Understanding the landscape of cyberbiosecurity for integrative educational programming

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American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

As an emerging and interdisciplinary field at the nexus of digital technologies and agriculture and life sciences (ALS), the integration of cyberbiosecurity education for professional training and skills development remains challenging. Educational practices and related workforce development efforts associated with cyberbiosecurity may be best generalized as pseudo-shadow education, occurring outside standardized practice and lacking known ‘best practice‘ to mimic. The current state of cyberbiosecurity education reflects a lack of sequenced and developed knowledge, values, judgments, and ways of thinking, which serve as windows into the underlying cultures of a disciplinary field. Coupled with this gap, the continuous deployment and convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) within ALS creates new vulnerabilities, unfamiliar to the workforce. These vulnerabilities expose critical ALS infrastructures to cyber-attacks and terrorism and hold significant consequences for the bioeconomy. Securing the bioeconomy and preventing negative multiplier effects in other related sectors depend on adequate cyberbiosecurity education programming and workforce development. This exploratory report of current realities and future prospects provides insights into integrative cyberbiosecurity education programming for workforce development. The study explicates underlying concerns to be addressed in developing integrative cyberbiosecurity education for professionals in agriculture and life sciences and suggests an expandable framework to facilitate workforce development programming. Concerns to address regarding the creation of educational programming in cyberbiosecurity include alignment in definition, cross-boundary community building, peculiar dynamics of cyberbiosecurity threat landscape, and baseline requirements for cyberbiosecurity education and practice.

Agriculture and life sciences, Bioeconomy, Cyberbiosecurity, Education and workforce development, Threat landscape