HITRUST: Single Framework Strategy

HITRUST Single Framework Strategy

Many organizations are in search of ways to streamline their compliance efforts. See how the HITRUST CSF can enable a “Single Framework Strategy” that simplifies security and compliance programs.

Challenges of Traditional Audits

Compliance audits can be burdensome. If not adequately planned for and executed, audits can be time-consuming, inefficient, and expensive.

Those challenges can exist even if an entity is being assessed against just one compliance framework (i.e., PCI-DSS, ISO 27001, etc.). If multiple frameworks are involved, those challenges may become even more prevalent.

Organizations must complete many tasks as part of an audit: gathering team members for interviews, collecting audit artifacts, and responding to auditors’ inquiries, to name a few. Those same activities may need to be performed multiple times if an organization must comply with multiple frameworks.

Audit fatigue – the idea that performing inefficient audits can lead to burnout and a lack of value – is an authentic concern for most organizations, and it’s something your team may feel if they are continuously required to complete these redundant tasks.

The HITRUST Solution

The HITRUST CSF is a security and privacy framework incorporating more than 40 other security and privacy-related standards and regulations. Given its extensive coverage across these standards and regulations, HITRUST is the golden standard for enabling a single framework strategy.

Organizations that achieve a HITRUST certification are able to map the controls that they test as part of the HITRUST CSF to other frameworks and standards. This mapping allows entities to demonstrate compliance across numerous frameworks, leveraging just a single set of controls and the associated testing of those controls.

When using HITRUST to support a single framework strategy, several considerations should be made.

Use the Scoping Exercise to Determine Applicable Requirements

As part of a HITRUST validated assessment, organizations seeking certification must complete a scoping exercise within HITRUST’s MyCSF tool. This process consists of entities responding to a questionnaire that is used to derive a customized listing of requirements that are applicable to the entity.

Along with responding to the mandatory questions, entities can optionally choose other frameworks (e.g., HIPAA, CMMC, FedRamp, etc.) to be added to their customized list of requirements. If there are specific standards or regulations that an organization wishes to demonstrate compliance with, it is recommended to add those at this point.

Leverage Authoritative Source Report Cards

One of the many tools offered within HITRUST’s MyCSF platform is the Authoritative Source Report Cards. This feature allows organizations to see how their customized requirement set maps to their chosen framework.

Once the HITRUST assessment is complete, the report cards also show an organization’s compliance with various frameworks. For example, if an entity scored poorly on the access control section of HITRUST’s framework, the report card would show how those gaps would translate to the access control section of a different framework.

Automated Mapping Updates

One of the most significant benefits of leveraging HITRUST for a single framework strategy is that updates to frameworks are actively tracked, and the associated mappings are refreshed.

Many organizations that attempt to maintain mappings manually are faced with the challenges of identifying when frameworks are updated and ensuring that their mappings capture those changes.

Organizations that leverage HITRUST are able to outsource this time-consuming process, as the HITRUST team stays abreast of the changing frameworks and regulations and ensures that the mappings are continuously updated appropriately.

By outsourcing this monotonous task, organizations are able to spend more time on maintaining and improving their information security programs.


Organizations continuously look for ways to simplify their compliance program while also leveraging it to enable business opportunities.

Pursuing a HITRUST certification can help organizations achieve both of these objectives by alleviating the burdens caused by traditional audits and streamlining efforts into a consolidated and pragmatic approach.

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