A framework for governance, risk and compliance has become one of the leading organizational strategies for information technology departments. What is GRC in IT security? These programs prioritize three areas of operations to manage security risks while improving performance, increasing efficiency, and raising return on investment in IT assets. To ensure security in your operations, find out more about GRC frameworks and how these frameworks can eliminate silos in IT departments and other areas of operations.
The GRC methodology was developed in the early 2000s. The Open Compliance and Ethics Group began using the acronym as early as 2003. The concept was the focus of a peer-reviewed academic paper by OCEG founder Scott Mitchell titled “GRC360: A framework to help organizations drive principled performance,” published in 2007. This organization estimates that adherence to GRC best practices can prevent errors and misconduct that lead to over $1 trillion in losses every year.
Enterprise stakeholders can optimize IT security programs and advance operational objectives by prioritizing GRC functions. The GRC methodology grew out of a recognized need to eliminate siloing, which occurs when the departments or divisions of an operation do not effectively communicate information or share resources. GRC in IT security is an effective strategy that alignsbest practicesfor IT teams and can scale to every aspect of operations.
GRC includes three key functions: governance, risk management and compliance. Discover more about the significance of each function in an IT security context.
Within IT, good governance involves adherence to policies or rules that ensure that business practices enforce the technical priorities or goals of an organization. Governance pertains to management protocols for controlling technological assets or infrastructure and holding personnel accountable for conduct and results. This function also extends to balancing the interests of internal and external stakeholders.
Beyond expectations for balanced resource management and ethical conduct, governance in IT is directly related to the core principle of transparency. GRC increases visibility and reduces siloing by increasing awareness of security practices across organizations. Good governance should inform general technology use policies as well as interpersonal and technical workflows.
Stakeholders in the IT field are uniquely poised to be aware of technological risks. The privacy and security concerns that have long been the provenance of IT departments now extend throughout most enterprises. IT professionals can assess potential hazards and recommend prevention or mitigation measures for entire organizations, in part because GRC eliminates siloes that could otherwise limit awareness to technical personnel.
Practices for managing risk in IT departments should correspond to broader enterprise risk management programs. Stakeholders in every division should strive to address financial, legal and security risks in ways that reinforce the culture and goals of an organization. A shared understanding of GRC can unite the IT, accounting, human resources and legal departments of an enterprise.
The function of compliance is to promote adherence to policies, rules, standards or laws. This aspect of GRC can limit exposure to fines, penalties or legal action associated with violations of industry standards or governmental regulations as well as a wide range of issues that could arise if stakeholders do not comply with internal controls.
The role of GRC in IT security centers around adherence to operational best practices. This is particularly the case with compliance, which involves ensuring that data and systems are secured and used in accordance with relevant regulations. The compliance aspect of the GRC methodology also indicates the importance of integrating external and internal requirements. Whether an enterprise operates under SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA or another framework, a platform that allows for continuous compliance monitoring and ongoing risk management can support this function of a GRC strategy.
The goals for implementing a GRC framework are typically to improve performance and increase efficiency through good governance to raise return on investment while reducing exposure to risks. This strategy can cut excess costs related to expenditures on redundant or underutilized assets. One of the best ways to achieve these goals is to implement and use a platform that establishes baselines and promotes visibility.
As a centralized information security and compliance automation platform, Compyl serves as a powerfulGRC tool. This all-in-one platform is flexible enough to accommodate the priorities of any operation and scale over time. A growing number of enterprises are implementing the GRC framework because this approach can advance the strategic objectives of any organization. It is important to identify measurable key performance indicators when developing a GRC strategy and continue to track these metrics over time.
Several frameworks provide specific guidance for implementing GRC in IT security. The six governing principles of COBIT 2019, which was developed by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, align with GRC priorities. The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations, an independent committee organized by five professional accounting associations, maintains the COSO Enterprise Risk Management Framework. The COSO ERM also aligns with GRC functions.
One of the longest-standing frameworks for IT service management is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL version 4, which was released in 2019, goes beyond IT to provide recommendations for bringing general service management into alignment with GRC priorities. These frameworks can provide structure for the stakeholders of enterprises seeking to develop GRC programs that extend principles of IT security to broader operations.
GRC programs promote the functions of this framework across organizational operations. Answering the question of what is GRC in IT security in the unique context of an enterprise is the first step toward prioritizing good governance, risk management and compliance. Implementing a single platform for end-to-end information security and continuous compliance monitoring is one of the best ways for stakeholders to uphold GRC standards.Request a demoto see how Compyl excels as a GRC tool.