Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2019 29;7:61. Epub 2019 Mar 29.
Argonne National Laboratory (DOE), Strategic Security Sciences Division, Lemont, IL, United States.
The convergence of advances in biotechnology with laboratory automation, access to data, and computational biology has democratized biotechnology and accelerated the development of new therapeutics. However, increased access to biotechnology in the digital age has also introduced additional security concerns and ultimately, spawned the new discipline of cyberbiosecurity, which encompasses cybersecurity, cyber-physical security, and biosecurity considerations. With the emergence of this new discipline comes the need for a logical, repeatable, and shared approach for evaluating facility and system vulnerabilities to cyberbiosecurity threats. In this paper, we outline the foundation of an assessment framework for cyberbiosecurity, accounting for both security and resilience factors in the physical and cyber domains. This is a unique problem set, but despite the complexity of the cyberbiosecurity field in terms of operations and governance, previous experience developing and implementing physical and cyber assessments applicable to a wide spectrum of critical infrastructure sectors provides a validated point of departure for a cyberbiosecurity assessment framework. This approach proposes to integrate existing capabilities and proven methodologies from the infrastructure assessment realm (e.g., decision science, physical security, infrastructure resilience, cybersecurity) with new expertise and requirements in the cyberbiosecurity space (e.g., biotechnology, biomanufacturing, genomics) in order to forge a flexible and defensible approach to identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities. Determining where vulnerabilities reside within cyberbiosecurity business processes can help public and private sector partners create an assessment framework to identify mitigation options for consideration that are both economically and practically viable and ultimately, allow them to manage risk more effectively.