Key Takeaways:

  • Assurance and Accessibility: The HITRUST e1 assessment ensures information security with 44 critical controls, making it affordable and accessible for all business sizes.
  • Foundation for Growth: The e1 assessment serves as a first step towards higher-level HITRUST certifications, showing commitment to industry standards.
  • Efficiency and Resource Management: It focuses on implemented maturity levels and allows inheritance and carve-out methods, reducing assessment burdens and optimizing resources.
  • Validation and Improvement: The e1 validates security practices, identifies gaps, and helps build a robust security foundation, ensuring reliability and effectiveness.
  • Flexible Assessment Options: Offers Readiness and Validated assessments, catering to various organizational needs for achieving certification and improving cybersecurity.

Introduction to the HITRUST e1 Assessment

The HITRUST e1 assessment not only provides assurance on the information security practices your firm has in place. It also opens doors to the benefits that being a HITRUST certified organization offers. The HITRUST e1 assessment is an entry-level, 1-year assessment that focuses on 44 critical cybersecurity controls. Designed to evaluate essential cybersecurity hygiene, the e1 assessment provides reliable information security assurance for organizations of all sizes.

Is the e1 assessment the right fit?

In today’s competitive landscape, businesses of all sizes face the challenge of standing out in the marketplace. Whether you’re a nimble start-up or an established mid-size to larger firm, information security assurance is critical. Ensuring information security is key to building trust with your clients and stakeholders.

Accessible Assurance

For small businesses and start-ups, the e1 offers an accessible, lower cost security assessment. The e1 recognizes that small businesses operate on lean budgets and offers a streamlined process that doesn’t break the bank. From vulnerability scans to risk assessments, this assessment ensures your foundational security practices are robust. You get the essential security insights without unnecessary frills, allowing you to allocate resources wisely.

Stepping Stone to HITRUST

Larger firms seeking their first foothold in HITRUST assessments can also rely on the e1. Our comprehensive approach guides you through the process, demonstrating your commitment to industry standards. Choosing the e1 assessment is a strategic choice for organizations that need additional time to enhance their control environment. As you progress toward higher-level assessments, the e1 serves as a milestone, reflecting your commitment to securing sensitive data and continuous improvement.

Reliability and Effectiveness

The e1 doesn’t just provide a checkbox; it’s a guided journey that delivers reliable information security assurance. The e1 digs deep to validate your foundational security practices. Our experts validate your controls and identify gaps, thereby empowering you to build a solid security foundation—one that grows with your business.

The e1 serves as a reliable partner for businesses seeking information security assurance, making it a valuable asset in today’s competitive landscape. Regardless of your organization’s size, the e1 can ensure the reliability and effectiveness of your foundational security practices.

What are the benefits of the e1?

By zeroing in on the HITRUST implemented maturity level and allowing for both inheritance and carve out methods, the e1 reduces the assessment burden for your organization.

Implemented Maturity Focus

Unlike the more comprehensive r2 assessment, the e1 doesn’t segregate policies and procedures for separate testing and scoring; it instead integrates them into the overall evaluation. The e1 focuses on how well your organization has put security practices into action, testing one of the five HITRUST maturity levels, implementation. This approach is particularly valuable for businesses seeking a foundational understanding of their security posture.

While the e1 simplifies the assessment, it’s still essential to recognize that policies and procedures matter. They provide the framework for effective security practices. So, even though they aren’t scored independently, their alignment with implemented controls contributes to your overall security posture.

Inheritance and carve outs

Additionally, the e1 assessment offers the opportunity for both inheritance or the Carve-Out Method. Inheritance allows your organization to leverage security controls and practices already established by another entity. If your MSP or a partner organization has undergone HITRUST assessments, you can inherit their validated controls, which streamlines your assessment process. Instead of starting from scratch, you build upon the foundation laid by others.

If your organization relies on external vendors or partners for critical services (such as cloud hosting, payment processing, or data storage) and these third parties are not HITRUST certified themselves, the carve-out method is available. With carve-outs, you can isolate specific components of your environment that fall under third-party responsibility. These components are excluded from your assessment scope.

Carve-outs allow you to maintain e1 certification while acknowledging that certain aspects are handled externally. It’s a pragmatic approach that balances security and operational realities. For organizations collaborating with MSPs or relying on third-party services, these mechanisms reduce the burden of duplicative assessments. You can focus on what’s truly within your control while benefiting from existing security efforts.

Level of Effort and Resources

Compared to its more rigorous counterparts, the HITRUST i1 and r2 Assessments, the e1 assessment requires less effort to complete. It strikes a balance between providing meaningful assurance and minimizing resource strain, making it an accessible entry point for businesses of all sizes.

From our experience in the industry, we equate the level of lift to be similar to that of a SOC 2 assessment, with an e1 Readiness being most like a SOC 2 Type 1 and the full Validated assessment being most like a SOC 2 Type 2.

All in all, the HITRUST e1 Assessment empowers businesses by simplifying security evaluation, accommodating external partnerships, and optimizing resource allocation.

What service offerings are available for the e1?

Let’s review the HITRUST e1 Assessment options offered for organizations embarking on their HITRUST certification journey.

Readiness Assessment

The readiness assessment serves as the starting point for any organization venturing into HITRUST. It provides assurance that your existing security practices align with HITRUST’s stringent standards or are actively being remediated to meet those standards. Before committing to a full validated assessment, the readiness assessment allows you to assess your security posture without taking the financial risk associated with a comprehensive audit. We help you evaluate your practices against HITRUST’s requirements, identifying gaps and areas for improvement.

Validated Assessment

The validated assessment is the next step—an in-depth evaluation that goes beyond readiness. This is the full certifiable HITRUST assessment. Completion of the Validated assessment will provide assurance to any clients or stakeholders that your organization is adhering to foundational industry standard security best practices.


All the work invested in the e1 assessment contributes to larger assessments like the i1 or r2. This alignment ensures that your efforts are not wasted and paves the way for future cybersecurity milestones. This is especially helpful if you are working with an organization in the healthcare industry that requires e1 certification road mapping to larger assessments by a certain time period.

Getting Started with LBMC's HITRUST e1 Assessment

We recommend beginning with the readiness assessment. A readiness assessment is a prudent step to validate your practices before committing to a full assessment. By ensuring your security practices meet HITRUST standards early on, you mitigate the financial risk associated with a validated assessment. Think of readiness as the stepping stone—a way to gauge readiness and build confidence before diving into the full audit.

Don’t settle for mediocrity. Embrace the HITRUST e1 assessment and fortify your security foundation. Remember, your commitment to security speaks volumes.

Introduction to the HITRUST e1 Assessment

Let LBMC help amplify your voice and guide you toward enhanced cybersecurity resilience through the HITRUST e1 assessment. Contact our HITRUST experts to get started.