Although financial reasons are often of paramount importance, other issues must be considered; such as it’s safety, security and reliability as well as how these characteristics manifest themselves.
For a Laboratory Information Management System to exhibit these attributes we need to look closely at the following important areas:
- The LIMS implementation programming language and the LIM operating system
- The programming language should be capable of defensive programming.
- Functions such as exception handling, variable typing and garbage collection should be present in a viable LIMS programming language.
- The OS should be completely robust.
- It should monitor and regulate all resources under its control, ensuring that they are not being illegally accessed, maliciously or otherwise. The system must be secure at every turn.
This means considering dual processor machines, uninterruptible power supplies, network clusters, and hot-swappable components.
- Most systems today supply a user ID and password security feature. This is notoriously fragile, as many users tend to lose, share or even write their passwords down. There are various “sniffing” devices, which enable wrongdoers to commit impersonation attacks.
- Encouraging people to keep their passwords safe and to change them often can reduce the chances of an attack. In addition, there are various biometric devices for authentication such as fingerprint, voice print, retina scans and so on.
- The most valuable part of a Laboratory Information Management System is it’s data.
- It is important that the data can be authenticated so that its credibility can be weighed. This process of authentication can be achieved with the use of digital signatures.
- Digital signatures can be used to prove the origin and sender of a piece of data, reassuring the recipient that the data is valid and has not been tampered with.
- Although it is extremely difficult to prevent packages of sensitive data being intercepted and compromised, encryption methods and protocols can help protect the data from unauthorised access