Get to Know: Saqib Chaudhry, CISO of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi

Saqib Chaudhry is a futurist and a leader with more than 17 years of experience in cyber security, compliance, internal audit, data privacy, business resilience, risk management and IT infrastructure. Mr. Chaudhry is currently Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Chief Information Security Officer and his responsibilities include managing and implementing the informational security program. He also manages the Unified Communications, the IT Network Infrastructure, and the Planning & Development functions. Currently, Mr. Chaudhry is earning his Master’s degree in Cyber Security and Information Management Systems at Harvard University.

Mr. Chaudhry finds Digital Transformation, data privacy, and Digital Transformation rewarding and challenging. He is involved in protecting the clinic from threats such as Zero Days and Advanced Persistent Threats as well as the medical devices that need network connectivity. He keeps up with the challenges involved with regulatory compliance.

The Abu Dhabi clinic is a hospital owned by the government and established due to an agreement between the United States based Cleveland Clinic and the Mubadala Development Company. The clinic supports the economic vision of Abu Dhabi to create an excellent system for healthcare in the emirate.

Mr. Chaudhry believes the industry of healthcare is being cyber-attacked because the industry’s approach to Cybersecurity is outdated. He feels adequate measures have not been put in place to protect the industry from cyber activities and insider threats. The data retrieved by the cyber-attacks is either encrypted and sold at an exorbitant price back to the facility or sold on the black market.

Medical records contain more personal information than those from other industries. This can include credit card data, insurance, email addresses, social security numbers, medical history and employment information. This data is used by cyber criminals to steal medical identities, commit fraud and launch cyber-attacks.

Mr. Chaudhry admits the clinic may be at risk on a global basis due to its affiliation with the United States. He also believes a greater risk comes from the fact the United Arab Emirates are the second most targeted country for cyber criminals with the United States being the first.

Mr. Chaudhry has completed a Cybersecurity course at Harvard and is in the process of earning his Information Management Systems degree. He says an education from Harvard is state-of-the art and recommends it to any professional in the cybersecurity field. He believes education and passion are essential ingredients to achieve growth in any field and necessary for success.