HITRUST adds two offerings to aid in understanding control effectiveness and cyber preparedness

HITRUST announced a major expansion of its assessment portfolio to raise the quality and efficiency of assurances across the spectrum of information assurance needs. HITRUST also is unveiling a new approach to streamline the exchange and consumption of assessment results across the ecosystem of relying parties.

HITRUST CSF Certification is the most reliable information assurance report on the market and made possible by the transparency and consistency in the selection of controls, and in the scoring, and validation of controls by both qualified third-party assessors and the HITRUST Assurance and Quality teams.

The assurance process is rigorous by design to ensure a high level of assurance in the results provided. However, there are many situations where a moderate or low level of assurance is warranted.

Organizations are seeking a broader range of assessment options that require less effort and time to perform while still providing a commensurate level of reliability for moderate- to lower-risk scenarios.

To meet the market needs for varying levels of assurance with higher reliability, HITRUST is adding two new assessment offerings. Like the HITRUST CSF Validated Assessment, these new offerings will aid in understanding control effectiveness as well as cyber preparedness and resilience.

  • The Basic Current State (bC) Assessment is a “good hygiene” assessment and offers higher reliability than self-assessments and questionnaires by utilizing the HITRUST Assurance Intelligence Engine™ (AI Engine) to identify errors, omissions, and deceit.
  • The Implemented One-Year (i1) Validated Assessment is a “best practices” assessment and recommended for situations that present moderate risk or where a baseline risk assessment is needed. The i1 is designed to provide higher levels of transparency, integrity, and reliability over existing moderate assurance reports, with comparable levels of time, effort, and cost. HITRUST Authorized External Assessors will validate i1 assessments.
  • The industry standard HITRUST CSF Validated Assessment is a risk-based and tailorable assessment, which continues to provide the highest level of assurance for situations with greater risk exposure due to data volumes, regulatory compliance, or other risk factors. The HITRUST CSF Validated Assessment will be renamed the Risk-based, Two-Year (r2) Validated Assessment.

Until now, most low to moderate risk assessment mechanisms were either self-attested or validated against unsuitable or inconsistent control selection and limited and subjective assurance programs which makes it difficult for relying parties to understand the control requirements and depth, breadth, and consistency of the assurance process, limiting the usefulness and reliability of the results.

“Often, organizations utilize mid-level assurance reports such as a SOC 2 report because they take less time and effort while being less costly. Unfortunately, these mid-level assurance reports lack the consistency and reliability of more comprehensive assessments like HITRUST,” said John Houston, Vice President of Information Security and Privacy at UPMC. “The HITRUST i1 Assessment fills a gap in the market for a medium assurance assessment that delivers a higher level of reliability and consistency while having a similar effort and cost to a SOC 2 report. And it can help the organization move towards full HITRUST CSF Certification—which organizations like UPMC view as the gold standard.”

While reliability is crucial for assurance, the accessibility, usability, and consumption of the results are just as important if organizations are to manage supply chain risk given evolving cyber threats. The current method of obtaining and consuming assessment results by the relying party often results in delays, inefficiencies, and misinterpretations as it is based on the exchange of PDF files that are reviewed to determine the scope, scoring, and corrective action plans before key information is often manually entered into a third-party risk management (TPRM) system.

To meet the expanding demand for effective information risk management across the supply chain, the HITRUST Results Distribution System (RDS) will enable assessed entities to deliver their HITRUST Assessment results through a secure, centralized reporting hub to relying parties, eliminating the need for exchanging PDFs and the manual review and entry into third-party systems that subsequently occurs.

Recipients will be able to customize dashboards to view the results that interest them most, including scope, aggregate, or specific control scores. In addition, integration with GRC/VRM platforms will be available via API.

“For third-party risk management systems to achieve their full potential in helping organizations manage their vendor risk, assessment results need to be electronically shared and consumed,” said Jeremy Fisher, Vice President of Product at Archer. “HITRUST’s Results Distribution System is a big step in making that possible and will be a strong complement to our focus on vendor interaction through Archer Engage.”

The expansion of the HITRUST Assessment Portfolio and the addition of the RDS further extend HITRUST’s position as an innovator and leader in information risk management, compliance, and assurance. HITRUST continues to drive higher assurances and greater efficiencies into the assurance ecosystem.

“HITRUST is building upon our market leadership in providing Rely-Able assurances by introducing moderate and low-level information assurance products,” said Bimal Sheth, Executive Vice President, Standards Development and Assurance Operations, HITRUST. “No other assessment or certification organization is able to meet the expanding global market need for information assessments and electronic results distribution.”

The industry standard r2 assessment (HITRUST CSF Validated Assessment) is currently available while the bC and i1 assessments will be offered to the market later this year. Any i1 or r2 assessment submitted with a reservation is backed by a service-level guarantee to deliver the assessment report within 45 days.

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