Bringing GRC Federation into IT Security

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Ensuring the taxonomies of risk and compliance remain unique where they need to be, and centralized at the risk and control framework level.

Different business units and functions that support governance, risk, compliance and security have valid and varied approaches to risk management based on what they are trying to achieve and the business process itself. Many processes are quite mature, relatively efficient, based on international standards, and aligned with a well-established and finely tuned framework for decision-making.

Such examples include the processes that govern how new vendors are brought on board and risk-assessed, how credit card data is processed, or a public company’s SOX compliance program. Other processes may be less mature and based on new business or regulatory requirements, such as those around the company entering a new market in China, or launching a new product or service. 

What is federated GRC?

GRC, by definition, involves bringing together governance, risk and compliance disciplines from across an increasingly complex, extended enterprise with deep interlocks to customer and supplier eco-systems. While it’s not realistic to expect organizations to converge on a common set of GRC processes across this complex landscape, there is huge value in taking a federated approach to GRC that leverages the common risk elements from each business unit, IT and security teams, and management of third parties.

Building a federated GRC capability involves understanding the information architecture and processes that are critical to improving business performance, lowering risk exposure, and ensuring compliance with policies and regulations across the entire organization and its vendor communities. It’s important to engage stakeholders from different business units and collaboratively define what needs to be common, versus what can, or must remain federated, but rationalized through a roll-up in the context of the organization as a whole – its strategic objectives, its legal obligations and its risk appetite.

The degree of federation that makes sense will be very tightly tied to the operating model, and will reflect the reporting requirements and decision-making authority that resides within each unit. For example, a highly distributed organization with very distinct businesses may require a broader degree of federation than a global organization that is highly regulated, and therefore requires greater consistency and predictability across the business. Federation requires an understanding of your organization, its natural structure, and its objectives in order to strike the right balance.

Yo Delmar, vice president, MetricStream, has identified steps organizations can take to establish an integrated GRC and security approach using a "federated" model.

 

Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

 
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