They place the onus firmly on the equipment designers, software and control systems developers to incorporate cyberbiosecurity as a must-have rather than an after-thought with the point, however, that as end users we must take responsibility and educate ourselves of the hazards.

Reed, J. C. and N. Dunaway (2019). “Cyberbiosecurity Implications for the Laboratory of the Future.” Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 7(182).