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Blog > What Are The Elements Of an Effective GRC Program?

What Are The Elements Of an Effective GRC Program?

VComply Editorial Team
October 20, 2022
4 minutes

Do you want to enhance organization efficiency, reduce risks, and enact a unified governance policy? An effective GRC program is the answer.

For any organization to manage its business operations effectively, Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is a core framework that must be followed to manage its business activities, including IT operations that comply with regulatory requirements. The GRC strategy is an essential part of any business or organization. 

Think of GRC as a glue that holds together your business goals and helps you ensure that you comply with your company’s policies and regulations and reduce the risks associated with them. Since GRC offers a structured and scalable framework for managing security, it makes the perfect one-stop shop for all your information security management needs. It is an integrated and structured solution.    

This article discusses the elements of a successful GRC governance program, its obstacles, and how to create one that aligns with the needs of all departments within an organization. 

About governance risk and compliance (GRC) work

GRC stands for governance, risk, and compliance. GRC Risk Compliance refers to how an organization manages GRC governance, risk, and compliance that considers various markets’ legal and regulatory requirements. 

According to the Open Compliance and Ethics Group (OCEG), GRC is an integrated collection of capabilities that facilitate the achievement of objectives reliably, address uncertainty, and ensure that ethical behavior is always adhered to by the organization. 

There is nothing new about GRC management. Governance, risk management, and compliance standards have been a part of organizations for a long time. 

GRC program enables organizations to support their business goals more meaningfully, unlike other risk management systems.

Essential elements of the GRC program

As implied by its name, a GRC security framework comprises three main components: Governance, Risk, and Compliance. Here, one can learn about the leading elements of each category of the GRC program.

Governance Management

This component of GRC relating to how a company is governed applies to all levels of management, from the top executives to those at the lowest levels. This category typically includes the following elements:

Corporate Management: Corporate Management focuses on the organization’s relationship structure and how teams interact to achieve efficient and seamless communication.

Strategy Management: In this facet, each team member is evaluated in terms of their goals and responsibilities. When everyone understands their roles, and there is an alignment of duties and roles with the company’s objectives, efficient governance management is obtained.

Policy Management: Is there a standard policy, process, or procedure that describes the roles and responsibilities of employees? A well-managed policy ensures consistency throughout all operations, which enables everyone to achieve the desired results regularly.

Risk Management

As a part of the GRC program, this component classifies, evaluates, and manages the different risks that the company faces daily. Organizations can save the most money in the long run by prioritizing security approaches that are most likely to be implemented with the least impact. Among its primary components are:

Risk Identification: Are there any risks the company faces every day and is it likely that accidents or attacks will happen? Getting the right answer requires a thorough inventory of processes, assets, and relevant data about these threats.

Risk Assessment: Based on the likelihood and impact of the risk, it and the company’s concerned compliance officer is ranked. In this way, the most significant impacts and probabilities can be addressed. In return for a minimal investment in cybersecurity, firms will see a considerable return on their investment. Know more about the importance of risk mitigation.

Risk Management: To mitigate the risk, the organization must categorize risks based on likelihood. Developing new security procedures or protocols may require acquiring advanced network security solutions, creating awareness programs, or implementing new security policies.

Compliance Management

In GRC, compliance management involves taking appropriate measures to ensure compliance with industry standards. In compliance management, procedures and processes and information security standards are discussed. To avoid financial penalties and censure, preventing non-compliance is one of the main objectives.

Its primary components include:

Internal and External Audits: The primary goal of internal audits is to determine any potential compliance issues within a company. Additionally, external auditors could be presented with objective compliance reports by compliance managers.

Compliance Research: Investing time and effort in researching the different standards in your industry or organization as a part of compliance management is also essential. In addition to the insights offered by external auditors, local authorities and legal counsel are critical to ensuring that the regulations in your area are complied with.

Security Controls and Procedures: Almost every compliance standard specifies what security controls and techniques should be used to ensure compliance. Therefore, identifying and implementing controls is crucial.

Compliance Reporting: Most people miss the point of producing the proper documentation to prove compliance with industry standards. Reporting and documentation requirements are critical components of most compliance standards. If compliance manager fails to comply with these requirements properly, they may face penalties, which may vary from company to company. Even if they follow the suggested guidelines, they still have to ensure that they keep accurate compliance records.

How GRC benefits a company

GRC might seem overly complicated or academic, and a business may be inclined to disregard it. However, it can provide many benefits, including the following:

Any business can reduce data silos with a holistic GRC strategy

Shared data and strategy among your IT, legal, finance and marketing teams can facilitate visibility and cross-functional collaboration within your organization. When data is siloed, it can lead to the incorrect interpretation of the truth and potential risk and create duplication of effort. Shared data makes it easier for leaders to identify dependencies and streamline oversight.

Cost savings are often achieved through effective risk mitigation

It is possible to save your company unnecessary expenditures on compliance issues such as fines and audit costs if you identify risks before or mitigate them once they happen. Your bank account will benefit later if you stay ahead of threats.

Business processes run more smoothly when operational efficiencies are improved

Integrating GRC into your organization contributes to a unified operational strategy. It helps your teams work more efficiently if they have quality improvement, can find information quickly, and follow repeatable processes.

The Challenges of GRC

Despite GRC’s advantages, there are a few hurdles to overcome. A company may face the following challenges:

Manual processes waste time

In the world of artificial intelligence and automation, some GRC processes are manual. When there is a lack of automation, the process can become inefficient, human error can occur, and documentation can be hard to find. Additionally, manual processes limit the organization’s ability to monitor and collect data transparently. 

Lack of direction 

Implementing a robust Governance, Risk, and Compliance program is difficult, and problems often arise when vision and direction are lacking. The success of a GRC solution depends on the leadership of the organization. 

Slow process 

It won’t happen overnight. Investing in GRC technology is worth the effort, but you must be patient and take your time, as you cannot rush the process. In the process of speeding up, an increase in complexity will negatively affect the quality of the implementation.

Inadequate capacity 

Inadequate server capacity can result in failed implementation or significantly reduce a solution’s performance. The number of companies that have attempted to import a new technology only to find that their server capacity is insufficient has been considerable.

Fundamental GRC Program Management Best Practices

To wrap up, let’s look at some general best practices for planning GRC strategies. 

  • Clearly defining the program’s roadmap and accurate funding and resource estimates are essential. 
  • Keeping GRC in mind reminds one that it is a collaborative process involving people, processes, and technology across the entire organization. At every stage of the process, one must work closely with stakeholders. 
  • Establishing a priority list for GRC use cases. 
  • Establishing a compliance manager who will oversee the GRC program. This may require hiring outside talent. 
  • Planned, implemented, and managed processes following established frameworks and guidelines. 

Obtain the most from the GRC program with VComply

To keep up with developing regulations, trends, and compliance requirements, every company needs a GRC program.

Having learned what GRC programs need to follow best practices, a company can start building its own. Next, it must determine which platform is suitable for capturing, quantifying, and analyzing performance data.

In its efforts to solve risk-related problems, VComply stands out. With a keen eye for compliance management challenges and the ability to help clients make risk-informed decisions, VComply provides an integrated risk management platform that is next-generation, cloud-based, and can work with existing and upcoming GRC programs. 

It’s time to say goodbye to old-fashioned programs. 

A firm’s GRC program can be observed in real-time with VComply, thanks to its real-time visibility features.

How can a successful GRC program be developed within an organization? Contact VComply today to schedule a meeting and see how easy it is to manage GRC with VComply.