Blog | February 4, 2021 2 MINS

How to Monitor Compliance Policies

Monitoring compliance policies are key to the success of your GRC strategy and program. Company policies serve as the foundation for informing stakeholders and one of the ultimate references for your audit abilities. Measuring compliance policies can be a disconnected and manual event. Policy owners often have to work with multiple static documentation sources to cross-reference policy language, attestation reports, interviews, and audited evidence of how practices are actually performed in practice. But before you can even get there, you need to understand a simple perspective of what policies are currently in place and what needs to be reviewed?

Download now: Effective Policy Management, A 5-Step Checklist

How do you monitor compliance policies with an integrated policy management solution?

Identifying Where Policies Exist and are Applied

Policy management is often executed across static document management tools. The structure and organization of compliance policies are typically due to program maturity or general resource availability. The challenge here is a lack of clear visibility into what parts of the organization have received and acknowledged policies within these divisions. Businesses need to map where policies and policy versions have been applied and distributed across the business to identify where there may be gaps in coverage. For example, a business may want to review all their policies related to an ISO or other compliance certification. Having a clear understanding of policy distribution is a good place to start with this type of compliance policy of review or audit.

Evaluate the Context and Policy Scope 

Considering the design, companies have to manually review policies individually to understand the unique needs, processes, and specialized business units considered in the guidance? This is a key piece of the initial policy design and ensuring that the policies are validated before rolling out. But over time, businesses evolve, and processes change. Having a dynamic view of performance in practice can help organizations identify policies underperforming in different business areas. One way for ongoing insights into this information is aligning policy content to controls. Creating this live-link between your policy content and risk-related data enables your policy program to act as a proactive measure to mitigate risk in the business. Risk and or policy owners can establish triggers to review policies or specific sections or policies if control is ineffective. This can streamline coordination for stakeholders evaluating if there are knowledge gaps between what guidance is available in the policy documentation and how the business should execute controls in practice.

  • Initiate policy review based on risk insights
  • Identify potential areas where the language is unclear
  • Understand the correlation between policies attested to actual business performance

Download now: Effective Policy Management, A 5-Step Checklist

An Integrated Risk Management Solution to Monitor Compliance Policies

Having an integrated risk management platform or GRC solution can help connect the dots for your team and enhance your ability to monitor compliance policies effectively. With a common infrastructure to map controls and risk across objects such as assets, policies, vendor records, and more, your organization can streamline information gathering, reduce audit lead times, and enhance your policy lifecycle by incorporating dynamic triggers based on business performance.

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