Biosecurity experts recently testified to a Senate panel that we must do more to prevent the next biohazard. As COVID-19 fatalities near the one million mark, it is clear that we must invest in adequate biosecurity measures and dedicate our resources to preventing the next biohazard. The GAO has been preparing a report on biohazard preparedness and it will focus on the “BioWatch” program, which detects airborne pathogens including viruses and toxic bacteria.
Biosecurity solutions like AsureQuality laboratory testing services are critical to reducing potential damage to human life and the environment. In recent years, more researchers have become concerned about the threats that can result from the use of biotechnologies. While it is important to ensure that the development of new products meets biosecurity guidelines, it is also essential to consider the human factor in the process. Some of the experts who work in this field are Tessa Alexanian, a program officer at the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA), and Mayra Ameneiros, a biochemist with a postgraduate degree in international security and a risk management professional certification from IFBA. She is also a member of the board of After iGEM and the MIT Biosecurity Initiative.
Increasing globalization is driving the growth of biotechnology. While it is essential to monitor the proliferation of biotechnology, its democratization has made this technology more accessible to a greater number of individuals. While this has produced many beneficial applications, it has also opened the door for nefarious actors to use the technology for malicious purposes. A biotechnology attack could cause a massive global economic loss. This is why biosecurity experts are vital to the success of any business or organization.
BTRP works to develop biosafety and biosecurity programs around the world. For example, BTRP is working in North Africa, a region prone to violent extremist groups. BTRP’s mission is to train national biosecurity experts in four countries and then return to their own countries to teach others. With the development of this program, BTRP has helped build labs and helped with the Ebola response in West Africa.
Global Biosecurity Instruments
The EU has recently funded a project to prepare a toolbox of global biosecurity instruments. The objective of this project is to improve European biosecurity by developing a common approach to address biosecurity risks. This requires multidisciplinary cooperation and the support of legislative bodies and the public. Despite its importance, global biosecurity is underrepresented in both policy and financial terms. Here are some suggestions for enhancing biosecurity. All countries and regions should adopt the same tools for their national and regional biosecurity and enhance cross-border collaboration.
In order to make biosecurity standards more meaningful, countries should create positive incentives rather than punish them. Creating mechanisms to “incentivize” compliance is a much easier task than creating a robust international policing system. To this end, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is developing voluntary security guidelines for member countries. The creation of a network of member countries will serve as a powerful incentive to adhere to the rules.
In addition to implementing these instruments, member states should ensure that they have sufficient resources to respond to an outbreak of dangerous pathogens. While the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the lack of global capacity to contain and prevent major epidemics, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic re-evaluated the risks of infectious disease outbreaks. The 2021 Global Health Security analysis reveals that all countries are dangerously unprepared for future epidemics and pandemics.
The importance of biosecurity cannot be stressed enough. Effective biosecurity measures require balancing the need for cost-effective and complexity-sensitive measures against threats posed by pathogens. Threat assessments should be conducted to determine the greatest threats to a facility. Moreover, vulnerability assessments must consider the number of pathogens in a research protocol, the types of pathogens stored, and the methods of movement within the facility. In addition to risk assessments, implementing a biosafety instrument is crucial to protect the environment and society from harm.
There are a number of security measures you can put in place to ensure the physical security of biosecurity experts. This may include installing physical barriers such as security gates, porters, and cameras. Ultimately, physical security will prevent unauthorized access to high-risk materials, and it will help you avoid the spread of harmful pathogens. Here are some of the most common physical security measures you should be considering. These measures will help protect your employees, residents, and assets.
The NIH’s Security Design Policy and Guideline provide specific security requirements for new and leased NIH facilities. Access is granted only to key project personnel, based on their need-to-know basis. This guide contains an entire section on laboratory design and security. It will also include specific building codes and standards that apply to labs. The physical security of biosecurity experts is critical to the protection of human health. Fortunately, these measures are backed by an increasingly reliable government.
Biosecurity professionals must be aware of the evolving threats and vulnerabilities in the environment. In addition to cyber security, the field of biotechnology is becoming increasingly democratized, which has created new opportunities and security concerns. As a result, biosecurity experts must use a logical approach to assess the threats posed by biological agents. Fortunately, cybersecurity experts can use a framework derived from existing cyber-physical security approaches.
A laboratory environment can be incredibly dangerous if it is not properly secured. While biosecurity specialists can help keep out criminals and other threats, they can’t prevent insiders from taking advantage of the environment. A biosecurity plan must take into account both the physical and intellectual property risks of the labs. As such, a biosecurity program needs to be a strong safety net. This means a thorough background investigation. Background checks check references and search government and Interpol databases to ensure that potential lab staff is safe. Reliability issues can arise long after hire. That’s why periodic reinvestigations of employees working with dangerous pathogens should be performed.
The health and life sciences industry, a highly-regulated field, stores and handles potentially hazardous materials. Personnel reliability is a key issue for biosafety and biosecurity, and safeguarding against insider threats is vital. To promote biosafety and biosecurity, the HSP convened a second regional meeting of biosecurity experts in August 2021. The meeting featured Dr. Barbara Johnson, former president of the American Biological Safety Association, who spoke about PRP implementation in the U.S. and Southeast Asia.
The report evaluates the effectiveness of current policies, regulations, and oversight regarding biosecurity and laboratory security. The committee also offers recommendations on enhancing the operation of the Select Agent Program and developing a culture of trust. These guidelines can help organizations improve the security of their labs and prevent contaminated samples. But a comprehensive review is still necessary to minimize risks and ensure the safety of their researchers. In addition, the report identifies the key elements of a successful biosafety program.
Biosafety and security can only be achieved with reliable personnel. A comprehensive selection procedure and appropriate background screening are important to mitigating security risks. In addition to thorough selection and background screening, reliable employees also contribute to a secure environment. The pillar of good practice explains the types of background screening and selection procedures. Moreover, the document also provides information on the different types of security risks associated with biosecurity. While there are many aspects of biosafety and security, these factors must be considered before hiring personnel.
PRPs are required for a wide variety of reasons. Most importantly, they ensure that the biosecurity experts are reliable and trustworthy. The certifying official uses all available information to make a decision about reliability. It is a comprehensive assessment that takes into account past performance and the candor of staff members. Once the PRP is confirmed, the staff member can then be placed on the PRP register. This certification process has several benefits.
The twenty-first century is an age of unprecedented biological research, Big Data, and digitized life sciences. Cyber-intrusion is an ever-increasing threat to scientific data, intellectual property, and genomic information. And it’s not just the government that’s concerned. While the threat of cyberattacks is often framed in terms of national security, it’s also a concern for the privacy of private information, such as the genetic information of an individual.
The term biosecurity was first used by environmental and agricultural communities, where threats to life came from. The field soon grew into several disciplines, including Human Health Biosecurity, Bio Supply Chain Biosecurity, and Laboratory Biosecurity. Despite the overlap in the areas, these disciplines require distinct but uniform approaches to overcome the multiple vulnerabilities they face. The importance of combining information security and biosecurity is undeniable. In addition, the field has grown to include both cyber and biological-system-related threats.
In addition to being involved in public policy, information security and biosecurity experts can also testify to a Senate panel on biohazard preparedness. While this is a complex issue, the death toll of COVID-19 is approaching one million. As such, Americans are more than willing to invest in safeguarding against the next biohazard. The General Accounting Office (GAO) is currently preparing a report on the topic. Its focus is on the BioWatch program, which seeks to identify airborne pathogens. These are viruses and toxins that spread from one person to another.
Biosecurity threats can originate from insiders or outsiders. Threat actors are those who seek to steal or harm valuable biological materials. Threat actors can also target sensitive information or specialized equipment, technologies, or expertise. They may even seek to undermine the mission of the organization. Threat actors must first formulate an intent to carry out their actions and then take advantage of an opportunity to execute the action. In other words, the biosecurity threat model is complex and multi-faceted, and it’s essential to have an informed and trained staff.