Governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) is a broad set of terms that focus on a company’s approach and strategy for managing GRC activities. It comprises of the structures, the rules, and the accountability a company has concerning internal requirements and those imposed externally.
The GRC program begins with risk and ends in governance, with the acronym focusing the activities in order of importance, thereby placing management at the top, risk following slightly behind, and compliance at the tail end.
It, therefore, means that when looking for GRC software for program management, you need to settle for a risk management solution that emphasizes security.
Why Begin With Risk?
A risk is a definition of the threats your data is likely to face. While compliance standards might expect you to follow the rules, there has to be a sense of data security.
The risk assessment of your business has to be grounded upon the type of data collected, stored, and transmitted. For instance, a retailer and a healthcare provider fetch different data which needs to protect them differently.
It goes to say that one-size concerning compliance solutions does not fit all organizations equally. When you start with risk, you can customize your threat protection to the needs of your data.
What Does Security-First Mean?
A security-first approach to your compliance management means you get to assess and analyze potential risks and then establish controls that can protect against the possible threats.
Usually, cybersecurity standards and regulations are put in place to bring about the reinforcement of confidentiality, accessibility, and integrity protection of data. It means that if an organization is not able to secure data, then the regulations and set standards will give them a reason to do so.
Unfortunately, international organizations and government bodies are reluctant and take too much time to decide and agree on the best practices. Worse still is that they even disagree on approaches. It is worth noting that malicious bodies are working round the clock to up their attack strategies, meaning that what you assume protects your data can change any minute.
It is, therefore, necessary to secure your data and align it with internal controls under the set regulations to create impenetrable security and also respond better to possible threats.
What About Governance?
Governance focuses on a variety of internal activities. One is that it requires companies to have a reporting structure that can enable the entire management structure to review risks and controls in a more comprehensive manner.
Many times, the regulatory bodies require the company’s board of directors to analyze and respond to threats. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) regulations, for instance, can levy penalties and monetary fines against an organization’s board for poor governance.
Understand that governance needs constant monitoring for any changes to environment security of your data given that cybersecurity threats mutate. Note that malicious bodies are unceasingly looking for new ways to try and gain access to your sensitive information.
Attacks that have previously been based on unknown vulnerabilities place your data at very high risk, no matter the measures taken to protect it.
Why Governance Feels Overwhelming
Your digital footprint increases by every vendor added to your business operations. The more the vendors you have as a business, the higher the potential threat vectors. You can scale your businesses without involving third parties.
Governance, in this case, means monitoring your vendors continuously the same way you observe yourself. As much as there are vendors who can quickly promote your productivity and profitability, they could also place you at risk for a supply-chain data breach.
Should your vendors drive you to risk, you also stand responsible. Monitoring risks whether downstream or upstream also falls under governance, something that could overwhelm even the most successful origination.
Easing Policy Management
After starting with the security-first approach to compliance, the next step to take is towards documentation.
It is unfortunate that a large percentage of compliance slots in documentation to try and prove that internal controls were thoughtfully established, and plans were addressing possible control failures.
The compliance requirements many times not only include a business continuity policy but an IT infrastructure policy and a disaster recovery policy. The systems come incorporated with procedures, subsections, and processes needed for documentation.
The Role Of An Automated GRC Solution
An automated GRC solution instills stronger cybersecurity programs. These tools monitor activities and unify communication. It is a solution that can review threats and offer suggestions for better ways of securing data.
With automation, you can focus more on alerts that tend to pose a significant risk to your data. Ideally, GRC software allows you to organize signals concerning risk analysis. You are also able to store all your procedures and policies in one platform for better audit enablement.
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.
This is an article provided by our partners network. It might not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of our editorial team and management.
Founder Dinis Guarda
IntelligentHQ Your New Business Network.
IntelligentHQ is a Business network and an expert source for finance, capital markets and intelligence for thousands of global business professionals, startups, and companies.
We exist at the point of intersection between technology, social media, finance and innovation.
IntelligentHQ leverages innovation and scale of social digital technology, analytics, news and distribution to create an unparalleled, full digital medium and social business network spectrum.
IntelligentHQ is working hard, to become a trusted, and indispensable source of business news and analytics, within financial services and its associated supply chains and ecosystems.