What is Governance, Risk, and Compliance?

GRC is a structured approach—and a strategy— to manage an organization’s overall governance, enterprise risk management, and meet compliance regulations.

The primary purpose of GRC is to firmly establish sound business practices in everyday life. GRC has grown in stature as risks have become more significant and complex. It spans multiple disciplines, including enterprise risk management, compliance, third-party risk management, and internal audit, and is essential for organizations of any size.

Developing a GRC discipline is especially important for organizations with extensive governance, risk management, and compliance requirements and where programs to meet these requirements often overlap.

The three components of GRC are:

  • Governance: Ensure that organizational activities, such as managing IT operations, are aligned to support the organization’s business goals and objectives.
  • Risk: Confirm that any chance (or opportunity) associated with organizational activities is identified and addressed in a way that supports the organization’s business goals. This means having a comprehensive risk management process that rolls into an organization’s enterprise risk management function.
  • Compliance: Make sure that organizational activities operate to meet the laws and regulations impacting those systems. This means ensuring the system’s data are used correctly and appropriately secured.

Why is GRC important today?

As businesses grow increasingly complex, they need a way to identify and manage critical organizational activities. Also required is the ability to integrate traditional distinct management activities into a discipline that increases the effectiveness of people, business processes, technology, facilities, and other essential business elements. GRC achieves this by breaking down the traditional barriers between business units and requiring them to work collaboratively to achieve the company’s strategic goals.

Drivers for GRC

Regulation is the biggest driver of GRC. Today’s digital age is fueling a risk in regulation that touches all entities, large or small. At the same time, the traditional industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare, and telecoms have borne the brunt of regulation. Nowadays, personally identifiable information has enormous business potential and risk of abuse. The rise in cyber-attacks, which expose personal data, as well as growing awareness by individuals, have shed new light on how companies manage information and technology through people, processes, and culture.

The GRC approach

As has been stated before, GRC is best implemented in a holistic manner that surrounds the entire organization. This does not necessarily mean that an umbrella unit is required for coordination, even though that might work for certain types of entities.

The Capability Model of the GRC is made up of four components:

  • LEARN about the organization’s context, culture, and critical stakeholders to inform objectives, strategy, and actions.
  • ALIGN strategy with objectives and actions by using effective decision-making that addresses values, opportunities, threats, and requirements.
  • PERFORM actions on desirable things, prevent and remediate undesirable items, and detect when something happens as soon as possible.
  • REVIEW the design and operating effectiveness of the strategy and actions and the ongoing objectives to improve the organization.

GRC solutions

To address the needs of GRC, many organizations are turning to technology solutions. These solutions enable the leadership to monitor GRC across the enterprise by ensuring business and technology to the organization’s governance, risk, and compliance requirements. The

Capabilities include the following components:

  • Risk Management (logging, analysis, and management)
  • Document management
  • Audit management
  • Reporting
  • Analytics

However, having a tool alone isn’t enough to guarantee an effective GRC. Technology doesn’t have ethics—people do. Hence, GRC must be addressed from a people and process perspective, even before the technology is considered.

The Ibexlabs Solution

Managing governance, risk, and compliance are one of the organization’s most essential and complex activities. As an AWS Security Competency Partner, Ibexlabs can establish an expert-led GRC program and implement the rollout as follows.

  • First, Ibexlabs will identify the stakeholders who will help develop the GRC strategy and define what GRC will look like within the organization. Once all key stakeholders have been identified, clearly articulate the objectives of the GRC strategy, the success criteria, roles and responsibilities, and critical milestones for success.
  • Second, Ibexlabs will gather information about the organization’s current landscape and all compliance measures that your organization needs to abide by. Ibexlabs will also prioritize the areas to improve each process’s maturity, evaluate the data’s quality, and locate operational gaps.
  • Third, Ibexlabs will onboard the team with a dedicated communicated plan and report consistently to the concerned departments while allowing them to operate independently. The process of building acceptance starts by gathering key leadership positions and ensuring they are aligned with the GRC implementation plan and budget. This will establish a top-down focus for the program.

With these steps complete, Ibexlabs will expand and evolve the program. As we move forward, we will continue to communicate its importance and revise and modify it as the business changes. Once the business begins to see the value and outcomes of the newly implemented GRC program, Ibexlabs will continue to build upon it and communicate its importance across the organization.

Talk to an Ibexlabs’ Cloud Advisor to learn how we can implement Governance, Risk, and Compliance controls to make your business secure and compliant.