Requirements for the selection of laboratory system: what about cybersecurity?
Choosing the most suitable IT system for your laboratory and quality processes is a masterpiece in itself.
It is well known that you need to go through specific phases if you want to be successful in your market study and solution assessment. As with any buying process, the first step is to know exactly what you need and what you are looking for.
That’s easy to say! It is not always easy to formulate comprehensive technical and business requirements that summarises everyone’s needs and is then well understood by the potential vendors.
Compromise when selecting a laboratory system
The fact is that choosing the most appropriate laboratory system for your needs is an important step in your digital transformation journey, but surprisingly not the most critical. There are requirements that are essential for your company business, for your laboratory processes, for compliance with your industry regulations, for end-user adoption and for warm reception by your IT partners. One solution rarely meets all of those requirements with maximum punctuation.
Even if the solution is innovative, modern, and user-friendly, the young company may lack knowledge about compliance and validation. If it is eager to learn with the client, prices are also easier to negotiate.
If it is an established solution, the expertise is huge, and prices may not be so easy to negotiate.
So, it’s not just about how attractive the laboratory system is, it’s certainly about the confidence to build a positive and productive long-term relationship with a service level agreement that satisfies all parties.
Get your stakeholders involved in the laboratory system selection – sooner rather than later
At Paperless Lab Academy®, we often talk about the need to involve all stakeholders at an early stage of your project.
Change management is better handled when your end users are involved from the beginning, understand the benefits of the new digitised processes, and quickly grasp how to proceed.
Compliance is better managed when quality assurance and computer validation experts are involved at an early stage in the creation of the validation master plan.
IT infrastructure is better managed when IT partners are involved early to discuss connectivity, integration with other systems, interface with instruments, login process, single sign-on and role security.
Implementing your solution in line with IT ‘s company strategy is more than essential. Also, ensure that technical resources are available during implementation to whom you can delegate technical knowledge of the platform if customisations are expected.
What about adding cybersecurity in your risk management?
We know from the news and our own personal experience, from films and reading, that cyber security is an issue that should not be underestimated, regardless of your function, role, and responsibility. Whenever you handle digital data, you are involved. You are at risk, and you can be the door opener to tangible risk.
There are different types of cyber-attacks (1) that have a greater or lesser impact on data loss, data breaches and business losses (2). I leave it here to our keynote speakers to introduce us to this truly new industry at the Paperless Lab Academy® 2023 Europe.
We are planning a special session at this 10th edition of the European Congress because, on the one hand, we need to learn more about the capabilities of cyber-attacks and, on the other hand, we need to increase our preparedness.
In a laboratory environment where data circulates internally and externally, from instruments to data management systems, to the cloud, to analytical tools, back to clients and to archival there are too many systems involved. Too much hardware, too many computers, tablets, smartphones connected to the company’s VPN, but also outside of it.
The strong message from our speakers while commenting their contributions to the Paperless Lab Academy® is that cyber security needs to be included in your risk management and vendor discussions. Similar to audits of their quality management systems, their cybersecurity strategy needs to be clarified (3).
1) 10 Types of Cyber Attacks You Should Be Aware in 2023: https://www.simplilearn.com/tutorials/cyber-security-tutorial/types-of-cyber-attacks
2) Recent Data Breaches – 2023: https://firewalltimes.com/recent-data-breaches/
3) 40 Questions You Should Have In Your Vendor Security Assessment: https://www.bitsight.com/resources/40-questions-you-should-have-in-your-vendor-security-assessment
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