Data Security in Your Lab

Data Security in your Lab

From online banking to Netflix to smart phone features that are constantly evolving, our everyday lives continue to become more digitalized. Globally, we also see a trend towards digitalization in life science laboratories due to increasing device connectivity. With the widespread adoption of cloud-based solutions and the development of the internet of things (IoT), the way lab work is conducted is being revolutionized.

Cloud-based software has been used in the business world for many years but is just now becoming popular for scientific applications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many labs closed and projects were slowed, work-from-home mandates accelerated acceptance. COVID-19 gave everyone an insight into their daily lives when it was disrupted, how can we accomplish more using technology? All in-person events moved online and so has the way we approach work, creating a new standard of living. Laboratory automation has evolved beyond liquid handling robotics to a variety of technologies that assist lab technicians to accomplish more.

 

Benefits of Cloud-Based Software

 

By handling large amounts of sensitive data generated in academic and life science laboratories, cloud-based solutions have several advantages over conventional  solutions. Document-based approaches to data management, including flexibility, scalability, and security. Cloud options allow remote updates and don’t require additional software/hardware or costly server upgrades when increasing storage capacity. By implementing cloud-based solutions, labs can become more efficient and sustainable while saving time and money.

Imagine being able to simulate your protocol before running it? Firstly, you identify errors before they happen, saving you time and money on expensive reagents and tips. If the instrument has an API camera, lab technicians can view the protocol in real time from a different location. Allowing users to conduct experiments with online monitoring, anytime, anywhere.

Documentation is probably one of the most critical, but also the least popular laboratory tasks. Every laboratory – from academic institutions to pharma labs are subject to regulations and should document experiments with a traceable process. It is a time-consuming effort that is tedious and prone to error. Today, there are many laboratories that are still using  paper-based systems, which is time consuming. A cloud-based system will easily handle the documentation while including digital assets.

 

Preventing loss and securing data

 

Laboratories aren’t immune to a data security threat. As a result of loss of data, theft or other forms of hacking, the consequences can reach far beyond lab users alone. The loss and theft of sensitive patient data can have an impact on treatment outcomes and patient privacy in clinical laboratories, for example. Researchers may be delayed, or their intellectual property may even be stolen, when their lab data is breached.

As the internet of things (IoT) becomes more prominent, with added devices such as equipment and sensors used in and outside the lab, so does the need for prevention of an attack. This includes cloud-connected devices, which are used to monitor conditions and experiments within a controlled laboratory environment.

In the lab, integrating cloud-based approaches can be beneficial in several ways. Research can be simplified and made easier with an efficient system, saving researchers time handling data. Having data available from anywhere, anytime. Unforeseen events can be handled remotely and rectified quickly. However, data security is everyone’s responsibility. As part of this, it is imperative ensuring that each employee is trained with the processes with regards to system access and the policy for password changes.

Every employee should have their own administrative access so that they can record  changes during their research or access to specific databases and even different instruments. IT security can be further secured by implementing VPN, and 2 factor authentication.

Learn about our L.DROP, which has a state of the art cloud-based software that enables users to build, run, and analyze protocols from anywhere – anytime!

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