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User Manual for Biosecurity Vulnerability Scan

The biosecurity vulnerability scan is built around the eight key areas of biosecurity: biosecurity awareness, personnel security, transport security, information security, control of materials, response plans, management, and physical security. Each key area consists of a short introduction, a series of questions that you can answer, and a number of scenarios that relate to that specific key area. By going through the analysis you acquire an overview of possible vulnerabilities in the security of your organisation.

The vulnerability scan supplements the self-scan toolkit. The self-scan toolkit provides a quick overview of the state of biosecurity in your organisation on the basis of yes/no questions. The vulnerability scan delves deeper into vulnerabilities: it offers in-depth questions, background and situation sketches (scenarios). Consequently it is a logical next step after the self-scan toolkit.

For whom has the vulnerability scan been developed?

The vulnerability scan is intended for organisations that work with high-risk pathogens or the corresponding knowledge and technologies. High-risk pathogens are defined as human and animal pathogens in biosafety levelclasses 3 or 4, and plant pathogens appearing on the list of Quarantine Organisms. Biosafety and bio-risk professionals are the most obvious group to conduct the analysis, but researchers and supervisors could also gain insight into biosecurity vulnerabilities by conducting this analysis. Of course it is possible to answer the questions together with colleagues, such as those from ICT or security, and the scenarios can be used in training and exercises.

How do I conduct the vulnerability scan?

The vulnerability scan is based on the eight key areas of biosecurity  that are important for ensuring the security of high-risk pathogens.  It is not necessary to go through all the priority areas. If you are interested in a specific priority area, you can answer the questions, read the corresponding scenarios and view and save the final results.

You will note that for many questions the first answer often seems to be the 'best' answer. However, we do not want to give the impression that if you have the 'most complete answer' that your situation is completely safe or secure, nor that if you have filled in a less extensive answer that your organisation is unsafe or insecure. The questions and answers in the vulnerability scan attempt to give a series of possible measures and suggestions to minimise a risk as much as possible. We realise that there are several possibilities to minimise biosecurity risks. The Biosecurity Office has opted for this form of vulnerability scan and endeavours to deal with this conscientiously.

What can I do with the results of the vulnerability scan?

The analysis maps out vulnerabilities in your organisation. You can use this to bring biosecurity to the attention of employees and management in your organisation. In addition, the background information, measures and scenarios can be used in training courses for employees of your organisation who work with high-risk pathogens or otherwise come into contact with biosecurity aspects.

Comments or suggestions?

The Biosecurity Office aims to match this vulnerability scan as closely as possible to the current situation and relevant developments, and various experts have been consulted for this purpose. If you have any comments or suggestions for improving the vulnerability scan, or if you have ideas for a scenario or a priority area, please contact the Biosecurity Office via biosecurity@rivm.nl.

Finally, you can also contact us for information and advice in the field of biosecurity. The Biosecurity Office can also provide lectures and workshops for you and your staff.


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