How To Perform a Successful GRC Gap Analysis

Gap analysis is a starting point for a business to compare its current state of information security against specific industry requirements. It can also determine how and whether to implement a security standard. Many organizations consider conducting a gap analysis to determine what the process of achieving a certain certification involves. Most often, the goal of a gap analysis is to eventually achieve certification or to win a contract that requires a specific certification. A gap analysis will give you a thorough estimate of the monetary cost of the certification process for your business and cut costs by identifying the arrangements and controls that are already in place and specifying a targeted path toward certification.

You can use a digital solution to perform a gap analysis on your own without the services of a certification assessor, but you need to have knowledge of certification standards. Alternatively, a gap analysis can also be conducted by a third-party service like a certification assessor. With an assessor, the assessment will be mainly interview-based. The assessor will also collect documentation to produce a final report. 

How To Perform a Successful GRC Gap Analysis

A Gap Analysis Report Contains:

  • requirements of the desired standard
  • what arrangements are currently in place
  • whether the current controls and configurations can be adapted to the sought standard
  • resources to develop strategies toward certification
  • what controls are needed
  • roughly how much time it will take
  • the approximate cost of certification
  • what impediments there may be

Defining Gap Analysis

Security gap assessment is a procedure that aids businesses in assessing how well their existing level of information security compares to particular standards or requirements. You may determine how far you are from the industry benchmark standards by doing a gap analysis process. Although gap analysis and risk assessment are frequently used interchangeably, they are not the same. 

Comparing Gap Analysis To Risk Assessment

Two of the most crucial procedures that organizations must carry out while implementing a security framework or evaluating their compliance level are gap analyses and risk assessments. Due to their many similarities, organizations frequently mistake the two and apply parts of one process to the other. This causes a waste of resources, and in some cases, may prevent the organization from meeting the criteria of the standard. Following is a concise explanation describing how each procedure functions and how they integrate.

As the more well-known of the two, risk assessment includes an overview of the type and magnitude of an organization’s risk exposure and a comparison of these estimated risks against the enterprise’s risk acceptance criteria. By calculating risk based on threat exposures, vulnerabilities, likelihood, and impact, organizations can implement controls to mitigate or minimize the risk. Every bona fide risk assessment will produce a remediation plan which creates a road map for “fixing” any security flaws identified by the risk assessment.

On the other hand, a gap analysis aims to highlight distinctions and factors between “what currently is” and “what should be” concerning compliance with a framework or standard. It will concentrate on controls or operations, not on risk exposure. Gap analyses alone are typically not appropriate for overall assessments that call for a better comprehension of risk and the use of more advanced GRC assessment tools. 

Gap assessments may offer the mistaken impression that they will be sufficient to manage all anticipated future risk events and trends if employed alone and not as part of an overall risk assessment.

How To Perform a Successful Gap Analysis 

1. Identify a Specific Industry Framework

The first stage in your gap analysis procedure is to select an industrial security framework. This allows you to ascertain your current direction. Industry frameworks provide comparison points for your network systems. For example, an ISO 27001 will guarantee that you cover procedures describing access restrictions in addition to physical security. Go for external consultations to acquire the greatest comparisons of your gap analysis approach. Your security personnel may find it difficult to objectively spot any deviations from your ideal standards because they are used for your current procedures.

2. Assessment of People and Processes

You must examine your team and IT procedures as part of the gap analysis methodology’s next stage. Here, your cybersecurity specialists gather data on things like your IT systems, how applications are used, your security policies, and your personnel. Your security professionals can spot regions that are vulnerable to dangers, and breaches, and lag behind your preferred frameworks by paying close attention to these particulars.

You can find out how safe your network controls are by conducting employee interviews. Understanding if your personnel is appropriately prepared to manage possible breaches like email phishing is necessary for reducing risks and scaling up to industry standards. This second IT security gap analysis aids in determining whether your company has adequate procedures in place to address potential security issues.

3. Data Collection and Analysis

The stage of acquiring data follows. Here, comparison tests of your organization’s security controls are performed. You can assess your technical controls, including network applications, server applications, and security controls, using frameworks like ISO 27001 or the NIST. With the help of this cybersecurity gap analysis stage, you can see how well your security measures will hold up in the event of a breach. It also aids in determining whether your systems have any flaws. It is one of the most important steps in determining the security procedures that are most appropriate for your firm.

4. Gap Analysis

The gap analysis stage comes last. Your cybersecurity controls are consolidated during the gap analysis step, and the results show where your defenses are weak and where they are strong. The result is a gap analysis report with suggestions on how to proceed in areas like staffing requirements, technological evaluations, and the timeline for putting better security measures into place.

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Gap Analysis for ISO 27001

A Statement of Applicability (SOA) summarises your organization’s position on each of the 114 information security controls outlined in Annex A of ISO 27001.

For the 114 security controls in Annex A, a gap analysis is required to show which controls you have already implemented in your ISMS and which controls are still necessary to implement.

A risk assessment should occur before your gap analysis because it is a crucial document for ISO 27001 certification. Without initially identifying the risks you need to control in the first place, you cannot determine the controls you need to implement. After identifying these risks and controls, you can perform a gap analysis to understand what’s missing.

Gap Analysis: Tells you what’s necessary to meet ISO 27001 compliance. does not specify which controls to use to deal with the concerns you have noted.

Risk assessment: Informs you which controls are required. A risk assessment does not specify which controls you already have in place.

When To Do a Gap Analysis for ISO 27001?

How far along you are with deploying your ISMS will determine when you conduct your gap analysis.

  • If you are just starting on your compliance journey, and you know you’ll be missing the majority, if not all, of the controls your risk assessment requires, delaying your gap analysis until later in the implementation of your ISMS may be a good idea.
  • If your implementation is still in its early stages, a timely gap assessment will indicate many gaps but will give you an excellent idea of how much work you still need to do. 
  • If you have a well-established security system in place, you can use a gap analysis to determine its strength. In this case, you may choose to do a gap analysis toward the end of your implementation.

How Can Centraleyes Help?

Centraleyes can be used as a gap analysis tool to discover the missing elements of your security system and identify the key areas of the standard you’re pursuing. Our cutting-edge platform brings all your data into one centralized location making it easier to perform a gap analysis and subsequent planning out of actions that need to be taken.

Centraleyes can also provide the all the other elements of a full risk assessment to be used together with you gap analysis, providing cutting edge reports and easily comprehensible results.

Find out more about how Centraleyes can help you undertake a comprehensive gap analysis.

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

Do you want to learn how Centraleyes helps with GRC Gap Analysis?
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