How Do You Choose a GRC Platform for Your Company?

Every great company has a sound business plan. It encompasses knowledge and expertise, evaluates the market, calculates costs, reviews the competition and stays focused on the goal. All of these tasks must simultaneously consider assessing risks, complying with laws and industry standards, staying organized and safe. Long-sighted companies go to great pains to preempt any disruption to their plans.

This is easier said than done! How should a growing company stay on top of daily business operations, identify and minimize the risks facing them in real-time, continuously meet compliance requirements, all the while effectively smoothing the path to future growth?

Enter GRC. 

GRC Platform

What is GRC?

The term GRC alludes to more than the sum of its parts. It was first defined by OCEG, the “Open Compliance and Ethics Group” back in 2003 and has really set the standard for all that has followed in this realm. The idea of coining a term to bring together these basic yet critical elements was to demonstrate the way in which these capabilities can and should work together in order to achieve optimal performance and goals. 

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), as a term, is a combined strategy to manage exactly that: the way a company governs itself, addresses risk, and stays compliant with laws and standards. It speaks to each of the three specifically and all that they entail, which we’ll expand upon below, yet the GRC strategy also:

  • Aligns a company’s IT activities with its business goals
  • Effectively uses risk management to achieve organizational objectives
  • Improves a company’s efficiency and effectiveness

Governance

Governance refers to the way a company is run: it’s direction, how it is controlled, and how actions are aligned with a company’s goal. Governance describes the processes and policies used to detect, defend from and respond to cyber incidents. It specifies the accountability framework and ensures controls are implemented to mitigate risk.  

It’s worth noting that governance does not only touch on the IT department. Cyber risks do not discriminate between departments and really require actionable mitigation efforts to connect across an organization.

Risk Management

At its most basic level, risk involves recognizing and reducing the chance of anything that may impact negatively on your organization. As part of GRC, it involves people, processes and technology; it’s a comprehensive process that identifies and addresses all of an organization’s risks. The general methodology entails:

Identifying, Assessing & Analyzing Risks

A comprehensive risk assessment will take a thorough look at your organization’s full environment in order to consider every part of your networks, systems, physical infrastructure and more. The purpose is to pinpoint anything that could cause any harm, examine it to determine the likelihood of it occurring and what kind of impact it would have on the organization. A thorough risk assessment can involve taking detailed inventory, an intimate knowledge of workflows and processes, and recognizing exactly how systems, networks and equipment interact. With all this clear information, risks can be easily identified and effectively analyzed, eliminating overestimation or overreaction, and handled with an appropriate and measured response.

This is where a risk register comes into play. A risk register is used to document identified risks, likelihoods and consequences, collating all the information for easy access and effective organization. It’s incredibly useful for prioritization and remediation planning. 

Remediating, Monitoring and Reporting Risks

Once risks are identified it’s time to take action with policies and processes that will mitigate the risks. Remediation is the process of developing plans or identifying the steps necessary to avoid (or at least reduce) the impact and likelihood of risks and put these steps into action. 

Reporting the state of a company’s cybersecurity risks to the board or executive levels is important in order to facilitate clear channels of communication between all the stakeholders of an organization. This kind of data-driven approach will effectively communicate how the organization’s cybersecurity posture is affecting the company as a whole. It is important to produce reports that are written in easily understandable terms and backed up by relevant data in order to incorporate these findings into strategic decision making. Great reports will also clear the way for improved executive support and budget allocation.

Compliance

The last component of GRC is compliance, something essential to every organization. Compliance in GRC refers to the processes and activities that lead to the goal: being in compliance. Keeping compliant with relevant laws, standards and regulations not only keeps you out of trouble, but actually drives your security posture via various controls, policies and processes. Compliance with industry standards and laws means maintaining safety, security and best practices in your given industry. Non-compliance can mean hefty fines, lawsuits, and in some cases, operational and reputational damage.

When all three components of GRC are integrated together, OCEG defines GRC as an integrated collection of capabilities that enable an organization to reliably achieve objectives, address uncertainty and act with integrity.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

GRC Platforms

Managing GRC is a significant task, but there are GRC platforms out there to help you thrive. This type of software provides tools to help you govern risk and compliance effectively. GRC softwares vary in their features and range from risk compliance software suitable for midsize businesses to fully equipped enterprise GRC solutions. 

What are GRC tools? In case you were wondering, they are simply anything designed to help manage risk and meet compliance requirements. Use GRC tools to gauge and track risk, create and coordinate policies and controls, monitor and enforce, and align with your internal compliance requirements.

Not all GRC platforms are created equal. How does a company go about choosing the platform best suited to them?

  1. Establish your GRC goals

Choosing a GRC program isn’t too different than implementing any other IT system. Consider the size of your company, your greatest pain points, budget, complexity of deployment and any other specific requirements you have. Look out for a GRC platform that centralizes functions, processes, and workflows for optimum consistency, visibility and communication between departments. Common goals include time saving, eliminating dual labor, cost effectiveness and meeting compliance requirements. Are you concerned primarily with internal risk management or do you want to meet a specific compliance or certification? Are you preparing for audits? Do you need to comply with multiple frameworks? Keep your goals in mind.

  1. Integrate with your existing GRC

Look for a platform that can be easily integrated into your current environment and can work alongside existing infrastructure. No-code deployment will make the transition smoother and onboarding should be simple and efficient. A grc tool is an investment. Look out for companies offering demos and free trials so you can test if it suits your needs.

  1. Compare Features

Keeping up with the complexity and nuance of an ever changing business environment is a challenge of its own. In order to manage all the moving parts of GRC, ensure you have the best GRC tools at your disposal. 

Features to look out for include:

  • Risk Registers
  • Robust Risk Monitoring and Analytics
  • Actionable and Insightful Remediation Steps
  • Control Mapping Functionality
  • Compatibility with relevant Laws, Standards and Regulations
  • Pre-loaded frameworks
  • Scanning Capabilities
  • Quantification and Benchmarking
  • Relevant High-Level and Detailed Reports
  • Maximum Visibility
  • Multi-Tenancy and Collaboration Options
  • Ability to Scale up with your company
  • Ease of Use, Intuitive Interface
  • Real-time alerts and updates

In short, comprehensive assessment and management capabilities. Remember to look forward and try to anticipate your future needs. Go for an agile GRC platform that is constantly evolving and improving, with plenty of options to grow with you.

  1. Choose automation

GRC needs to be a continuous process, the consequences are too great to stay stagnant or fall behind. Legacy solutions just don’t cut it anymore. In order to continuously keep up, look for automation capabilities. 

Automation increases productivity, saving time and resources and reducing errors. Automated processes to look out for include: 

  • control mapping 
  • automated remediation actions 
  • automatically generated reports
  • an automated risk register 
  • Real-time alerts and updates. 

These are just a few of the automated features leading GRC platforms will provide. A next-generation GRC assessment tool should simplify the process and provide tangible benefits to your company.   

If your company is looking for the GRC platform that includes all these features and more, you’re looking for Centraleyes.

As the world’s most advanced cloud-based integrated GRC platform, Centraleyes provides cutting edge next-generation GRC tools that leverage powerful automation, managed via a centralized dashboard. Take your company’s risk and compliance management to the next level using the Centraleyes platform, for tangible results across your organization. 
Book a demo today to see what a next-generation GRC platform looks like.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days