Bringing GRC Federation into IT Security

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Leveraging security team risk assessments based on likelihood, impact, and other factors such as threat source, motivation, skill level and access – targeting sensitive and critical technology and information assets.

IT and security teams also rely on monitoring technologies that aggregate, correlate, and analyze information from a wide variety of systems across the infrastructure, network and application layers. They are proactively monitoring, and reactively assessing evidence that indicates instances of non-compliance, anomalous behavior, or potential attacks or breaches.

This level of granularity supports the development of a near-real-time picture of potential exposure, which is absolutely necessary for IT and security teams to do their job of protecting information assets. The results of both periodic and continuous risk assessments provide a deeper and richer color to operational risk, business continuity and audit, and demonstrate just how federation, when rolled into an enterprise view, can provide more accuracy and context around the size, scope and scale of risks to a business process.

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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