Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health (DoH) has revealed it is working towards “securely and effectively” reducing cyber threats with the introduction of a new policy.
Unveiled earlier this week, the “Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information Security Strategy”– said to be the first of its kind in the region’s healthcare sector – will focus on improving its information infrastructure to protect it from the current increase of cyberattacks taking place globally.
The strategy will include digital transformation through “enabling technology, innovation, and artificial intelligence adoption in the healthcare sector of the emirate,” the DoH said.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Scheduled to come into effect “immediately”, the new strategy takes on six areas of focus: cybersecurity governance, cybersecurity resilience, cybersecurity capabilities, cybersecurity partnerships, cybersecurity maturity, and cybersecurity innovation. All healthcare facilities and professionals – including insurance providers, service providers, vendors, and authorised parties who have access to patient healthcare data – are required to adopt the new policy.
Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, undersecretary of DoH, stated: “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 cybersecurity 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 announcement of the new strategy comes as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital prepares to enter another partial lockdown ahead of the Eid Al-Adha holidays.
Beginning 17 July, all Abu Dhabi residents are required to stay at home from midnight until 5am, unless they have prior permission in the form of an approved police permit. New capacity limits for public places have also been announced.
Furthermore, those travelling to the emirate – including those fully vaccinated – are required to present either a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours, or a DPI test taken within 24 hours.
ON THE RECORD
“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,” Al Kaabi added. “[It is] with the aim of continuing to provide high healthcare service quality to all members of the community.”