GRC and Cybersecurity: An Integrated Approach For Your Organization

GRC and Cybersecurity - an integrated approach

When dealing with cybersecurity, GRC is frequently considered the least exciting part of business security. However, Governance, Risk, and Compliance can’t be ignored, and this article will explain why.

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Table of Contents

  1. How GRC and cybersecurity work together
  2. Why should you care about cybersecurity
  3. Understanding the principles of GRC
  4. The crucial role of GRC in cybersecurity
  5. The role of GRC in cybersecurity – technical benefits
  6. GRC and Cybersecurity: Why do you need an integrated approach?
  7. Empowering cybersecurity through GRC – methodology

How GRC and Cybersecurity Work Together

While cybersecurity aims to protect systems, networks, devices, and data, GRC is the tool that will help your entire organization understand and communicate how to do it.

What does it mean?

GRC tools like StandardFusion can help you specify and implement the best practices and governance to ensure everyone is aware of the risks associated with their actions. Moreover, how these actions can affect your business security, compliance, and overall success.

In simple terms, GRC is the medium for creating awareness about cybersecurity’s best practices to minimize risks and achieve business goals.

Why Should You Care About Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity helps you protect sensitive company data, personal and health information, intellectual property, and other systems from cyber-attacks and threats. However, this task has become increasingly challenging over the past few years.

Why is that?

Well, these are some of the main reasons:

  • The ever-increasing global connectivity
  • New hybrid work models
  • The popularization of cloud services, and 
  • The evolution of technology, among others

Although all of these are great for business, they introduce new risks and challenges.

Here’s what happens:

Cybersecurity has always been a crucial part of organizations. However, in today’s interconnected landscape, your organization can’t live without it — at least in the long term.

Image explaining that without cybersecurity your company becomes an easy target for cybercriminals

The Principles of GRC

Governance, Risk, and Compliance is a business strategy for driving a company’s governance, enterprise risk management, and regulatory compliance.

From a cybersecurity perspective, GRC is a structured strategy to align IT with your business goals while effectively managing risks and meeting regulatory needs.

In this matter, you must follow the best practices and procedures to achieve business objectives and maximize your company’s bottom line.

This is why GRC exists…

To mitigate any risk to productivity and your company’s value by developing standards, policies, and regulations.

In addition to this, GRC helps you increase trust in your organization. This elevation in credibility comes from improved efficiencies, communication, employees’ confidence to share information, and enhanced business results.

That’s not all.

GRC provides companies with the tools to create a culture of value, where everyone is educated and empowered to make decisions that protect the company’s value and reputation.

The Role of GRC in Cybersecurity

You need to align people, systems, and technologies with your business goals to have a reliable and effective cybersecurity program. This means everyone needs to understand and take the proper steps when performing their tasks – it’s all about awareness and understanding.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance is the best tool to develop an integrated approach that focuses on accomplishing objectives while handling risks and acting with integrity.

GRC is critical because it supports cybersecurity with vital business activities, such as:

  • Helping with the implementation of data manipulation procedures
  • Meeting industry and government regulations
  • Assigns functions and duties to business units and users, enhancing communication
  • Standardizing the best practices for teams to act with integrity and security
  • Unifies vocabulary across departments and teams
  • Supporting internal audits and encouraging continuous control monitoring.
  • Assisting with risk mitigation internally and externally
Image of a GRC software being used to create cybersecurity standards in your organization

In addition, GRC provides you with a framework to integrate security and privacy with your company’s overall objectives.

Why is this important?

Because it helps you to make informed decisions about data security issues quickly while still mitigating the risk of compromising privacy.

The Benefits GRC Offers Cybersecurity

The following are some of the essential benefits you need to aware of:

Third-party vendor selection: Organizations can use a third-party scorecard to collect basic details about vendors. This information may include: Financials, corporate reputation, network security, history of breaches, location, and more. A strong GRC model would support IT and security teams in selecting and vetting potential third-party vendors. Furthermore, GRC will support the creation of vendor assessments and mitigation strategies.

Risk mitigation: IT uses GRC to understand the scope of cybersecurity and record the strengths and limitations of the existing security program. Also, GRC allows organizations to outline and act on different threats, potential damages, mitigation strategies, and risk treatments.

Regulatory compliance: GRC is essential to regularly track compliance as new regulations evolve worldwide. Moreover, it helps your security teams be aware of changes quickly, providing time to plan and respond. GRC will help you produce and manage the policies, regulations, and standards to meet the constantly-updated business and industry regulations.

Data privacy: GRC enables you to stay on top of privacy regulations. But how? by allowing your IT team to ensure that the proper protection, logging, geographic storage, etc., are in place to safeguard customers’ and employees’ data.

Visibility: GRC’s integrated approach allows you to gain visibility into every aspect of your security compliance programs. This is crucial as it enables different units, managers, and personnel to see the big picture. In addition, it helps you make data-driven and informed decisions.

In summary:

A well-planned GRC program enables you to:

  • Promote collaboration
  • Build a robust culture
  • Protect the company’s value and reputation
  • Improves integration
  • Collect and keep high-quality information
  • Improve decision-making processes
  • Increase accountability
  • Increase efficiency and agility
  • Provide visibility
  • Reduces costs by supporting suitable investments

Why Do You Need an Integrated Approach?

Integrating GRC and cybersecurity is critical for your organization if you want to build a long-term, successful security strategy. Aside from speedy communication, balanced metrics, teamwork, and improved decision-making, the integration of GRC and cybersecurity gives you the following advantages.

First, an integrated approach minimizes manual input and the possibility of human error, decreasing costs and giving you more time to produce more value for your business.

Secondly, a powerful integration allows the board to clearly and comprehensively visualize the company’s security posture. Therefore, by understanding the cross-functional posture, directors can elaborate better security stories to convey trust to customers and empower employees.

To sum up:

Cybersecurity and GRC work hand in hand towards a lower-risk future and value creation — they can’t live without each other. While cybersecurity seeks to protect systems, networks, and data, GRC communicates the best approach to achieve so.

For instance, with an integrated approach, you will:

  • Enhance security posture
  • Set the tone for the entire company
  • Increase efficiencies
  • Tell better security stories
  • Improve visibility across the board
  • Get more support from the leadership
  • Avoid compliance/regulatory fines

Empowering Cybersecurity – Methodology

The OCEG has developed this Capability Model as an open-source methodology that combines the sub-disciplines of governance, risk, audit, compliance, ethics/culture, and IT into a cooperative approach.

However, you can manipulate this standard to address specific situations, from short projects to organization-wide rollouts. Some examples are:

  • Business continuity
  • Anti-corruption projects
  • Third-party management

The model is vital to articulating conversations about GRC capabilities with senior executives and managers. Also, you might use this GRC Capability Model with more specific functional frameworks, such as: ISO, COSO, ISACA, IIA, NIST, and others.

The GRC Capability Model enables your organization to document best practices to:

  • Standardize practices for things like policies and training
  • Unify vocabulary across disciplines
  • Define common information requirements
  • Define common components and elements
  • Identify communication for everyone involved.

Now, let’s see how it works.

GRC capability model and cybersecurity
The four parts of the Capability Model

1. Learn

The central idea here is to identify your business culture, stakeholders, and organization’s business procedures to successfully guide your goals, strategy, and objectives.

This is how it would look like:

  • Learning business plans and goals
  • Understanding strategic objectives
  • Being aware of the current and future compliance activities
  • Connecting with the key stakeholders

2. Align

The goal of this step is to unify strategy with objectives and actions, creating an integrated approach with senior leadership involvement and support for the decision-making process.

In simple words, this process needs:

  • Align business objectives with the strategy
  • Align executives with stakeholders’ expectations
  • Align resource allocation planning with objectives

3. Perform

After aligning business goals and objectives, you need to perform. This step defines implementing proper controls and policies, preventing and remediating undesired risks, and monitoring to identify issues as soon as possible.

4. Review

As a final step, it’s imperative to examine the design and operational performance of the existing strategy and actions. Moreover, this step encourages organizations to analyze goals to constantly enhance the integrated GRC activities.

Want a Better Security Management System?

Track compliance to multiple frameworks simultaneously, including HITRUST CSF, GDPR, CCPA and FedRAMP, and manage the entire risk and compliance lifecycle with a single tool.

What is the purpose of this model?

To design and maintain a steady and integral improvement process to achieve optimal performance and create value for your organization.

Get your free consultation with StandardFusion and learn how you can design an integrated GRC program to strengthen your cybersecurity and protect your organization’s value.