A Complete Guide to Integrated Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance

According to Gartner, Integrated Risk Management (IRM) constitutes a set of processes and practices bolstered by a “risk-aware culture and enabling technologies” that help improve performance and decision-making. These practices are integrated into the organization’s risk management strategies. While the IRM approach certainly deviates from conventional checkbox-style compliance assessments that most organizations tend to follow, it doesn’t mean governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) technologies and processes are somehow excluded.

GRC practices have evolved as a result of the elevation of cybersecurity to a Board- and CEO-level problem and constitute the foundational aspects of the IRM approach. We’ve prepared this guide to run you through the GRC processes, frameworks, and standards that lead organizations to an integrated and more useful view of risk and compliance.

Governance: Processes And Automation

Governance processes can help inform the approach an organization takes to developing and implementing security, as well as provide a working framework for unique growth strategies.

  • Standardizing Process: Any robust cybersecurity program is built on the knowledge and awareness of the risks facing the organization. Cybersecurity processes, however, must be standardized by organizational leaders in order to catalyze most procedures.
  • Fostering Collaboration: Integrated approaches to GRC necessitate changes within the ways that teams communicate with each other. There will be increased visibility and information sharing. This also allows for asynchronous communication.
  • Data Visualization and Quicker Information Delivery: In order for business leaders to view and digest operational data efficiently, they need effective intermediate data visualization solutions. For GRC processes, quantitative metrics and dashboards become all the more critical.

Risk: Quantifiable Metrics Aligned with Business Goals

Business Goals

When coupled with compliance procedures, risk management helps identify and remediate the associated risks to an organization.

  • Risk Management Frameworks: Integrated GRC practices necessitate the use of a risk management framework. Risk assessments are the initial step taken to understand the risks facing an organization and what remediation procedures need to be applied. Risk management frameworks act as a foundation for integrated GRC.
  • Translating Risk to Stakeholders: Risk management is crucial because it allows organizations to leverage information in order to bolster said organization’s resilience. Considering how not all business leaders are apprised of the cyber threats facing them – it’s all the more important to quantify and translate data on the risk to stakeholders.

Compliance And Futureproofing Cybersecurity

Compliance is one of the most crucial aspects for most organizations that ensure ongoing business operations and help support new business growth.

  • Frameworks that Go Beyond Compliance: Addressing compliance standards and regulations as they emerge can overwhelm information security teams. This is why it’s critical to develop a cybersecurity program built on a foundational framework. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is the gold star whose requirements are based on the CSF.
  • Integrating GRC with the NIST CSF: The primary benefit of using the NIST CSF framework is that it unites all GRC procedures and processes under one banner. Moreover, NIST CSF’s approach is outcome-based, so it allows translating risk and compliance practices straight into organizational outcomes.

Developing effective governance, risk, and compliance tools and solutions aren’t something you can achieve by yourself; it requires the expertise of a certified information security manager.

Manoharan Mudaliar is a leading cybersecurity professional offering IT security consultancy services to numerous organizations from various industries. He is renowned for leveraging innovative security solutions driven with a passion for helping clients achieve their business goals.

Get in touch with Mudaliar for more information.

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