The future of Governance, Risk, and Compliance [GRC trends, challenges, and standard updates] 

featured image for the blog the future of governance risk and compliance

Wondering about the future of GRC?

Well, Governance, Risk, and Compliance has seen a remarkable transformation during the past few years, making it the most desirable solution to achieve a perfect balance between security and business goals.

In this article, we’ll uncover the exciting future of GRC, the latest framework updates, and how businesses use GRC to revolutionize their work.

Let’s get started! 

Table of contents

How Has GRC Changed During The Past Years

First, we all know that the digital age has influenced and changed us all; however, with the rise of technology, risks have also increased. Therefore, to adapt to the changing environment, GRC specialists have become creative and started to actively include employees in making more decisions.  

Some key areas where employees are contributing more are:

  • Controls review 
  • Risk mitigations 
  • Policy implementations 

Second, the current digital landscape has been forcing organizations to update their technology to stay efficient, adaptable, and fast in business operations. Some of these tools include: 

Third, Covid-19 changed how we all communicate, operate, and live. As a result, this crisis introduced changes and new ways of running businesses and cyber security.

Some of the most significant changes Covid-19 introduced into organizations are remote work and the rise of cloud services for data storage/sharing. Fortunately, GRC has also evolved and adapted to this new normal.

Finally, the great news is that some aspects of GRC, such as risk management, governance, and cybersecurity, are being inspected more closely, especially after the latest breaches and cyber attacks, bringing more awareness to cybersecurity and the use of GRC tools as management solutions.

How has GRC changes over the past years

The bottom line? 

Governance, Risk, and Compliance is becoming the most efficient strategy to counter ever-growing global threats. The reason is that GRC software integrates every single component of your organization and promotes transparency, efficiency, and accountability in all your business activities. 

Why is GRC Evolving? 

The answer is more straightforward than you might expect. It’s not just about the increase in cyber attacks and data breaches; it’s about the new way the world works.  

Excel sheets and manual work are no longer efficient; They’re a liability for your business. Without the proper systems in place, you’ll face the following issues: 

  • Poor collaboration 
  • Lack of integration 
  • Inaccurate data 
  • Little to no security 
  • Lost of consistency 
  • Compilation challenges and errors 
  • Operation inefficiencies and much more 

So, why is GRC evolving? 

Because cyber threats are evolving, and you need to be more adaptive to innovations and digital transformations. Moreover, your organization needs to improve operational efficiency, build and maintain high-quality data, and increase revenue by reducing operating costs — all these can be achieved with GRC tools. 

As Isaca says, although information security professionals have made the evolution of technology beneficial by simplifying many tasks, it has increased risks too. Governance, Risk, and Compliance has become more complicated due to that.  

Let’s check what the future of Governance, Risk, and Compliance looks like! 

By now, you know GRC has evolved and will definitely keep doing it. However, there are some concepts and areas that you should focus on moving forward. Let’s uncover some of the GRC trends that can help your organization take a proactive approach to transforming risk into a strategic advantage, according to G2.

Governance, risk, and compliance trends

The culture of resiliency and agility to face GRC challenges    

Resiliency is the ability to recover from adverse events, such as breaches or operational disruptions, and get back in the game. Some questions that you should be asking are:

  • How quickly can I recover from an event? 
  • How quickly can I restore processes and operations? 
  • How quickly can I identify a risk event and contain it when it’s still a small event? 

Agility is about looking at the horizon, identifying the possible risk scenarios, and determining how those can impact your organization. Can these scenarios become opportunities for your organization?

What should you expect, then?

There is only one thing you can be sure of; you can’t avoid all risks. However, fostering a culture of resiliency and agility will help your organization be proactive and quick to answer when the challenges come. 

How can GRC help you with Resiliency and Agility? The following are a few examples:

  • GRC tools automate many manual and time-consuming tasks, such as risk assessments and compliance reporting. This will give you more time to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • A centralized GRC platform would enable you to identify, assess, and prioritize risks more effectively. This leads to more informed decision-making and helps you respond to threats with greater speed and agility.
  • GRC tools can help you stay up-to-date with changing regulations and standards by providing real-time information on compliance requirements. This would help you avoid fines or legal penalties and respond quickly to changes in the regulatory environment.
  • A GRC platform provides a unified view of your risk and compliance posture, enabling you and management to make more informed decisions. This helps you respond more quickly and effectively to risks and challenges, increasing your resiliency.

The evolving role of the CIO 

The days of categorizing risks as low, medium, or high are gone. The old way of doing things just wasn’t cutting it for risk management professionals who struggled to align their analyses with real-life business decisions.

For this reason, the CIO’s role has been updated. They’re now taking on greater responsibility for managing risks and business decisions and communicating all necessary details straight to the board.

Third-party risks becoming more critical 

To effectively manage third parties, you must consider three steps:

  1. Consistent reviewing of processes: Carefully reviewing all contracts and enforcing agreements, you can use GRC software to increase efficiency and speed.
  2. Prioritization: You must be able to differentiate and prioritize between vendors. You can develop criteria based on business context and requirements.
  3. Use the information: The previous information will help you to shortlist the best vendor with minimum risk exposure and monitor it during the project. To do this, follow these steps:
  • Rank each third party based on your relationship and essential requirements
  • List each vendor’s data and levels of authorization
  • Create a detailed analysis of the impacts caused by any incidents
  • Use this information to monitor your selected vendor continuously.

Multiple solutions, such as SecurityScorecard and RiskRecon, provide third-party risk evaluation and scoring. Due to increased demand for conducting third-party risk management in GRC, we have integrated these two solutions into our StandardFusion risk management tool.

ESG Regulations ramp-up 

The latest GRC trends show scalation in the conversation about environmental, social, and governance (ESG). Many organizations like BlackRock, Securities and Exchange Commission, and others have voiced their opinion that they would rather follow ESG guidelines. 

It is also an excellent idea to analyze if integrating ESG into your GRC program can give you a greater insight into your risks. 

Hybrid work introducing cyber risks 

Although hybrid work highly increases flexibility, it also elevates the risk rate in your organization. However, since remote work is definitely staying, you must understand how to take advantage of its increased productivity while reducing risks. 

Remote work impacts cyber attacks proportionally as remote employees work on their personal devices and access your network. Nevertheless, some solutions, like implementing multi-factor authentication and efficient employee training, can improve security and eliminate some issues. 

GRC Requirements And Standard Changes For 2023 And Beyond  

The most expected standard update in 2022 was the ISO 27001:2022, which was finally published this past October 25, 2022. Some of the main changes are the controls; here are eleven of them: 

  • threat intelligence  
  • information security for the use of cloud services   
  • ICT readiness for business continuity   
  • physical security monitoring   
  • configuration management   
  • information deletion   
  • data masking  
  • data leakage prevention   
  • monitoring activities  
  • web filtering  
  • secure coding  

Here you can review everything you need to know about the ISO 27001:2022 update.

These are just the tip of the iceberg as more standards (such as PCI DSS and many local standards) are being updated as well to adjust to advancing cyber threats. The evolution of standards will also impact your compliance landscape, and your company has to be flexible to enhance its GRC scope.   

Banner linking to ISO 27001 complete guide

Now, you understand even more about how GRC has changed and will continue to do so; however, there are some important requirements that will ensure you have a strong and efficient security system.

The following are some of them:

Centralized Controls 

Centralized controls will be worthwhile when your executives need an overview of the complete list of controls relevant to the organization. This will also promote consistency and speed up information collection and management.

Support for Future Standards 

As mentioned, the recently updated and ever-changing standards will impact your business. This is why you must ensure you keep your GRC software up to date, not just for the current changes but for future modifications. Check out this case study to learn How Allocadia reduced due diligence process by 90% with StandardFusion.


Automation is one of the most used mechanisms nowadays. Indeed, everything we see is mainly automated, which is why you might get left behind if you don’t have automated GRC operations.  

Automatically linking risk treatment plans to controls and compliance requirements to documentation is essential in 2022 and beyond. 


Your GRC software needs to grow and adapt itself to your organization. Therefore, if you are struggling with limitations in your software, chances are that you need to update it immediately. GRC solutions should offer flexibility to incorporate new updates and improvements in standards.

Cyber Security 

This is an essential component that you need to add to your current systems right away. Furthermore, your GRC software must support your cyber security controls review and secure implementation of GRC processes. 

Key Takeaways 

  • GRC is becoming the best way to align security and business goals while managing risks and meeting all industry regulations. 
  • The digital age gives organizations more opportunities, efficiency, and speed. However, with the rise of technology, risks have also increased.
  • Remote work and cloud services have forced organizations to adapt fast and create better systems to deal with these new risks.
  • GRC is evolving because risks are evolving. Indeed, Excel sheets and manual work are no longer efficient; They’re a liability for your business.
  • Your organization needs to improve operational efficiency, build and maintain high-quality data, and increase revenue by reducing operating costs.
  • Some new trends are: The culture of resiliency and agility to face GRC challenges, the evolving role of the CIO, third-party risks becoming more critical, ESG Regulations ramp-up, and hybrid work introducing cyber risks.
  • The most expected standard update in 2022 was the ISO 27001:2022, which has recently been modified. Check out this in-depth article about the ISO 27001:2022 update.
  • These are some essential requirements that will ensure you have a solid and efficient security system: Centralized Controls, support for Future Standards, automation, scalability, and cyber Security. 

Want better risk management?

See how StandardFusion helps users identify risks, assess them and manage their mitigation efforts, all in a simple, easy to use application that increases visibility and decreases your workload.

Book your free consultation with our team at StandardFusion and discover how our GRC software can give your organization the flexibility to build and scale a customized security platform, automate your systems, and align your security with business goals.