Cyberbiosecurity is the intersection point of 3 basic sectors cybersecurity, biosecurity and cyber-physical security. Cybersecurity takes over the protection of computer systems from breach, loss and harm to their hardware, software, or information and data, as well as from disruption of the applications and services they provide. Biosecurity takes control of securing valuable biological material and information from misuse or harm. Cyber-physical security addressees the security risks of technologies like Internet of Things sensors, industrial and operational control systems that interact and affect the physical world and human life in real time.

Cyberbiosecurity has been defined as the “developing understanding of the vulnerabilities to unwanted surveillance, intrusions, malicious and harmful activities which can occur within or at the interfaces of coming led life science, cyber, cyber-physical, supply chain and infrastructure systems, and developing and instituting measures to prevent, protect against, mitigate, investigate, and attribute such threats as it pertains to security, competitiveness, and resilience” (Murch et al., 2018)

Traditionally, biosecurity focuses on risks reduction, related with the misuse of bio science tools, data and/or knowledge. On the other hand, cybersecurity is focused on securing valuable information and sensitive data in IT systems and applications. The crucial objective of cyberbiosecurity is to address “the potential for or actual malicious destruction, misuse, or exploitation of valuable information, processes, and material at the interface of the life sciences and digital worlds”.

While genetic databases are usually used in order to improve medicine and human health style or even tracking down criminals, are also becoming an attractive target for cyber threat actors.  Consumers one the other hand, are becoming more and more informed and aware concerning why genetic data needs to be completely protected.

Cyberbiosecurity Landscape

Cyberbiosecurity has big impact in multiple fields, from laboratory and biomedical science, to human and animal health, agriculture, manufacturing, and environmental health and ranging from protection to remediation. Technology integration is the new norm, with multiple and modern improvements and simple digitization, giving this way access to old systems, such as medical records, patient sensitive information and personal data, etc.

Most broadly actually, cyberbiosecurity is aiming to firstly identify and then mitigate all possible security risks fostered by the digitization of the biology and the biotechnological automation.

Cyberbiosecurity Vulnerabilities

  • Automation Hacking: Rather than going through publicly approachable information manually, hackers use some automated resources and methods. This makes the road leading to the goal  detailed and faster, with much higher success.
  • Genetic Treatments: Medical treatments that are developed to be the same as treatments that have been already authorized. The authorization occurs from efficacy and safety data from studies based on the authorized treatment.
  • Patient Portals: Vulnerable online applications and platforms which allow immediate interaction and communication between patients and healthcare providers, such as doctors, medical laboratories and hospitals.
  • System Vulnerabilities: Valuable and sensitive data used to create medicine, treatments, weapons, etc., may be accessed by malicious actors if stored in unsecured operating system, on-line application.
  • Digital Medicine: Uses software and digital technologies to improve human health and life style. That becomes a security challenge when those technologies get compromised.
  • Pathogen tracking: When medicine uses methods relying on whole genomes of humans, it is possible to unwillingly reveal and distribute important patterns.
  • System Integrity: Using Artificial Intelligence in the medical sector, is very common nowadays. Hackers might step on an AI vulnerability, and inject it with malicious content.
  • Cyber Threats: It is well known that every cloud-based technology and stored data, is a very attractive aim for many hackers.


Cyberbiosecurity in Digitization of Traditional Technology

Basic industries facing the transformation challenges from using traditional methods to modern systems and applications:

  • Manufacturing sector
  • Biomedical Sciences industry
  • Agriculture sector
  • Healthcare sector
  • Pharmaceutical industry


Because of the increased cases of cyber-attacks, it has now become more important than ever to adopt cybersecurity solutions. And unfortunately, these incidents will only keep rising with the evolution of technology. As hackers constantly try to find new ways to compromise security systems, healthcare organizations with highly sensitive information have to re-evaluate their cybersecurity strategies. The security of peoples’ health and personal data is of utmost importance.

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