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Getting Started with HITRUST Audit

As the healthcare industry continues to deploy emerging technologies to bolster their critical processes, individual clients expect data security and privacy guarantees. In addition, institutional clients also require third-party vendors to demonstrate robust cybersecurity capabilities to safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information. As a result, HITRUST was developed to allow organizations to showcase their compliance with other security standards and privacy laws, such as HIPAA, EU-GDPR, NIST 800-53, PCI-DSS, etc.

A HITRUST certification assists healthcare businesses in managing data, risk, and compliance effectively. It offers organizations a complete information security risk framework that combines multiple compliance regulations to provide a cohesive strategy to achieve healthcare data resilience. Moreover, healthcare is a highly regulated industry; therefore, achieving robust levels of data security ensures integrity, confidentiality, and secure access to protected health information (PHI).

This article will focus on some of the essential requirements for getting started with a HITRUST audit. HITRUST greatly simplifies how much time your team spends on compliance.

Particulars of a HITRUST Audit

HITRUST stands for “Health Information Trust Alliance,” It is known as the most common healthcare security framework in the U.S. The HITRUST Alliance is a non-profit organization supervised by HITRUST. In general, companies may utilize the CSF to assist them in selecting and implementing the appropriate control to secure the systems that produce, transfer, and store personal data.

Furthermore, the HITRUST CSF should provide organizations with the appropriate structure, knowledge, and clarity on information security measures.

Understanding HITRUST Auditing Requirements

HITRUST certification is relevant to other information security frameworks as they provide formal certification. Formal certification provides you with the authenticity and integrity of the system. Therefore, your organization should adhere to the following five steps for the HITRUST certification:

  1. Defining a plan of action: the organization needs to set up a complete data structure to get the firm’s protected information to acquire or create.
  2. Choosing a HITRUST assessor is critical to deciding the form of HITRUST validation perfect for your organization. Your HITRUST assessor must be familiar with all 19 HITRUST domains, hundreds of controls, and the 700+ possible applicable criteria to efficiently make such an important decision. Whatever method of HITRUST assessment is selected, evaluating the maturity of your processes against HITRUST’s security controls is a great way to proceed.
  3. Preparing follow-up documentation: during the completion process, a substantial quantity of documentation is required, including policies, risk assessment plans, technical documentation, and other system configuration recommendations.
  4. Gap assessment and remediation: internal and external resources can be used to conduct the HITRUST assessment. After this, perform a gap analysis against all controls identified in the MyCSF portal. The next step is to prepare for longer-term challenges, such as effectively integrating data encryption and prioritizing high-risk issues. Finally, work with your internal team or a third-party assessor to check controls.
  5. Finalizing HITRUST CSF assessment: after completing the gap assessment stage, making the necessary remediation changes, and ensuring that all the documentation has been completed, it’s time to conduct the final HITRUST CSF Assessment. Some critical points needed to discuss for this stage are essential to follow to complete the operation successfully. This last stage relies on the proofs and verifications of the above steps. 

The Importance of Collaborating with a Trusted HITRUST Readiness Partner

Cybercrimes are becoming more challenging to handle and manage within a specific time and cost. Therefore, organizations should be ready to manage cybersecurity readiness to fulfill the user’s security requirements. A cybersecurity readiness assessment reviews an organization’s cybersecurity measures to detect gaps, prepare for cyber threats, and ensure compliance with laws and regulations. In addition, they did regular monitoring of the digital ecosystem, audits, and assessments to provide the best ways to determine cybersecurity readiness.

These assessments assist non-technical stakeholders in understanding an organization’s cybersecurity readiness. A set of security procedures for enterprises handling personal health information and those in the financial, insurance, and government sectors are needed to achieve a HITRUST certification. A readiness assessment is the first step in the HITRUST certification procedure. It seeks to provide enterprises with a comprehensive picture of their security vulnerabilities and general issues.

Conclusion

 

As electronic data storage and transmission processes continue to become a vector of attack for malicious actors, the protection of sensitive information will remain at the forefront of industrial  and governmental mandates. As such, addressing data security and privacy challenges will rest on proactive organizations to ensure that their computing environments are compliant with essential regulations such as HITRUST.

All in all, consistent evaluations and audits of said computing environments are necessary to ascertain the continuous functionality of deployed security controls. Therefore, by collaborating with trusted HITRUST auditing experts, organizations can rest assured that compliance loopholes are discovered, sound recommendations are presented, and mitigated weaknesses are to ensure a rapid and cost-effective HITRUST certification process.