How HITRUST Helps Healthcare Orgs Prevent Cyber Attacks

Despite its initial reluctance, recent developments within the healthcare industry have seen a complete transformation in the way patient data is handled.

Whereas paper records used to be the primary source of information, many organizations have done away with them completely, focusing on storing and updating their patients’ personal information online instead.

This personal information includes everything, from an individual’s medical history, to their credit card data and insurance details.

It might be difficult to comprehend, but the fact that these online records contain enough information for someone to commit identity fraud if they were to get in the wrong person’s hands makes healthcare organizations the perfect target for hackers.

These data breaches can cause havoc for a hospital; not only does it put patients at risk as mentioned above, but it can also leave executives and other distinctive officials having to consider high ransom fees to have the information released back into their own system.

The effects of these breaches can also be devastating for an organization, costing them large sums of money and time to rebuild trust with their patients from the ground up.

When you consider the fact that organizations that have faced data breaches will have to find the money to fix their security software and spend crucial time on rebuilding relationships that could be spent on better things while losing patients who have lost trust at the same time, you can see why prevention is better than a cure in this case.

It was catastrophic events, like those mentioned above, that lead to the formation of the not-for-profit organization HITRUST in 2007.

They combined many diverse pieces of legislation, like HIPAA, into one common security framework that clarifies regulations and puts prescriptive measures in place to increase security and efficiency within healthcare organizations.

While becoming HITRUST certified is not a requirement by law, you do need to make sure that you are being HITRUST compliant.

When this is the case, and HITRUST is the leading security framework in the US, it’s worth asking why you don’t just take the time to become certified, isn’t it?

If you still aren’t sure, however, here is why you should become compliant, and how it could help you stay ahead of the curve in an industry that continues to drive further into the digital world.

It Saves You Considerable Time and Money on Audits

According to Digital Authority Partners, The HITRUST common security framework provides visibility into the controls that overlap among multiple different regulatory requirements, making it easier to demonstrate how the programs you have in place are meeting the combined requirements.

If you become HITRUST certified, you will be able to generate multiple reports and address multiple legislative, regulatory or best practice frameworks at once.

This saves you lots of money as you don’t have to create new assessments to ensure you’re meeting each piece of legislative, regulatory or best practice advice.

It’ll also save you time, which will allow your IT department to continue focusing on what matters most to your organization.

It Gives Your Organization Credibility & Prestige

It’s common knowledge within any industry now that consumers have become aware of, and concerned by, cybercrime and privacy breaches.

This is incredibly true in the healthcare industry, where patients are rightly concerned about how their information is being used and secured now that it is primarily stored online.

You might think that covering yourself by marketing your organization as one that takes data protection seriously is enough, but that isn’t the case.

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Consumers are too cynical to truly believe this, and having back up from a third-party attestation that has been benchmarked against a recognized controls framework specifically designed to fully address HIPAAA, can really help to convince them that you do care.

This will also provide you with marketing materials, as it shows that your organization is prepared to go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to exceed industry security recommendations.

This will make sure you stay ahead of the curve as it proves you are listening to your customer and helping to solve their concerns about your organization.

It Protects Your Organizations Reputation

HealthcareWeekly reports that data breaches cost an organization an average of $380 per record every year, but that isn’t the only thing you’ll want to protect your organization from.

One of the biggest hits organizations take when their security measures don’t pan out is a lowered reputation in the eyes of the public.

This can cause a PR nightmare, especially if you are unable to rectify the issue quickly and efficiently, and could drag out into a complete frenzy.

In extreme cases, this could be enough to completely floor your organization, preventing you from growing and even leading to a loss in revenue. It may even shut your company down if the security breach was big enough, or led to a large outcry from the public.

It’ll Help Your Organization Understands Its Risks And Growth Opportunities

When it comes to sticking to regulations or legislations, many organizations will do the bare minimum and leave it at that.

Many organizations will fail to go back and assess growth within their organization, and they won’t try to identify any gaps that those regulations may not cover.

The HITRUST framework, on the other hand, provides prescriptive regulations that help an organization identify security risks within their business.

It also provides organizations with an understanding of areas their business could mature, and provides a tool to track progress and growth in regard to the overall security of the environment.


When you consider all the benefits that becoming HITRUST certified could have for your business, is it really a question of if it’s worth doing?

We think it’s more a question of when.

When are you going to look at your competition and figure out that this is a key way to stay ahead of the curve?

When are you going to realize that the only way to secure your patients data with 100 percent certainty is by being HITRUST certified?

We think the answer should be today.

With the entire process taking three or four months the first time around, with yearly assessments to make sure you’re constantly up to date, we really do believe that this is a no brainer.