Biotech Security: LIMS Security in the Life Sciences Sector


Welcome to the complex landscape of biotech security, where safeguarding critical systems like Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) is a top priority. LIMS plays a vital role in handling sensitive data and optimizing laboratory processes, and it requires robust protection against ever-evolving cyber threats. In this post, we'll explore strategic measures to fortify LIMS and enhance security, drawing on NetWorks Group's (NWG) extensive expertise in the Life Sciences sector. Whether you're new to the field or a seasoned expert, we've got insights to help you stay ahead of the curve. Let's dive in!

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

MFA serves as a vital barrier against unauthorized access, requiring users to authenticate through two or more verification factors. These may include knowledge (password), possession (token or smartphone), or inherence (biometric data). MFA's layered approach significantly bolsters security, even if a password is compromised. Considerations for effective MFA include:

  • Avoiding MFA fatigue by using pull notifications instead of push, minimizing security risks.
  • Combining strong MFA with robust passwords and user training to further mitigate the risk of MFA fatigue.

Strong Passwords

The necessity for strong passwords remains fundamental. Remote employees accessing LIMS must utilize complex, 12-character minimum passwords, incorporating letters, numbers, and symbols. Regular updates and avoidance of common or predictable passwords are essential in reducing unauthorized access risks. When we perform penetration tests on companies, weak passwords make our jobs easy.  The number one reason we get from customers is that there’s often pushback from users or management on longer passwords. There are easy ways to help leadership understand the risk of weak passwords.

Employee Awareness Training

Empowering employees as an active defense line requires ongoing education in cybersecurity best practices. Regular training on phishing and social engineering can foster a security-aware culture, minimizing inadvertent breaches due to human error.

Logging and Monitoring

Implementing comprehensive logging and monitoring mechanisms is paramount for overseeing user activities within LIMS. Detailed logs capturing login attempts, data alterations, and significant events facilitate early detection and rapid response to potential security incidents.

Role-Based Access

Role-based access control judiciously limits user privileges, minimizing potential damage from compromised accounts. By assigning permissions based on roles and responsibilities, organizations enhance security and maintain data integrity.

Cloud-Based LIMS and OWASP Guidelines

For organizations leveraging cloud-based Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), compliance with the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) guidelines is non-negotiable. Choosing a vendor that aligns with these industry-standard best practices guarantees a fortified security framework for cloud-hosted LIMS. Alongside this, implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for access is essential, and it is incumbent upon vendors to conduct regular penetration testing on their web applications, substantiating their commitment to security with tangible proof of testing.


Securing something as crucial as LIMS isn't a walk in the park—it takes careful planning and some serious attention to detail. Sure, putting resources into security might feel like a big step, but think of it as a long-term investment. It's all about keeping your sensitive data and processes safe and sound. And the strategies we've shared in this post? We've got a feeling they'll click with what your organization needs. It's not just about security; it's about finding the right fit for you.

With more than 25 years under our belt, NetWorks Group has become a go-to name for trust and expertise in the biotech community. We're all about creating customized solutions that fit the unique security needs of complex environments. What sets us apart? It's our dedication to you and your specific challenges. Got questions, thoughts, or feedback? We'd love to hear from you! Reach out and let's chat about how we can shape our services to be the perfect fit for your security needs

#biotech #biotechsecurity #LIMSsecurity #LIMS #cloudLIMS #SaasLIMS


Published By:
Chris Neuwirth, Senior Penetration Tester
Rachel Park, Penetration Tester
Scot Armstrong, Account Manager

Publish Date:  August 22, 2023

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