Bringing GRC Federation into IT Security

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The value of GRC federation into IT and security.

Over time, a GRC program can bring in shared services and centers of excellence to support common processes for policies, training, issues reporting and management across multiple federated business units in a way that delivers efficiencies and promotes cost savings through economies of scale. This ensures the continuity, agility and resiliency of common processes, and also supports training, collaborative learning, and a culture of continuous improvement.

Most importantly, managing resources in a coordinated way drives increased quality and provides the foundation for organizational transformation. For most organizations, it takes a series of small successes to create the groundswell of support needed to demonstrate that GRC initiatives must serve as part of an integrated program that relies on structure, teamwork and strategic investment. A strong GRC program comes together only once the right foundation has been put in place.

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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