Issue Brief

Navigating the Cyber-Biosecurity Landscape: A National Security Imperative for India

December 21, 2023

The ever-evolving landscape of national security threats has expanded to encompass traditional geopolitical and military risks and challenges arising from the cyber and biological domains termed cyber-biosecurity. This hybrid concept of cyber-biosecurity emerges as an innovative fusion, encapsulating the rapidly converging disciplines of cybersecurity and biosecurity. While each domain has historically commanded its attention and expertise, the evolving landscape reveals they are increasingly intersecting in complex and consequential ways.1 Such a confluence produces new challenges that can remotely disrupt biomedical and bio-industrial processes, compromise digital health records and medical devices, and even jeopardize high-containment laboratories (e.g., BSL-3 or BSL-4). This amalgamation extends the horizon of vulnerabilities, manifesting multifaceted risks that traverse critical sectors, including manufacturing, emergency medical systems, public health, healthcare, the biochemical industry, food production, agriculture and eventually, national security. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped raise awareness about biosecurity and public health to a reasonable extent in India and the region. 

This commentary aims to provide an overview of the cyber-biosecurity landscape, identifying the challenges and opportunities it presents for India’s biomedical Institutions, including hospitals, laboratories and pharma companies. It also underscores India’s vulnerabilities and strategic imperatives in this new frontier of security.

Animesh Roul, "Navigating the Cyber-Biosecurity Landscape: A National Security Imperative for India", CBW Magazine, MP-IDSA, New Delhi. For Complete Paper, read here (PDF)

Author Note
Animesh Roul is the Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, New Delhi.