The primary objective of any organisation is to be productive while reducing risks associated with its line of business. To do that, they develop a set of principles that govern their way of doing business as well as controls to manage deviations from such principles. Risk management is one of such principles that allows organisations to identify potential risks they face and develop measures to address them. Security risks and compliance services play a pivotal role in assisting organisations at this juncture. 

Governance, risk and compliance (GRC) is an approach that many organisations use to develop business principles and measures to manage them. For instance, the banking sector, encountering significant risks, uses GRC to guide them to achieve their objectives. They leverage security risk and compliance services to address risks and uncertainty and maintain regulatory compliance.

GRC consists of three pillars: Governance, which involves ensuring that an organisation’s internal policies are adhered to by every employee; Risk, which is the identification of potential risks an organisation faces and development of mitigating measures; and Compliance, a process of ensuring the organisation is compliance with all necessary legal and regulatory requirements.

Implementing a GRC program effectively

There are five steps involved in successfully implementing a GRC program:

Review the existing GRC framework

Every organisation has a GRC program of some sort that allows them to manage policies and address business challenges. The first step in implementing a new GRC program is to revisit your existing framework to identify what needs to be maintained or changed. It would mean redefining what governance, risk and compliance mean to your organisation. It would also mean revisiting and clearly understanding your business objectives, policies and challenges. These steps will help you adopt an effective GRC solution and sought after the right risk and compliance services.

Select a GRC solution

The next step will involve selecting an ideal GRC solution to help you realise your objectives while minimising business challenges. The GRC market is huge and there are tons of GRC tools and platforms out there. Different feature sets, price tags and interoperability capabilities mean organisations should choose carefully. There are two primary types of GRC programs, on-premise and cloud-based. The latter offers more benefits and is most popular these days. Some of the key capabilities that make Tata Communications security risk and compliance services the ultimate solution for organisations include cybersecurity maturity assessment, compliance audits and gap assessment, data privacy assessment, vulnerability assessment and penetration testing, phishing simulation services, red teaming services, digital exposure monitoring and many more.

GRC Project Planning

This step involves mapping out a clear GRC implementation plan. Typically, this stage consists of a project manager appointed by a GRC provider you picked. The manager will visit your organisation to learn more about your business processes, needs and challenges. It would involve conducting a risk assessment of your businesses to identify areas that need protection. S/he then develops a detailed implementation report that includes selected GRC products and a project team with clear roles and responsibilities. GRC project planning also involves conducting a formal audit to ensure that your organisation is compliant with legal and regulatory standards such as ISO.

Implement a GRC program

Once a detailed project plan is complete, the next and most significant step in implementing the project. A GRC framework includes three components – governance, risk and compliance and each interacts with various elements of your organisation. Implementation can be carried out in phases or crash form. The former involves implementing GRC components one at a time. Crash implementation involves implementing GRC project components and related resources all at once. GRC implementation also involves organising and conducting training programs for employees and management on GRC policies and activities. Tata Communications security risk and compliance services are tailored to suit your specific business needs and are backed by the robust capabilities of identifying and plugging the security gaps for enhancing brand reputation.

Monitor and improve GRC program

GRC implementation is not a one-time activity; it is a continuous process. After deploying the new GRC program, the organisation must conduct a regular assessment. Monitoring is key to implementing new improvements and perfecting the program. In addition, regular monitoring ensures that your GRC program remains relevant and effective in the face of ever-changing business needs, challenges and regulatory requirements.

Challenges associated with the implementation of a GRC program

As many organisations in the banking sector incur huge costs for non-compliance and security incidences, there are concerns that current GRC programs simply do not work. As regulatory standards and the volume of security incidences continue to mount, organisations are looking for a robust GRC program to manage their compliance and security policies properly. While organisations face tons of challenges with current GRC programs, we have highlighted just a few.

Lack of Robust GRC framework

The lack of a comprehensive GRC framework is becoming a challenge for many organisations in the banking sector. The disintegration between different elements or departments within an organisation is the leading cause of the lack of a robust GRC program. Whereas different departments have different goals and objectives, there should be a closer alignment between their policies and processes for the GRC program to be effective. This also extends to the data collected and used by these departments –there should be centralization of data to deploy a robust GRC framework.

Regulatory Demands

Governments worldwide continue to seek control over organisational practices through strictly legal and regulatory standards. And regulatory penalties for violations are on the rise. While many organisations in the banking sector have internal risk and compliance groups, it is important to note that regulatory requirements place sole responsibility of compliance on the organisation. That means if a department of an organisation violates a regulatory requirement, the whole organisation is deemed non-compliant.

3 Functions enabled by a GRC program

The three main functions of GRC are corporate governance, compliance management and risk management.

Corporate Governance

Governance is one of the components of GRC and of any risk & compliance services, for that matter. More than just a system of rules, governance ensures that all activities in an organisation are aligned so that they support the organisation's overall goals and objectives. Governance normally consists of decision-makers in an organisation. Audit management is one of the main application areas of GRC in governance. Organisations can use GRC platforms to document and monitor their audit processes, such as planning and assessment. They simplify the entire auditing process by streamlining related audit activities. Organisations can also use GRC programs to manage their policy life cycle. They help to document and track policy creation, implementation and review.

Compliance Management

Risk and compliance services in banking involve aligning an organisation’s practices with the laws and regulations that govern them. These standards could be legal requirements such as privacy laws, industry standards such as ISO, or internal compliance requirements such as bylaws that govern the handling of private information. Violation of compliance regulations can lead to enormous financial and/or reputational damage. GRC framework encourages organisations to regularly audit their activities to ensure compliance with internal and external regulations.

Risk Management

Risk is another component of GRC. Any activity that can result in undesired implications in any aspect of an organisation presents a risk. Some risks are internal, such as failure to adhere to bylaws governing the managing of private information, while others are external such as cyber-attacks. Nonetheless, one of the functions enabled by GRC is the management of risks. GRC sets out processes that help organisations identify, analyse and respond appropriately to potential risks.

The future of GRC

The banking sector is constantly evolving. Emerging technologies present new business opportunities, security threats and compliance challenges. For instance, cloud computing and IoT will allow organisations to collect and process data faster and efficiently. But they will also lead to an increase in volume and sophistication of security threats. Furthermore, new technologies will attract new laws and regulations, resulting in compliance challenges. Therefore, there is a need to develop and leverage more comprehensive security risk and compliance programs that must be regularly updated to keep up with the pace of technological and business changes.

One of the specific steps that can be taken right now to help GRC cope with these changes includes strengthening GRC incidence detection tools. Such an approach will enable GRC to deal with emerging security threats. Another measure to help GRC cope is to centralise data to improve customer response.

GRC: A better way to manage risk and compliance

An integrated approach to GRC is better for managing compliance and risks. Schedule a consultation with us at Tata Communications today and hear more about our risk & compliance services that are tailor-made to suit your business needs.

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