What is HITRUST and What Does It Mean for Development Companies?

Has your client, or potential client, asked whether your company is HITRUST certified?

More than 84% of health organizations and their business associates have adopted HITRUST as their primary software security framework and are requiring their vendors to be HITRUST certified. If you are a development company that is yet to receive certification, you may be losing out on a great opportunity.

What is HITRUST? 

HITRUST, short for Health Information Trust Alliance, is a form of certification required by organizations that store protected health data. HITRUST provides a holistic approach that is aimed at managing information security risks faced by such organizations. It combines various security standards that are currently used in the healthcare industry including NIST, HIPAA, PCI, HITECH, COBIT and FTC.

The healthcare industry handles a large quantity of personal data. This includes social security numbers, addresses, birthdates, billing information diagnosis codes and much more. This sensitive data is prized information for hackers and others with malicious intent. The data can be used in identity theft, thus making the healthcare industry a lucrative source of data. Health care data can fetch up to 20 times more on the black market than stolen credit card data.

Healthcare organizations are not only concerned about protecting their patients but also themselves. According to Digital Authority Partners a single data breach can bring your business to its knees or even result in closure. One data breach in 2017 caused an organization a loss of $380 per record as well as loss of trust in its brand and reputation.  .medrectangle-3-multi-130{border:none !important;display:block !important;float:none;line-height:0px;margin-bottom:15px !important;margin-left:0px !important;margin-right:0px !important;margin-top:15px !important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center !important;}

HITRUST is emerging as the gold standard when it comes to data security in the healthcare industry. More specifically, the HITRUST Common Security Framework is now the preferred security framework in the healthcare industry in the USA.

What the HITRUST CSF Entails 

The framework was developed to address regulatory, security and privacy challenges faced by organizations in the health industry. HITRUST offers flexible and comprehensive security controls that are prescriptive and scalable.

In the past, healthcare organizations and providers were only required to adhere to HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) laws and regulations in their software development practices.

Much has changed since these laws were passed. HIPAA gave organizations the responsibility to analyze their own risks and determine the best system for security to apply to them.

However, not many organizations were prepared for this type of responsibility. Without a specific set of requirements to meet compliance regulations, many organizations failed to avert risks and digital systems were left vulnerable to cyber attacks. In light of the increasing importance of software for medical devices, the need for an overarching security protocol for healthcare development companies became critical to the overall success of health organizations all over the world.

The HITRUST CSF takes into consideration various regulations and standards to provide an overarching security framework for software development across all aspects of healthcare development.

Organizations are therefore able to tailor security controls to suit the specific regulations and requirements of their sector. The framework is scalable and can therefore meet the requirements of health organizations of all sizes. It also adapts to the changing demands of technology and the healthcare industry.

Why You Should Be HITRUST Certified 

HITRUST compliance is becoming even more important in the healthcare sector because of its recent attempt to digitize across the board. The industry is ever more reliant on digital solutions for the collection and storage of patient and organizational data. More organizations are starting the HITRUST certification process  to ensure the security of their data. I

Why should companies become HITRUST certified?

There are many reasons why every company should become HITRUST certified – and they don’t necessarily need to operate in the healthcare space. Let’s look at the top 5:

  • Getting HITRUST certified will help lower the risk of falling victim to a cyber attack 

The HITRUST CSF is designed to help lower the risk of breaches by providing increased information security. Personal information and other sensitive data will be kept secure. The certification process applies more detailed guidelines than any other frameworks and regulations currently adopted within the industry.

  • Getting HITRUST certified is a requirement 

If you are a service provider to healthcare organizations, there is a good chance that you have already received directives from your clients requiring that you get HITRUST certified. More healthcare organizations are adopting the HITRUST CSF and demanding their business associates to do the same. If your business is not certified, you may lose out on business opportunities or suffer a loss in revenue as you lose clients.

  • Getting HITRUST certified will help you stand out from the competition 

HITRUST certification will give you a competitive edge over other firms operating in the same space.  Consumers today are aware of cyberattacks and the importance of data security. They are likely to be reluctant to do business with an organization that can’t prove its ability to provide data security. Being a HITRUST certified organization will put you head and shoulders above the competition now and will set you up to be on par with others later. It will give your organization credibility and provide reassurance to your clients whether you are a software developer or a healthcare app developer.

  • Getting HITRUST certified will save you time during audits 

The HITRUST CSF combines a variety of standards and regulations to provide an overarching framework that is more comprehensive than any of the current frameworks, standards or regulations on their own. You therefore won’t have to waste time and money to meet other sets of requirements for different standards.

  • Getting HITRUST certified is a repeatable process 

The CSF only acts as a roadmap to guide an organization along the risk management process. The process is repeatable, thus ensuring that the organization can get it right each time. Everything is documented. If you should lose employees, you can easily bring your new employees up to speed.

Get HIRTUST Certified Now

If you’re a development company and are yet to undergo the certification process, you should do so right away. The process is not difficult and takes about four months to complete.

As a business in the digital age, it is important to ensure that you can inspire confidence in your clients. HITRUST certification is not only important for compliance but also as a way to boost the confidence of your clients in your brand. Don’t get locked out of opportunities simply because you do not have the required certification. Start the certification process today and open your business to a whole new world of opportunity.