The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) has announced the Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information Security Strategy. The strategy will serve as a framework that defines the important principles that guide the comprehensive approach to enhance Abu Dhabi’s healthcare sector to securely and effectively mitigate cyber threats.

DoH is the first entity in the region to develop a strategy of this kind for the healthcare sector. It is part of ongoing efforts to enhance the information infrastructure of the healthcare sector. The new strategy will contribute to putting a cohesive and proactive response framework in place to meet current and future healthcare cybersecurity challenges for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, while remaining focused on digital transformation through enabling technology, innovation and AI adoption in the healthcare sector of the emirate.

H.E. Dr. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, Undersecretary of DoH said: “At DoH, we take pride in adopting a proactive approach that is inspired by the vision of our wise leadership in order to continue to strive for excellence and provide world-class innovative services through technology. Our approach to tackling cyber security includes implementing a host of processes and proactive measures that help mitigate associated risks and ensures full readiness to effectively and safely respond to any digital threats or attacks.”

The strategy will consist of six key areas of focus, including cyber security governance, cyber security resilience, cyber security capabilities, cyber security partnerships, cyber security maturity and cyber security innovation.

Al Kaabi added, “We intend to work alongside our partners for the roll out of the updated strategy and take secure steps to support and contribute to the enhancement of the healthcare sectors’ digital transformation journey and the utilisation of modern technology with the aim of continuing to provide high healthcare service quality to all members of the community.”

The strategy will come into effect immediately and will mandate all healthcare facilities in the emirate, including healthcare professionals, insurance providers, service providers, vendors and authorised parties who have access to, handle, process and store patients’ healthcare data. The strategy will align the healthcare sector’s cybersecurity initiatives with that of the national agenda.

Last November, DoH launched its “AAMEN” programme that evaluates healthcare facilities for their compliance with information security standards and continues to provide the support needed to achieve world-class patient data privacy while securing the confidentiality of health information in its different forms, reviewing its accuracy and ensuring its accessibility at all times.