Is HITRUST Worth The Investment?

 

HITRUST is a non-profit organization that helps the healthcare industry control data protection standards. It’s similar to HIPAA, but instead of being written and implemented by the federal government, HITRUST is regulated by a group of healthcare professionals.

HITRUST is a way for the healthcare sector to self-regulate security practices while also fixing some of HIPAA’s shortcomings and providing a PCI-like enforcement system for businesses to adopt. Read more

 

Why is HITRUST important?

For a variety of factors, HITRUST is critical to the healthcare industry:

In the United States, HITRUST is the most widely used security device in the healthcare industry. It sets an industry-wide standard for handling Business Associate compliance.

HITRUST is updated daily. The framework is updated daily to keep healthcare organizations up to date on new regulations and security threats. It is the most frequently updated security framework in use, with periodic updates and annual audit revisions. This ensures that those who follow the CSF work tirelessly to ensure that their safety is maximized.

Some large payers need HITRUST. On February 8, 2016, five major healthcare payers assured their business associates that they would comply with the HITRUST Common Security Framework within two years. As a result, companies must consider “what HITRUST entails” and “what changes will we need to make to achieve and maintain certification.”

 

Why is HITRUST Certification more expensive than other security certifications?

One must factor in the detail-oriented approach, thoroughness, and dependability.

A thorough examination

Depending on the company’s risk profile, a single HITRUST assessment may include up to 400 control criteria. This is in addition to the three forms of protection required by HIPAA regulations, the 12 PCI DSS compliance standards, COBIT’s five domains, 37 processes, and the 80-100 included in a SOC 2 audit.

The fact that HITRUST CSF blends these and other regulatory standards into a single, overarching risk management and enforcement program is one of the most tangible benefits of the framework. It brings together information management, financial services, technology, and healthcare standards. As a result, businesses will streamline their enforcement processes, resolve security concerns in all sectors, and reduce the time and expense associated with maintaining compliance with multiple standards.

Detail-oriented approach

Each control in your organization’s assessment must be reported, assessed, checked, and verified by an accredited external assessor before being evaluated by HITRUST. In addition, each control is assessed using the HITRUST Maturity Model, which has five levels.

Throughout this phase, an average of 1.5 hours per control is spent, with the number of controls assessed varying depending on the organization’s size, risk profile, and scope. In most cases, 2,000-2,500 separate data points are examined. The HITRUST CSF certification process covers a lot more ground than any other security evaluations.

Dependability

The HITRUST CSF system was created to give enforcement programs more structure and continuity. Recent enhancements have also sought to increase scoring accuracy over time and between internal and external assessors.

HITRUST has strict standards for the assessor firms and experts involved as part of its commitment to solid assurance. Firms must apply for and receive approval from HITRUST to conduct assessments and services related to the CSF Assurance Program, and they must work hard to retain that status.

Certified CSF Practitioners (CCSFP) are HITRUST Approved External Assessors responsible for assessing and validating security controls. HITRUST CCSFPs have extensive IT enforcement and auditing experience. To become accredited, they must complete a training course, pass an exam, and then retain their certification by regular refresher courses. HITRUST helps organizations by providing qualified personnel and ensuring the evaluation and certification process is accurate through this service.

 

The HITRUST Certification Fee

 

If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, the best guess will be $50,000 to $200,000, not including ongoing recertification costs. However, the range is so wide that it is ineffective for your business.

It depends on the assessment’s reach and the organization’s size, the state of its information system, and the steps taken to plan for a HITRUST assessment.

 

What exactly is included in this price?

Costs directly related to:

The HITRUST MyCSF® gateway and services are made available.

Companies can take a readiness assessment and rating it

Conducting a difference analysis, administering and rating a validated evaluation

Indirect costs incurred as a result of:

Employee time spent on participation,

Security data recording and updating,

Initial setup,

Developing corrective action plans and remediation initiatives,

Assistance locating and submitting necessary documents, and

Other services provided by the HITRUST Approved External Assessor.

HITRUST Certification won’t be easy

Many business associates will find it challenging to obtain HITRUST CSF certification because the vast majority will be unprepared and caught off guard. This is due to the fact that many organizations, especially smaller vendors, lack the resources to complete HITRUST CSF Certification. Organizations must not only meet the CSF criteria, but a third party must also audit them before being approved, and they must be recertified every other year.

Any incident of Breaches after HITRUST Certification?

Anthem, a HITRUST-certified company, was hacked, which resulted in a breach impacting nearly 80 million individuals.

While HITRUST released a statement in its defense that “the healthcare payer did not have a breach in any system or area of the organization that was within the scope of its HITRUST CSF Certification,” some security experts did question the significance “what did it mean to be HITRUST certified?” given the scale and sheer magnitude in the numbers.

Is HITRUST worth the investment?

When it comes to HITRUST certification, several businesses are taken aback by the cost. In reality, one of the most common gating factors is the cost of assessment and assessor services. From an investment point of view, HITRUST certification’s importance becomes more evident when viewed it as a medium or long-term commitment. Still, one must also assess the cost to your business and think about the returns.

Many of the customers are hesitant to invest in HITRUST because they are afraid of failing. It is not, however, a pass/fail situation.

When considering HITRUST CSF® certification, one of the first questions small and mid-sized companies have  how much it will cost?” It’s a serious problem, and it’s well-founded. Budgets are often tight, and data protection is an important investment. And the resources required and time for certification could be telling.

When clients ask for HITRUST® certification in a specific time period, the advice given is “take it slowly”.

The cost might be too steep for small and medium enterprises, and HITRUST might be perceived more in cost. For enterprises, HITRUST Certification could be seen as an investment rather than an expense. So, it depends.

So, what about the SMEs? Are there no alternatives?

HITRUST certification, according to some security experts, is no guarantee of a strong security policy. They also point out that businesses will consider a variety of other viable security frameworks.

As alternatives to HITRUST, several other organizations have security governance frameworks like the National Institute of Standards and Technology and SOC Reports SOC 1, 2, and 3 Form 1 and 2 and ISO 27001 Certification.

 

databrackets certified privacy and security professionals could help your organization comply with a range of Certifications and Compliances that include HIPAA/HITECH, PCI Data Security, CCPA, OSHA, GDPR, Penetration Testing,  FDA CFR Part 11, ISO 27000, Cloud Security Management, NIST Framework, Cybersecurity Framework, SOC Certification, Third-party Assessment, NYDPS Cybersecurity  Series, ISO 17020, and  ISO 27001.

databrackets assists organizations in developing and implementing practices to secure sensitive data and comply with regulatory requirements. By leveraging databracket’s SaaS assessment platform, awareness training, policies, and procedures, and consulting expertise, you can meet the growing demand for data security and evolving compliance requirements more efficiently.

databrackets is accredited to ISO/IEC 17020 by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for Cybersecurity Inspection Body Program (Certificate Number: 5998.01).

databrackets received accreditation by the International Accreditation Service (IAS] to provide ISO/IEC 27001  for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) and joins an exclusive group of certification bodies.

To learn more about the services, please visit www.databrackets.com.

Prepare for California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

California Consumer Privacy Act

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) offers California consumers control over their personal information, data privacy rights, and the right to know, delete, or opt-out of the sale of personal information collected by businesses.

Definition of CCPA

CCPA is a state-wide data privacy law that regulates how businesses can handle personal data of California residents. It was introduced on January 1, 2020, and is the first law of the kind in the United States.

 

Who is covered under CCPA?

Any for-profit entity that does business in California and collects, sells, or shares consumer data and,

·       Has annual gross revenue exceeding 25 million, or

·       Possesses personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, or

·       Earn more than half of annual revenue by selling consumer’s personal information

 

How does the regulation work?

Under the regulation, Californians are allowed to sue companies for failing to prevent data breaches and prevent personal data from being misused. Californians can also opt-out of sharing their data with companies under the regulation.

 

CCPA requirements

To comply with CCPA, one has to:

        Identify and classify data assets

        Find out where the CCPA personal information is located and stored

        Determine the risky data and check access permissions

        Locate personal data that is stale

        Adjust required permissions

        Deploy role-based access controls

        Delete stale personal data

        Monitor personal data against threats

        Review data permissions continually

        Adjust protocols against cyber threats

        Organize relevant data

 

Consequences and Penalties for violations

There are two types of penalties for violations:

        Civil penalties

        Private Right of Action

Civil penalties

Civil penalties for CCPA violation includes:

        2500 for non-intentional violation

        7500 for intentional violation

Any business that cures its noncompliance within 30 days of being notified does not need to pay the penalties. However, some noncompliance cannot be cured.

Private Right of Action

        $100 to $750 per customer per incident, or actual damages whichever is greater

        Relief that courts deem to be proper

        Declaratory or injunctive relief

 

Benefits and drawbacks of CCPA

Benefits:

        Greater transparency from companies

        Customers have the right to know about all data collected about them and will be able to request this data for free twice per year

        Customers have the right to opt-out of getting data sold

        Customers can request the data to be deleted, can sue companies if their data is stolen, and can stand against identity theft

        Businesses get a competitive advantage that compliance brings

Drawbacks:

        Regulatory compliance with CCPA means businesses need to get more work done to ensure compliance

        CCPA can be costly to businesses

        Customers can request businesses to either completely delete their data or keep all of it, a choice which is not always the customer’s choice

 

Best Practices for Complying with the CCPA

The best practices for CCPA compliance are:

        Create an internal privacy framework that lays out how you will comply with CCPA

        Do more with less data, by minimizing the data you collect, store, use and transmit

        Automate compliance tools for data mapping tools, data protection, managing consent

        Be specific about the posture of your internal and external privacy


Additional Resources for Further Investigation

Refer to the original CCPA link to get additional details about CCPA regulations.

 

Conclusion

Conforming to CCPA standards does not have to be much of a hassle. Databrackets is here to help. Our experts and consultants can help you get a cost-effective CCPA readiness assessment, so you can focus on profitability rather than wasting your time on understanding the ins and outs of CCPA to the core. Schedule a consultation with us today!

What do you need to know about SOC 2 certification?

Logo of SOC

SOC 2 Certification

SOC 2 (System and Organizations Controls) compliance can encompass everything from how your system runs, how you update job descriptions, how customer data is stored in the cloud, to how you onboard new hires.

SOC 2 certification ensures and gives the confidence to your customers that you secure your data and protect their privacy at all costs. It is no wonder that SOC 2 certification has emerged as one of the most sought after standards. It is an auditing procedure that is unique to each organization but essentially needs to comply with one or more trust principles and administered by AICPA.

SOC 2 certification trust principles

SOC 2 certification process includes the criteria for managing customer data based on security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity, and privacy.

  • Security – deals with how the system is protected against access and theft
  • Availability – deals with the accessibility of the systems, services, and products of the organization
  • Processing Integrity – deals with how goals are achieved by the system
  • Confidentiality – deals with the confidentiality of the organization’s intellectual properties
  • Privacy – deals with the collection, usage, storage, retention, disclosure, and disposal of customer data

 

SOC 2 Certification Process

The SOC 2 certification process involves the following steps:

  • Decide the trust principles that you need to audit

The mandatory criterion for SOC 2 certification is security. The other trust principles are identified after collaboration with stakeholders.

  • Pick the right report

There are two types of SOC 2 audit reports; Type 1, which describes if a system meets the trust principles, and Type 2 which checks the operational effectiveness of the systems against the trust principles. Pick the right report that meets your needs.

  • Define the scope

Determine what you will test for and why. The scope usually depends on your reason for carrying out the audit, i.e. either you are carrying out the certification for vendor management, internal corporate governance, vendor management, or regulatory oversight.

  • Carry out self-assessment

Self-assess your system against the chosen security principles before actually hiring professionals to carry out the formal audit.

  • Undergo a formal SOC 2 audit from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A normal SOC 2 audit is carried out by CPA by carrying out employee interviews and assessing paperwork, screenshots, or logs.

  • Receive a SOC 2 report

The final step in the SOC 2 certification process is getting the final SOC 2 report that measures how well your system stands against the set security standards.

 

SOC 2 Certification Checklist

Before you start the SOC 2 certification process, there are a few things which you can follow regularly to make the process smoother:

  • Create an organizational culture of security
  • Revoke access rights of former employees
  • Manage access rights of current employees by creating users with unique access rights, centralizing user management, and monitoring user access
  • Follow data retention best practices according to industry standards
  • Automate and document every change by using centralized logging facilities provided by cloud solutions, version control systems like Github, or ticketing systems like Jira.
  • Implement correct procedures to deal with common vulnerabilities and exposure
  • Create policies and procedures best on industry best practices, and follow them to the core

 

SOC 2 Certification Cost

The typical SOC 2 certification cost for Type 1 report is typically 15,000 to 20,000 USD, while that for a Type 2 report can range from 25000 to 30000 USD.

 

Why SOC 2 Certification?

SOC 2 certification is on the verge of becoming the most sought after certification because of customer demands. Customers need proof of the fact that you protect your data from unauthorized access and theft. Additionally, in the long run, the price of getting SOC 2 certification is nothing when compared to being affected by a breach (average $3.86 million). SOC 2 can prove to be a protective measure that makes your organization more secure, hence avoiding costly breaches.

Needless to state, SOC 2 certification gives you a competitive advantage, peace of mind, and valuable insights into your organization’s security. Hence large companies like AWS, Microsoft, and other companies are SOC 2 certified. Getting SOC 2 certified is difficult, but the burden does not need to fall into you.

Databrackets can come to the rescue, and relieve you of the hassle of SOC 2 certification. We have certified security and privacy professionals who work in collaboration with partner CPA firms to help you meet your compliance needs with ease and with lower costs. Schedule a consultation with us today!