How Secure Is Your DNA?

A closer look at cybersecurity protections for genomic data

Illustration shows a dark figure in a hat and trench coat silhouetted behind a DNA pattern.
Credit: B. Hayes/NIST
  • Health advances, including targeted health treatments and earlier disease detections, which I want to benefit me and my family, rely on this genomic data research.
  • There are real risks with genomic data if it falls into the wrong hands, such as the ability to discriminate against me or my children, create biological weapons or thwart businesses that rely on genomic data.
  • Both cybersecurity and privacy are factors when discussing securing genomic data.
  • Challenges and vulnerabilities are not isolated to one aspect of genomic data handling. For example, once data is created using a genomic sequencer device, it is vulnerable and needs safeguards to ensure protection.
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NIST promotes U.S. innovation by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology

NIST promotes U.S. innovation by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.