Statement on Cybersecurity
from the Symbiota Support Hub

January 2023

Data hosted on Symbiota portals is critical and irreplaceable, representing likely millions of hours of investment into collecting, preparing, digitizing, and managing effort. The security of biodiversity data hosted by the iDigBio Symbiota Support Hub is one of our highest priorities.

Symbiota portals hosted by the iDigBio Symbiota Support Hub (SSH) reside on the cyberinfrastructure of Arizona State University’s Research Computing (ASU RC) – a centralized, well-resourced Core Facility of the ASU Knowledge Enterprise that offers robust, scalable IT infrastructure and computing resources, research-grade cybersecurity, and data management support. ASU RC provides nightly backups of all SSH data. Additional backups are made on a regular basis. ASU RC conducts regular, comprehensive cybersecurity audits and enforces prompt resolution of emerging security vulnerabilities. To meet these strict security requirements, the SSH team includes a dedicated IT systems administrator who maintains and upgrades all SSH VM (virtual machine) servers to prevent malicious activity and continuously upgrade security.

The ASU RC-provided, state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure is one of many advantages to managing biodiversity collections data on a Symbiota Support Hub-hosted portal. While no data resource is guaranteed to be safe, and sustaining and scaling safe services requires sound financial planning, SSH and ASU RC are strongly focused on providing and strengthening the long-term resources needed to secure this IT infrastructure for Symbiota portal community.

In accordance with best practices, we also stress the importance of redundancy as part of data management planning. For users who rely on Symbiota as their primary collections management system, we strongly recommend regularly downloading and archiving copies of your data. Instructions for how to download a backup of your data from a Symbiota portal can be found here.