How to Complete ADHICS Audit in 8 Steps in 2024?

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Completing an ADHICS (Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard) audit involves several detailed steps, each designed to ensure that healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi comply with stringent cybersecurity and data privacy standards.

Achieving ADHICS Compliance in UAE Step-by-step

The ADHICS audit is a comprehensive evaluation process designed to ensure that healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi comply with the stringent cybersecurity and data privacy standards set by the Department of Health (DoH). The audit assesses the organization's adherence to the ADHICS framework, which includes policies, procedures, and technical controls to protect healthcare information. The Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security (ADHICS) standards are established by the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) to ensure that healthcare organizations within the emirate maintain the highest levels of cybersecurity and data privacy. The ADHICS framework provides a comprehensive set of guidelines and best practices designed to protect healthcare information from cyber threats, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient data.

Understanding ADHICS and Its Audit
The Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard (ADHICS) is a comprehensive framework established by the Department of Health (DoH) in Abu Dhabi to enhance the security and privacy of healthcare information. This standard is mandatory for all healthcare entities operating within the emirate, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, and healthcare insurance services. 

What is ADHICS?
ADHICS stands for Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard. It was introduced by the DoH in 2019 to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of healthcare information. The standard aligns with international best practices and industry expectations, aiming to bolster data protection, enhance system reliability, and reduce business uncertainties.

What is an ADHICS audit?

An ADHICS (Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard) audit is a comprehensive evaluation process designed to ensure that healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi comply with the stringent cybersecurity and data privacy standards set by the Department of Health (DoH). An ADHICS audit is a critical process for healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi to ensure they meet the highest standards of cybersecurity and data privacy. By conducting thorough assessments, implementing robust controls, and maintaining continuous monitoring, healthcare entities can protect sensitive patient information and achieve compliance with the ADHICS standard. The audit process involves several key components and steps to assess and enhance the security posture of healthcare entities. Here are the main aspects of an ADHICS audit:

Step 1: ADHICS Cyber Security Questionnaire (CSQ) Initial Review

The Initial Assessment (IA) process under the ADHICS (Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard) is a critical first step in evaluating an entity's cybersecurity posture and readiness for compliance. Here are the main components of the IA process:

Review Current Cybersecurity Posture

Conduct a thorough review of the organization's current cybersecurity measures against ADHICS requirements to identify any gaps in compliance.

Identify Critical Assets

Determine which assets are critical to the organization and need protection under ADHICS.

Step 2: ADHICS Gap and Risk Assessment

ADHICS Gap Assessment

Identify discrepancies between current practices and ADHICS standards. This involves evaluating existing controls and identifying areas that need improvement.

ADHICS Risk Assessment

Conduct a risk assessment to understand potential threats and vulnerabilities. This includes evaluating the probability and impact of risk events and developing mitigation strategies.

Step 3: ADHICS Control Development and Implementation

Develop Policies and Procedures

Create or update information security policies and procedures to align with ADHICS requirements. This includes policies on data encryption, access control, incident response, and more.

Implement Technical and Administrative Controls

Apply the necessary technical and administrative controls as outlined in the ADHICS framework. This might include enhancing data encryption, securing network connections, and conducting regular security testing.

Step 4: ADHICS Employee Training and Awareness

Training Programs

Ensure that all staff members are aware of ADHICS standards and understand their role in maintaining compliance. Regular training sessions help instill a culture of cybersecurity awareness throughout the organization

Step 5: Continuous Monitoring and Reporting

Automated Compliance Tracking

Use tools to continuously monitor systems and ensure ongoing alignment with ADHICS standards. Make real-time adjustments as needed.

Documentation and Reporting

Maintain comprehensive records of compliance efforts, including documentation of policies, procedures, and control implementations. Regularly report on control performance and compliance status to the Department of Health (DoH).

Step 6: ADHICS Internal and External Audits

ADHICS Internal Audits

Conduct internal audits to verify compliance with ADHICS standards. This includes yearly vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and web security assessments.

ADHICS External Audits

Undergo external audits conducted by authorized bodies such as the Emirates Classification Society (TASNEEF) to receive a conformance certificate. Surveillance audits are conducted in subsequent years to ensure continued compliance.

Step 7: Corrective and Preventive Actions

Address ADHICS Non-Compliance

Implement corrective and preventive actions to address any identified non-compliance issues. This involves updating policies, enhancing controls, and conducting additional training as needed.

Step 8: Continual Improvement

Ongoing Review and Improvement

Treat the ADHICS audit as an ongoing process rather than a one-time requirement. Regularly review and update security practices in line with evolving threats and standards to ensure continuous improvement.

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Get Top ADHICS Consultancy Services in UAE

At zCySec, we understand the critical importance of safeguarding sensitive healthcare information and ensuring compliance with the stringent ADHICS standards. To provide our clients with the highest level of expertise, we have partnered with leading ADHICS consultants in the UAE. Our partnership brings together zCySec's robust cybersecurity solutions and our partners' deep knowledge of the ADHICS framework. This powerful combination enables us to offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi.

Partnering with Expert ADHICS Consultants across the UAE

At zCySec, we understand the critical importance of safeguarding sensitive healthcare information and ensuring compliance with the stringent ADHICS standards. To provide our clients with the highest level of expertise, we have partnered with leading ADHICS consultants in the UAE. Our partnership brings together zCySec's robust cybersecurity solutions and our partners' deep knowledge of the ADHICS framework. This powerful combination enables us to offer a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of healthcare organizations in Abu Dhabi.

What are the key ADHICS guidelines?

The ADHICS (Abu Dhabi Healthcare Information and Cyber Security Standard) guidelines are comprehensive directives established by the Department of Health (DoH) in Abu Dhabi to ensure the highest levels of privacy and security for healthcare information. These guidelines are designed to help healthcare entities in Abu Dhabi comply with stringent cybersecurity and data privacy standards. Here are the key components and guidelines of ADHICS:

Everything you could want

Coverage: The ADHICS standard applies to all healthcare entities within the Abu Dhabi emirate, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories, healthcare insurance services, and third-party partners.
Information Types: It covers all forms of information, both physical and digital, as well as medical devices, applications, software, information systems, physical infrastructure, and human resources involved in healthcare delivery.

Get ADHICS Compliant

Governance Structure: ADHICS mandates a three-layer governance pyramid structure to ensure proper oversight and management of information security within healthcare entities. This includes entity management, information security management, and the implementation team.
Risk Management: Regular risk assessments are required to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. The results must align with the entity’s priorities, initiatives, and investments.

Get ADHICS Compliant

ADHICS provides a set of baseline policies that healthcare entities must implement to ensure compliance. These include:

  • Information Security High-Level Policy
  • Human Resources Security Policy
  • Physical and Environmental Security Policy
  • Access Control Policy
  • Operations Security Policy
    Electronic Communications Policy
  • Health Information and Security Policy
  • Third Parties Security Policy
  • Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Maintenance Policy
  • Information Security Incident Management Policy
  • Information Systems Continuity Policy
  • Compliance Policy
  • Acceptable Usage Policy
  • Antivirus Policy
  • Clear Desk and Clear Screen Policy
  • Information/Data Backup Policy
  • Internet Usage Policy
  • Password Security Policy
  • Remote Access Security Policy

Get ADHICS Compliant

Technical and Administrative Controls: Implement necessary controls such as data encryption, access control, incident response protocols, and continuous security assessments.
Policy Development: Establish and maintain comprehensive information security policies and procedures that align with ADHICS standards.

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