Data Protection Compliance – In Healthcare and Beyond
The HITRUST Alliance is an independent non-profit company that acts as a certification body for organizations handling sensitive data. HITRUST introduced the Common Security Framework (CSF) that standardizes standardize Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance and coordinate it with other national and international data security frameworks and state regulations.
The HITRUST CSF, developed in collaboration with healthcare and security experts, is a certifiable, information security framework that provides organizations with an actionable roadmap tailored to the unique needs of the healthcare industry. This has become the most widely adopted security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry and has become the de facto standard for healthcare compliance.
The HITRUST CSF combines regulatory requirements and recognized frameworks from ISO, NIST, HIPAA/HITECH, PCI DSS and COBIT into one comprehensive guideline. Because of this, it is now being adopted to streamline security compliance in other industries, including financial services, retail, education, government, and transportation.
What Is the Benefit of Getting HITRUST CSF Certified?
By providing a full range of valuable resources, the HITRUST Approach is a comprehensive information risk management and compliance program. It helps organizations continually improve security procedures and policies as they grow and evolve.
An organization that creates, accesses, stores, or exchanges Protected Health Information (PHI) can use its HITRUST certification to demonstrate that they meet the high standards of security prescribed within the CSF.
The CSF incorporates all major information security-related requirements and best practices, and provides scalable cybersecurity measures based on different risks and exposures. For this reason, HITRUST certification is valuable for enhancing the credibility of an organization, but also for reducing the time and expense related to verifying compliance with multiple regulatory standards. Additionally, many companies now accept a HITRUST certification as evidence of compliance, thus relieving them of the obligation to audit their vendors.
Need to further your understanding on HITRUST? Utilize our HITRUST CSF Assessment Glossary before getting started!
What Is the HITRUST CSF Assessment & Certification Process Like?
I.S. Partners, LLC performs HITRUST readiness, certification, and remediation services for organizations and their business associates. This serves to assess compliance with industry security requirements and standards and develop solutions that help organizations align with the HITRUST security framework. If your company requires both a HITRUST CSF certification and a SOC 2 report, I.S. Partners can leverage the efficiencies between both sets of requirements, thus lowering the time and expense of effective risk management.
Steps to Getting HITRUST CSF Certified
We understand that achieving HITRUST certification can seem overwhelming. We suggest starting this new endeavor by speaking to HITRUST assessment specialist to better understand the benefits, and process, of becoming HITRUST CSF certified. Below are the recommended first steps towards certification.
In preparation, your organization must first put together the project management structure and identify the key roles involved. Then, your team can define the scope, goals and timeline, collect the required documentation, and run system tests. Consulting with a certified HITRUST certified CSF practitioner helps set up the entire process for success.
- Readiness Assessment
Time to complete: Up to 2 months
- Identify the key stakeholders
- Define the scope
- Select an authorized external assessor organization
During the Readiness phase, reliable HITRUST certified practicioners, like those at I.S. Partners, will test security controls and compare the existing policies and procedures to HITRUST requirements and controls.
Time to complete: Up to 6 months
- Gap analysis
- Develop a remediation plan
- Set a time for the Validated Assessment
This phase gives the organization critical information and time to address any gaps identified during the readiness phase. Assessors analyze the organization’s controls, identify gaps, and develop solutions for remediation. This helps ensure certification success.
- Validated Assessment
Time to complete: Up to 3 months
- Complete the Validated Assessment using the MyCSF tool
- The assessor validates and audits the assessment
At this point, assessors test control requirements, perform an on-site risk assessment, as well as penetration testing and vulnerability scans. Finally, a score is calculated for each control within the validated assessment scope.
- HITRUST’s Quality Assurance Review
Time to complete: 1 – 2 months
- HITRUST will perform the required quality assurance procedures
- HITRUST will create a report and score the validated assessment
- HITRUST will issue a Letter of Certification
When the validated assessment is complete, the assessment is sent to HITRUST for their quality assurance review and generation of the final report.
- HITRUST Certification
Achieving HITRUST CSF Certification is important because it builds credibility and visibility for an organization. It is clear proof of the effectiveness of its security protocols for consumers and other business entities. Additionally, HITRUST CSF certification streamlines the compliance process, decreasing the time and expense needed to verify compliance with numerous sets of regulations.Speak to a HITRUST Specialist today!
HITRUST Certification Program Details
The HITRUST programs include:
- Establishment of the HITRUST common risk and compliance management framework.
- Development of an assessment and assurance methodology.
- Educational and career development.
- Advocacy and awareness.
- A federally recognized Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) and other supporting programs and initiatives.
HITRUST Risk Management Framework and Third-Party Assurance
The HITRUST Third-Party Assurance Program supports the relationship between covered entities and their business associates. It facilitates risk management by providing a consolidated information security framework and guide to industry best practices. With a single assessment process, third-party business associates can verify compliance across multiple regulatory standards, saving both time and effort.
How the HITRUST RightStart Program Helps New Businesses
The HITRUST RightStart Program now provides clear guidance for new companies and startups seeking certification. This program was designed specifically to help new organizations to navigate the certification process, implement effective risk management strategies, security measures, and information privacy policies. It is comprehensive and an efficient way to verify compliance while earning the trust of industry partners and new customers.
Authorized HITRUST CSF Assessors Guiding You To Success
What makes I.S. Partners, LLC different from other firms is our systematic risk methodology combined with our use of the latest technology and specialized experience. Our activities are supported by a strong background in healthcare and insurance and our team includes healthcare security professionals. These factors provide a clear competitive advantage in understanding compliance requirements and ensuring an effective and efficient healthcare audit.
I.S. Partners, LLC. can assist you from the very beginning.