National Information Assurance (NIA) Certification

Qatar’s National Information Assurance Policy (NIAP) sets out broad cybersecurity regulations for organizations critical to the State of Qatar. It helps them protect IT resources from a wide range of cybersecurity threats associated with unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized modification and non-availability of data. The NIA policy allows organisation to classify the impact of cyber threats and then apply suitable controls to mitigate the risk to:

  • Protect commercial, stakeholder and employee information
  • Manage risks to information security effectively
  • Achieve regulatory compliance  
  • Ease the path to other certifications such as ISO27001

The NIA is especially suitable where the protection of information is critical, such as in the banking, financial, health, public and IT sectors. It is also applicable to organizations which manage high volumes of data, or information on behalf of other organizations such as data centres and IT outsourcing companies operating in the state of Qatar.

All organizations, that have information infrastructure that are critical to the State of Qatar, are required to obtain certification of compliance.

Benefits of Certification

Apart from meeting the regulatory requirements, organizations that undergo certification can benefit from:

  • Independent confirmation about your organisation’s security posture
  • Ensuring that the company, assets, shareholders and staff are adequately protected from cyber threats and attacks
  • Providing customers and stakeholders with confidence in how you manage risk
  • Managing and minimizing risk exposure, by building a culture of security in your organization
  • Helping with compliance to other related international and national regulations and standards

Certification Journey

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Scope Preparation and Documentation - At the beginning of the compliance journey applicants must provide documentation that helps the Compliance and Data Protection (CDP) department to understand the business context, the boundaries of the compliance assessment and the plan for growing compliance over the long-term.

Audit Planning - Following review of the Information Security Policies, Scope Document, the Business Impact Assessment and the Compliance Roadmap, and with approval from the Compliance and Data Protection (CDP) department, the assessment can be formalized.

At this stage, the applicant will engage an Accredited Service Provider and agree the specifics of the assessment activity. The Accredited Service Provider will need to supply a copy of the Audit Plan prior to conducting the compliance audit.

Compliance Audit - The Accredited Service Provider will perform an in-depth assessment of the National Information Assurance Policy Controls against the defined scope to determine compliance and provide the Compliance and Data Protection (CDP) department (and applicant) with a report upon completion. Where weaknesses are identified, applicants will have the opportunity to address these activities.

Certification Decision and Issuance - Following review of the Independent Audit Report, the Compliance and Data Protection (CDP) department will determine if the applicant has adequately implemented the necessary controls to support the ongoing management of information security. On successful completion,  certification will be granted.

Achieving Certification-at-a-Glance

  1. Learn more about how to Apply for Certification for NIA Certification.
  2. Access all the details, forms, and templates required for NIA Certification.

For further guidance and clarification on the National Information Assurance certification process, please contact a CDP staff liaison.