HITRUST r2 Certification Benefits

Dec 1, 2023 | Data

Finding a trustworthy IT partner is a game-changer, especially for healthcare organizations with limited resources. When you need a company to protect sensitive data from slipping through the cracks, seek one with the gold standard of certifications – the HITRUST r2.

So you can confidently choose the best IT partner, let’s tour the HITRUST world, check out the different certification levels, and uncover five perks of the r2 certification.

What is HITRUST?

The primary goal of HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) is to create a comprehensive and certifiable framework designed to safeguard sensitive information related to healthcare. The HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) provides a standardized set of rules to manage and secure a healthcare organization’s data.

The HITRUST certification process evaluates a company’s policies, procedures, and technical controls to ensure they meet the standards set by the HITRUST CSF. Certification levels range from the basic HITRUST Essentials to higher levels such as HITRUST r2, with each level signifying a different level of commitment to data security and compliance.


  1. HITRUST Essentials (e1)
    The HITRUST Essentials (e1) is a validated assessment lasting one year. It covers the basic Foundational Cybersecurity practices recommended for organizations that aren’t at high risk for data breaches or don’t safeguard extremely sensitive information. The e1 is a great place to start when first implementing IT security measures.
  2. HITRUST Implemented (i1)
    The HITRUST Implemented (i1) is an assessment and certification that also lasts for one year. Enterprises that pass i1 testing adhere to Leading Security Practices and are well-positioned to protect themselves against existing and forthcoming cyber threats.
  3. HITRUST Risk-Based (r2)
    The HITRUST Risk-Based (r2) validated assessment and certification lasts for two years and is considered the gold standard for data security. The assessment requires comprehensive controls, in-depth process reviews, and consistent oversight. r2 meets organizations’ most strict needs and regulatory requirements while remaining flexible and customizable.

Why Does a HITRUST r2 Certification Matter?

Any organization that holds the r2 certification is positioned to provide a broader range of IT services, from data analytics to advanced cybersecurity measures. As such, partner organizations get to leverage cutting-edge technologies with enhanced protection.

Here are five distinct benefits that come from a HITRUST r2 certification:

  1. Comprehensive Data Protection
    HITRUST r2 certification demonstrates a commitment to robust information security practices. By adhering to the HITRUST CSF, organizations establish and maintain a comprehensive and effective data security management program. This ensures that information protection measures are robust and cover a wide range of potential threats.
  2. Regulatory Compliance Assurance
    Many industries, especially healthcare, are subject to strict regulatory requirements. A HITRUST certification includes alignment with various laws, such as HIPAA and HITECH. Achieving and maintaining HITRUST r2 certification assures stakeholders that an organization exceeds the regulatory standards, reducing the risk of legal consequences.
  3. Risk Management and Mitigation
    The HITRUST framework incorporates a risk-based approach to information security. Organizations undergoing the certification process assess and prioritize threats, allowing them to implement controls where they are most needed. This proactive risk management strategy helps institutions identify and mitigate potential dangers, creating a more resilient and secure environment.
  4. Increased Trust and Credibility
    HITRUST r2 certification is broadly recognized in the IT security industry, and achieving it demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of operation. This, in turn, enhances an organization’s trustworthiness and credibility among clients, partners, and stakeholders. It becomes a valuable differentiator in a competitive market, showcasing a dedication to protecting sensitive information.
  5. Streamlined Vendor Management
    For organizations that work with vendors or partners, HITRUST r2 certification simplifies the vendor management process. The certification assures stakeholders that the organization has thoroughly assessed its security controls, which can lead to smoother collaboration with other certified entities and instill confidence in the security of shared data.

The HITRUST r2 designation goes beyond just complying with the foundations of cybersecurity; it offers a holistic approach to data protection and risk management, making it an invaluable asset for organizations handling susceptible information or facing complex regulatory requirements.

Empower Your Organization with SmartBase

As a leading healthcare IT security company, SmartBase proudly holds the HITRUST r2 certification, reflecting our unwavering commitment to the highest compliance standards. We can tailor our services to the unique needs of your organization and provide a customized IT strategy that aligns with your goals and mission.

For overwhelmed and under-resourced teams seeking a responsive and reputable IT partner, SmartBase stands as an industry leader, ready to empower your organization with secure and efficient IT services

Contact SmartBase today and secure the future of your organization with confidence.

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