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Scaling GRC Programs: 5 Ways Security Leaders Enable the Business

Scaling GRC Programs: 5 Ways Security Leaders Enable the Business

Blog Article Published: 07/19/2021

This blog was originally published by OneTrust GRC here.

The compliance landscape is in constant flux between external factors changing and businesses working toward scaling GRC programs. Managing compliance is difficult for organizations operating across multiple geographies with multiple sets of standards and regulations. But it’s necessary, which is why the GRC market is expected to be worth $88.48 billion by 2027.

Privacy and security leaders become more important to the bottom line as businesses continue to combat evolving data security challenges. By investing in and managing emerging GRC programs and tools, businesses can level the compliance playing field to keep up with their obligations.

Here are 5 ways security leaders can scale GRC programs to support operations and enable your everyday business.

1. Improve Visibility Across Your GRC Program

The ultimate goal of a successful GRC program is to deliver visibility into both current and emerging risks. The majority of new GRC programs are championed internally to improve risk oversight. To do so you need relevant, timely, and insight-rich reporting.

Security leaders want to understand how risk across the organization interacts with each other and controls, regulations, and policies. This starts by having an integrated framework of risk. This framework should provide context to risk by mapping it to organizational objectives, processes, controls, and key risk metrics.

When building this framework, security leaders need to be able to answer the following questions:

  1. Is the organization’s inherent risk – overall and by IT assets – changing?
  2. Are all technical and organizational controls operating as designed?
  3. Will new or changing third-party relationships involve the handling of important information?
  4. Will new or changing business processes involve the handling of important information?
  5. Will technology changes require different risk treatments?
  6. Are the risk treatments in place today consistent with the changing threat-sources to information security, or will we need to upgrade them to align with best practices?

Visibility means continuously having answers to the above questions. These insights move your organization away from a reactive IT risk management process to a proactive one.

2. Address Risk More Proactively

Another component of scaling your GRC program is to build a proactive risk process. For many security leaders, this approach connects directly to the bottom line.

Here’s why security leaders are investing in proactive GRC programs:

Repeatable processes

Working to de–dupe reporting and monitoring efforts reinforces a set of common or custom controls that address your risk and compliance needs across frameworks and standards with shared initiatives. Successfully cross walking your controls helps create a standardization level where you can test once and comply with many across both mandatory and voluntary obligations.

Integrated data sets

Getting away from static sources of information such as spreadsheet-based assessments allows you to identify risk and embed trigger remediation efforts as data is collected. Having automated assessments or integrated systems that can populate your GRC program directly will help you streamline notifications across the team while enhancing your ability to act.

Proactive GRC programs will help your business reduce cost, save time, and optimize your remediation efforts to get ahead of risk and security events.

3. Identify & Leverage GRC “MVPs”

As with any skill, the more focused a person is in one area, the better they will become at it. And, managing an organization’s entire GRC program comes with an incredible amount of responsibility. That’s why it’s crucial to have a team certified in GRC.

Your GRC MVP’s will typically include:

  • Risk managers: Understand the business scope to correctly identify threats and opportunities and develop strategic responses to minimize and monitor those risks over time
  • Compliance officers: Help drive strategies forward and empower your business to meet the requirements for standards, laws, and regulations
  • IT managers: IT managers will be responsible for the technological solutions developed to meet your organization’s GRC strategy needs

To truly scale your GRC program, you also need to leverage non-GRC specialists within your organization. Some of the organizational leaders that need to be involved in the GRC process include:

  • CEO/Board: Provide strategic oversight and decision-making capabilities to give the process company-wide support
  • CFOs: Whoever manages the organization’s purse needs to ensure the GRC program has the proper financial backing today and in the future
  • HR managers: By adding GRC to the handbook and requiring ongoing training to the necessary parties, HR plays a significant role in getting team buy-in

The specialists will help get the program up and running. But ultimately, an effective GRC program is an organizational overhaul that involves all hands-on deck.

External Specialist

A key characteristic that security leaders and scalable GRC programs share is consulting external experts. Consultants and certified professionals can help advise on your GRC program from the initial design. These professionals can also provide an objective perspective to validate or best align your GRC program to meet your business goals.

4. Prove Regular Compliance

With so many new laws and regulations passed almost every month, your organization needs someone to make sure every part of your business is GRC compliant on an ongoing basis.

A GRC program that engages the business will help ensure the company and its employees follow the laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to the organization.

Nearly 50% of organizations plan to prove better compliance with regulations within the next two years. Scaling your GRC program alongside security practices involves staying ahead of the latest regulatory updates or expansions across frameworks and standards.

5. Enhance GRC Program Response Time

GRC programs monitor a magnitude of areas, including:

  • Compliance management
  • Risk management
  • Audit management
  • Vendor risk management
  • Business continuity planning and disaster recovery

If any issues come up within those branches, your business needs to be able to respond quickly. Near real-time monitoring and simplified channels for everyday stakeholders to report or flag risk can significantly enhance your response time.

Download this infographic, 5 Ways to Scale GRC Technology to learn about scaling GRC technology for your business.

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