Cybercrime is evolving at an accelerated pace. Not only are cyberattacks growing more prevalent and sophisticated, but they’re also becoming far more expensive.
In fact, the average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high in 2021. According to IBM, just a single attack could cost an organization upwards of $4 million. It’s no wonder then why healthcare providers are increasingly holding themselves and their partners to a higher security standard.
The Health Information Trust (HITRUST) Alliance goes above and beyond the requirements of HIPAA. As a more rigorous framework, healthcare organizations are choosing only to work with cloud service providers who’ve earned HITRUST CSF certification. Why? Because it’s proof of their commitment to securing protected health information (PHI) and maintaining HIPAA compliance.
In turn, businesses are starting to explore HITRUST. However, the CSF certification process is a long and winding road. Before healthcare vendors can earn certification, they need to go through a formal assessment.
A 6-step HITRUST checklist
HITRUST CSF is an extremely rigorous standard and requires a deep and comprehensive assessment to earn certification. Depending on the scope of the assessment, this can take anywhere between six months and a whole year, not to mention a whole lot of money. For this reason, you want to do your due diligence and set yourself up to pass the assessment the first time around.
To prepare for this process, it’s best to work through a HITRUST assessment checklist — a series of steps designed to make sure you’re ready for the real deal.
1. Assign a project coordinator
A project coordinator should be someone with seniority at the company. It’s their duty to guide personnel and spearhead the organization toward meeting its HITRUST requirements.
HITRUST recommends identifying a project coordinator at least six weeks before starting the following fieldwork.
2. Select an assessment level
Work with a third party to decide which assessment is best for your business. HITRUST recommends that organizations take a HITRUST Basic, Current State Assessment before beginning the official validation process.
3. Define the scope
It’s key to understand the systems, people, and processes involved in handling and receiving sensitive data. Scoping helps you narrow your focus and make sure all necessary information systems are included in the assessment.
- Decide which facilities, systems, departments or business units will be covered by the assessment.
- Evaluate the data, records and reports used in each component.
- Define exactly which systems, technologies and devices handle sensitive information.
4. Examine documentation
Your team should check, review and analyze standards, policies, procedures, records and any other observable information security practices to evaluate each security control’s effectiveness.
5. Interview stakeholders
Conduct interviews with managers, system owners and other personnel whose job responsibilities include handling sensitive information. This helps you ensure procedures are followed correctly.
6. Perform technical testing
Testing your security controls is how you can evaluate the effectiveness of your cybersecurity posture. Be sure that your configurations and functions meet the requirements of your policies and that CSF controls are implemented properly.
Streamline compliance with Project Hosts
The steps we’ve outlined are just the beginning of your HITRUST journey. Although essential to the process, preparing for a HITRUST assessment can take a lot of time and effort on top of that required to earn the certification in the first place.
Fortunately, Project Hosts can help. Our cloud compliance-as-a-service platform allows you to simplify HITRUST and achieve compliance faster and more efficiently than doing it alone.
Learn more about how our guidance and turnkey solutions can help your compliance efforts by contacting our team today.