What is GRC?

LogicGate | June 8, 2022

Managing risk isn’t a new idea, but the need for risk management has never been more critical. For example, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, which doesn’t include irreparable damage to your company’s reputation among consumers and peers.

Even without experiencing a headline-worthy data breach, remaining compliant with frameworks and regulations can carry a hefty price tag. At least, that’s how it seems, but the cost of non-compliance is 2.71 times higher than the cost of compliance. 

So, how can you proactively govern your organization to manage risks and achieve compliance? Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it all out from scratch — an existing body of work and robust software solutions are already here to help. 

It’s called GRC — governance, risk, and compliance — and it’s a holistic methodology that informs how your organization stays in front of hazards facing your business and prevents the steep fines that come with non-compliance. 

It’s time to do a deep dive into the definition of GRC, how GRC platforms benefit your business, and how to pick the right GRC solution to drive those benefits. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this important practice. 

What is GRC?

Let’s kick things off by discussing each letter, but remember, GRC is a unified concept. Each letter relates to the others. Each letter stands for:

  • G for Governance: Governance is a company's collective processes, policies, and rules to dictate corporate behavior and its management. Ideally, governance proactively mitigates risks and assures compliance rather than reacting to risks or audit results.
  • R for Risk Management: Risk management is the ability to efficiently mitigate risks that would otherwise damage the organization’s finances, reputation, or ability to operate. It’s perhaps the most significant area for improvement, as evident by 87% of executives aiming to improve their ability to manage cybersecurity risks. 
  • C for Compliance: Compliance refers to an organization’s ability to meet all regulatory compliance guidelines. Common examples of regulatory policies include HIPAA, EHS, and GDPR. 

You can see how these areas overlap quite often. For example, executives might institute a new policy (governance) that aims to decrease cyberattacks (risk management), and the policy helps satisfy the requirements of legal regulations (compliance). 

The frequent overlap between the three sections is why many enterprises treat them as a unified practice rather than three separate concepts. As a result, GRC platforms have become increasingly in demand; they help manage risk and compliance while informing governance. 

Meaningful Benefits of GRC Solutions

A great GRC platform will become an invaluable asset that informs policies, provides real-time insights about risks, and helps organizations stay updated with ever-changing regulations. Although you should be aware that not every piece of GRC software is worth your time, we’ll discuss how to identify quality solutions more in the next section.

However, a quality GRC solution can help dramatically improve your organization’s ability to make meaningful policies that mitigate risks and stay on top of regulatory requirements. So let’s explore some of the meaningful benefits of a great GRC platform.

Impactful Communication with Leadership

A powerful GRC platform allows various departments to communicate meaningfully. For example, the legal department can highlight the need for new policies to satisfy a regulatory update. Management can then refer to the platform for the in-depth details necessary to craft a new policy or process.

Business leadership needs only the most pertinent information to inform new processes and policies. Flooding the C-suite with a dozen cybersecurity KPIs can dilute the matters that actually need attention. Even the most tech-savvy executives won’t make meaningful use of tech-heavy reports about cybersecurity gaps.

Yet, executives have more complex and nuanced dialogues with security and risk management leaders. They know risk management is more critical than ever, but the board must be presented with reports that matter to guide these conversations. A quality risk management platform, like Risk Cloud, will empower security leaders to communicate effectively with upper management.

Build Trust Between Business Leaders and Technology Leaders

Business leaders and technology leaders ultimately have the company’s best interest in mind, but they may have different goals. Having different goals can often cause friction due to viewing goals as separate and at odds with each other rather than intertwined.

Technology leaders often care about:

  • Protecting data
  • Oversight regarding security and risk mitigation
  • Automating time-consuming processes

Meanwhile, business leaders often care about:

  • Long-term growth
  • Increasing revenue and shareholder profits
  • Defining accountability for risks and compliance issues

How can you bridge the gap between business and technology goals? A GRC platform creates a collaborative vantage point of the entire organization instead of focusing on a narrow silo. As a result, technology and business leaders can see the real-time status of KPIs and reports that impact the entire organization.

Then, when these leaders communicate and collaborate, they’ll have a well-rounded idea about the impacts of specific policies, technologies, or processes beyond their departments. 

Replace Manual Processes with Automation

A holistic GRC platform is rich with opportunities for automation. For example, employees throughout the company can use the platform to gather data quickly, automate reports, or view regulatory updates. 

Don’t waste your employees' time with manual data collection and reporting. Instead, free up their time to focus on higher-level tasks with a more meaningful effect.

Additionally, regulations seem to change daily. For example, ISO published 1,627 new standards in 2020 alone — that’s four and a half standards every day. While they might not apply to your business, many of them will, and it’s a massive time-sink to make employees continually re-visit compliance documents.

Finding the Right GRC Solution for Your Organization

Are you excited to reap all of the above benefits for your business? You’ll need the right GRC solution — not every piece of software with “GRC” in its description is worth your time and money. 

So, how can you find the right one? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when evaluating a given solution:

  • How will the solution improve business decision-making? GRC needs to provide meaningful tools, reporting, and insights to drive decision-making. Robust reporting capabilities will allow employees and executives to create reports quickly. Additionally, if the platform still creates information silos, that won’t help with business decisions. 
  • Is the technology truly holistic or a point solution? Point solutions can be helpful in some situations, but GRC is not one of them. A quality GRC solution is holistic — it addresses the needs of every letter in the acronym. 
  • Will the platform integrate with your tech stack? You already have other platforms and technologies throughout your organization, and your GRC solution should seamlessly integrate with the ones that matter. For example, your intrusion detection system should feed into the GRC platform. Ideally, the GRC platform is more of a sandbox than a concrete structure.

Take the time to fully explore a few options before picking one. Let the above questions be your guide, in addition to viewing a demo, understanding all its features, and discussing it with various stakeholders.

Our Robust GRC Risk Solutions Enables Data-Driven Decisions

Your organization needs a holistic platform that helps risk managers, technical teams, and executives make insightful decisions that improve risk mitigation and compliance. Lacking applicable information can result in failing to discover a compliance gap until an audit or not seeing a risk until a malicious actor exploits it. 

LogicGate’s Risk Cloud gives you full visibility into your GRC program, so you can make data-driven decisions where it matters most. 

Are you ready to transform your GRC standing? Schedule a demo today, talk to our GRC experts, and discover how Risk Cloud can transform your business.

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