When managing complex cybersecurity risks and optimizing your security posture, your organization can rely on a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) approach.
So, what is GRC, and how can it help your company? Read on to learn more.
Guide to GRC in Cybersecurity
Today’s high-risk IT landscape requires companies to comply with regulatory frameworks when safeguarding sensitive digital assets. An effective way to do so is with the help of compliance risk management. Our guide to governance, risk, and compliance will focus on:
- Defining GRC and how it works
- The benefits and challenges of GRC implementation
- How to find GRC services that will keep your assets safe
- Governance, risk, and compliance best practices
Taking the GRC approach to cybersecurity optimization will help enhance your security posture and keep your sensitive data safe, especially with the help of a GRC services provider.
What is GRC?
In most organizations, cybersecurity is overseen by a designated security team that does not often have complete visibility into governance, risk management, and compliance. With a limited integration of these three critical components, such organizations are at greater risk for cyberattacks. That’s where GRC comes in.
What Does GRC Stand For?
GRC stands for governance, risk, and compliance. A GRC platform helps you effectively:
- Oversee the different processes that simplify security implementations
- Manage risk factors before they can develop into serious threats
- Optimize compliance across industry-specific requirements
With GRC security, your organization is better prepared to manage security risks, remain compliant, and streamline the implementation of security controls.
The Main Components of GRC
Regardless of the setting you apply it to, GRC comprises three main components:
- Governance – For any cybersecurity strategy to be effective and meet its intended outcomes, there must be structured oversight. Governance refers to cybersecurity decision-making processes that trickle down to the rest of the organization for implementation.
- Risk management – Every organization faces risks, regardless of industry, but some of these risks can more significantly impact security than others. Risk management refers to how these various risks are handled, both before they can become serious threats that compromise data integrity and afterward when attacks or data breaches occur.
- Compliance – With the help of regulatory compliance requirements, organizations can implement security controls that effectively safeguard their IT assets. However, the complexity and breadth of requirements vary across regulatory frameworks, requiring optimization to keep sensitive data safe.
Within a GRC cybersecurity approach, each component listed above works hand in hand to secure your digital assets from cybersecurity threats.
How GRC Works
One way to think about the governance, risk, and compliance cybersecurity model is to break down the critical processes involved. At the decision-making level, key stakeholders like the C-suite executives devise a high-level GRC approach and—guided by a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)—develop a policy for the entire organization to follow. This security policy must align with the requirements of applicable regulatory frameworks.
Implementation of a GRC framework depends on process owners. Whether it’s the designated security team that mitigates cybersecurity risks or the staff who remain cyber vigilant for threats, all relevant stakeholders must fully understand their GRC roles and responsibilities.
As you develop your GRC framework, you must routinely evaluate its maturity. Assessment will help point to gaps in the implementation of security controls or governance models.
Why Governance Risk and Compliance is Important
Governance, risk, and compliance processes help streamline compliance risk management across the distinct business or operational units in an organization. For example, C-suite executives at an organization may understand risk much differently than the personnel on the dedicated security team. Failure to reconcile these differences means there will be gaps in communication, implementation of security controls, and overall regulatory compliance.
GRC processes can close this information gap and help standardize governance, risk management, and compliance across your company. As such, you will be better equipped to comply with regulatory frameworks while effectively managing cybersecurity risks.
Benefits of GRC Implementation
By implementing GRC security, your organization will benefit from:
- Integration of compliance workflows across regulatory frameworks such as:
- PCI DSS
- Faster detection of vulnerabilities and gaps in security controls across IT infrastructure
- Visibility into the performance of your current security controls and overall posture
A governance, risk, and compliance approach also helps simplify communication between the key stakeholders in compliance and risk management processes, making them more efficient.
Challenges of GRC Implementation
The biggest challenges around GRC implementation relate to optimizing the GRC framework to your organization’s specific needs. As such, the extent of these challenges will vary from one organization to another.
For instance, if your current cybersecurity governance structure does not facilitate routine communication between the dedicated IT security team and the C-suite decision-makers, a GRC strategy will likely be challenging to implement.
Another common challenge to implementing GRC security is the time and resource cost of integrating risk management and compliance processes across departments. Some departments may be slower to adopt novel GRC processes if they are accustomed to the pre-existing ones.
How to Implement GRC Successfully
Successful implementation of GRC relies on:
- Identifying the framework that meets your specific compliance risk management needs
- Working with a GRC service provider whose tools provide the best ROI with governance, risk management, and compliance
- Developing a roadmap to streamline the path to GRC maturity in the short and long term
Ultimately, governance, risk, and compliance tools work best when the necessary stakeholders align on specific GRC goals.
GRC Maturity Model
Launching a GRC program can seem overwhelming for organizations without prior GRC experience. There’s a lot of data collection and analysis involved, and processes must be established to ensure each step of GRC implementation works as expected.
That’s where a GRC maturity model helps.
Based on the GRC framework you develop, you can optimize the path to GRC maturity by outlining key action steps and corresponding performance indicators. As each of the governance, risk, and compliance management processes matures, a robust GRC maturity model will help track progress and point to the appropriate remediation steps, where necessary.
What to Look For When Considering GRC Services
When shopping around for GRC services, it is best to identify:
- Software platforms secured with trusted industry-standard encryption
- Vendors who can provide training and 247 troubleshooting or technical support
- Service providers who are willing to understand the specific needs of your GRC framework
With the help of a GRC partner, you can streamline how you identify the right GRC platform that will optimize your security posture.
Common GRC Tools and Software
As you shop around for GRC tools and software, you might find:
- Tools that streamline risk management by eliminating process silos
- Cloud-based GRC software that is easily scalable
- Platforms that provide integrated risk analytics into their GRC management
RSI Security’s suite of GRC tools and software stands out from the crowd because of our team’s extensive cybersecurity experience working within the governance, risk, and compliance space.
With experience working across multiple industries and regulatory compliance frameworks, we understand the critical role played by cybersecurity risk and compliance management.
Governance Risk and Compliance Practices Dos and Don’ts
As you implement governance, risk, and compliance processes, here are some best practices:
- All the key stakeholders involved in implementing GRC processes must fully understand their roles and responsibilities in keeping sensitive IT assets safe.
- Integrate as much data as you can (using automated means) from disparate business units that might be at risk of being impacted by security threats.
- Continuously conduct maturity assessments of your GRC framework to determine its overall long-term effectiveness.
Whether you’re looking to get started with a GRC cybersecurity approach or optimize your current framework, partnering with a GRC services provider will help streamline this process.
Get Started with GRC – Partner with RSI Security!
Regardless of your governance, risk, and compliance needs, RSI Security will help you develop a mature GRC model that works robustly within your GRC framework. Our team of specialists will also set you up with an effective GRC platform that significantly lowers your security risks.
To learn more, contact RSI Security today!