Last Revised: February 16, 2018

An institutional program aimed at reducing the risk of unauthorized access, loss, theft, misuse, diversion or intentional release of valuable biological materials (VBM) to tolerable, acceptable levels (laboratory biosecurity).

VBM are materials that require protection, of their economic and historical (archival) value, and/or the population from their potential to cause harm.  VBM may include pathogens and toxins, as well as any biological materials whose loss would negatively impact institutional research efforts and/or reputation.

Laboratory biosafety and biosecurity mitigate different risks, but they share a common goal: keeping VBM safely and securely inside the areas where they are used and stored.

A biosecurity program should be part of a holistic biorisk management program and should be supported by management (or directorship) of an institution.  A biosecurity program rests upon five pillars: inventory process, physical security, a personal reliability program, transport programs, and information security processes.  A biosecurity program must have an overall program management that supports the five pillars.

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