Healthcare organizations pursue HITRUST certification because they want to demonstrate productive forward motion on cybersecurity mindfulness. A mark of HITRUST compliance means that a business has taken steps to interrogate its technological infrastructure for flaws and potential improvements.
Do you want a self-assessment or a validated assessment?
Organizations have the option to grade themselves using our myCSF tool to get a sense of where they might land on the road to certification. HITRUST will also perform a limited validation of those self-assessment results for sharing with any third parties.
Self-assessments can be a good value for companies wanting to demonstrate compliance, but it pays to be hard on yourself during them. Whoever is running the self-assessment within your organization, make sure they have the appropriate skills and expertise to give unbiased scores. Some companies give themselves a great score on the self-assessment, and then those results can’t be verified.
A validated assessment is performed by a third-party HITRUST assessor firm. This is about getting an independent auditor to assess a business’s compliance with the applicable HITRUST CSF requirements — it’s what makes organization HITRUST certified.
Once a validated assessment is complete, the organization pays a HITRUST certification fee and submit any plans for corrective action to be taken. HITRUST checks those results, and if no significant issues are identified beyond those named in the validated assessment, the organization will receive a HITRUST certification and certification letter.
Here’s how to make sure you pass yours with flying colors.
Get support from the top.
This isn’t necessarily an easy bar to clear. Securing your HITRUST certification is hardly an overnight process. It will take time and human resources in order to make it happen. To ensure the best outcome with the least resistance, get some executive buy-in and support.
Maintain lines of communication between employees, management, assessors, and HITRUST.
HITRUST shouldn’t be a foreign term around the office. Every employee should understand the role that the security standard plays (or doesn’t play) within their job description. They should also understand that the company will be undergoing a process of overhauling its cybersecurity systems, and they may be called upon to alter “business as usual” for the sake of improving its processes.
And once a new cybersecurity framework is in place, people may need to learn additional job responsibilities or otherwise change their routines in order to preserve updated standards. Make sure people understand what will be expected of them as the framework reaches full implementation.
Prepare your IT department for heavy lifting.
HITRUST certification is an IT-centric process. Just as it requires executive buy-in from the executive level to achieve fullest implementation, your IT department must be prepared to flex. There will surely be updates and changes to processes they were previously carrying out, but they must be prepared to move and execute.
HITRUST certification is a great time for an IT department to shine.
Gather and review supporting documentation.
You should be able to answer questions about how long ago you updated certain systems and have evidence to back up what you say. Any paperwork or documentation you have pertaining to your business’s cybersecurity operations can play an important role on the way to HITRUST certification. Keep it together, know what information is represented there.
Implement a HITRUST support program.
Call back upon the lines of communication that you previously established for HITRUST purposes. Certification is only good for two years after the certification date, so your team needs to have a shared understanding of where its cybersecurity practices might be falling short as standards change.
Certification is only good for two years after the certification date, and it’s possible that standards are updated even sooner than that. For longterm success with re-certification, your team needs to pay attention to what’s going on even when there’s not a HITRUST certification assessment coming up.
There are self-assessment options available through HITRUST, but you’re bound to see better results from using a qualified cybersecurity assessor organization to get the most value out of your certification process.
Perform the system tests.
Whether you do the self-assessment in-house or hire an external professional, someone will collect data on how your various connected systems work in order to maintain security standards while still being useful. They will identify any threats to your network security, whether they were previously known or unknown, and otherwise build a security profile of how safe your infrastructure is.
Those system tests will culminate in a pass or fail scenario for receiving HITRUST compliance. If your organization is well-prepared for the tests, then congratulations on making your new compliance.
HITRUST certification is a difference-maker that brings new data fluency to healthcare, a space notorious for its bureaucracy. It’s a test that companies decide they want to take in order to exhibit enhanced mindfulness of a commonly overlooked facet of daily life: that we send our medical data over the internet all the time, and don’t necessarily think about the cybersecurity standards various institutions may or may not be upholding for our safety.
To exhibit a HITRUST certification is to make clear that your organization is anticipating the uncertain future. It’s an awareness that malicious cybercriminals really do want to steal medical data, and will try all kinds of things to make it happen.
But HITRUST compliance ensures a deep level of protection against things like that from actually happening. HITRUST-compliant companies are more prepared against cyberattacks and easier to instill with consumer confidence that their data is well handled. RSI Security is an authorized HITRUST CSF Assessor and if you need help to get HITRUST certified, contact RSI Security today.