Blog | October 6, 2020 | 4 MINS

Rethinking Control Objectives: Emerging Trends to Improve Your GRC Program

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Control management can be an intricate and detailed function of your GRC program. In our previous blog, Combatting GRC Complexity, A Blueprint for Mapping Control Frameworks, we discussed the importance of standardizing control practices to de-duplicate compliance efforts across various frameworks and reporting initiatives. This blog will discuss how organizations are rethinking internal control objectives to further improve GRC across risk domains, teams, and business stakeholders.

We’ll be covering this and more during TrustWeek, our free, online user conference taking place October 12-15. Register today to join the discussion

Outcome-Driven Control Management

Companies can take a proactive, risk-based or outcome-focused approach to managing internal control objectives across frameworks and practices – or control implementations. To do this effectively, you first need to identify the assets and processes the organization needs to operate – according to both functional business requirements and external or regulatory mandates. Another layer to consider here is to focus on the operating requirements necessary to function within your desired or defined risk appetite. This may include additional controls to protect against potential impact if your position is primarily risk averse, or activities to pursue new business growth opportunities within your risk tolerance. Taking this approach to evaluate your internal control objectives based on business outcomes is the first step in shifting from a reactive check-box exercise program to a proactive risk-based GRC program. This methodology helps businesses be strategic in rolling out controls in a “by design” manner, particularly for critical operations around privacy and security requirements.

Organizations can link or map control records to common internal control objectives across related frameworks using this approach. From here, you can be less reactive and optimize your compliance reporting by layering on the control frameworks that use these practices and measuring them by the implementation. For instance, an organization can define its own common or standardized control practices for central security initiatives where certain practices may be shared across frameworks such as ISO, CSA, and NIST.  By linking these records on the backend, risk, security, and audit professionals can easily identify the relationships and measure the effectiveness or test the design of any single control practice across various control or compliance frameworks. This level of visibility across control implementations throughout the business can enhance both the organization of their record-keeping as well as the efficiency of your compliance reporting efforts.

Scaling Practices and Leveraging Technology

Standardization helps decrease complexity across different control frameworks. Furthermore, it also provides a standard set of practices to scale GRC out of your traditional second-line professionals. This expansion level provides better access and communication to your first line of defense and empowers new technology. As risk becomes increasingly interconnected, Artificial Intelligence and advanced automation can read and index databases of control practices and regulatory obligations. The volume and scale of operations today, even for smaller organizations, make this type of oversight nearly impossible for manual efforts. By learning from these sources and your ongoing business practices, systems can identify and help execute and measure control frameworks best, taking over some of the resource-intensive tasks of data maintenance and market analysis.

To learn more, contact our team or request a demo today! For further guidance, our team of GRC professionals will be discussing this and more during TrustWeek, our free, online user conference taking place October 12-15. Register today to join the discussion


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