Understanding GRC, its importance, and its implementation

Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) became a crucial concept when organizations recognized the importance and advantages of coordinating the personnel, procedures, and technological tools used to manage governance, risk, and compliance. Better coordination is necessary for organizations to function ethically and accomplish goals by reducing inefficiencies, misunderstandings, and other risks associated with a siloed approach to governance, risk, and compliance. A comprehensive GRC strategy improvises the interdependencies among corporate governance policies, enterprise risk management programs, and company compliance.

Organizations are required to follow some standards and compliances to ensure static growth and safety. GRC strategies ensure ethical governance within the organization, enhance the process for identifying, categorizing, assessing, and enacting strategies to minimize risks that would hinder its operations and control risks that enhance operations, and improves the level of adherence to the standards, regulations, and best practices, mandated by the business and relevant governing bodies and laws. Corporate compliance refers to a set of policies and practices that a business has in place to ensure that the business itself and its employees are conducting business in a morally and legally responsible way.

An effective GRC strategy helps organizations in several ways:

  • increased governance effectiveness at all levels of leadership
  • increased visibility into risks, threats, and reduced costs
  • ongoing compliance with required standards and regulations
  • protection against unfavorable internal audits, financial penalties, and litigation
  • reduction in risk across the entire organization, including business risks, financial risks, operational risks, and security risks

GRC software and tools

GRC software helps manage GRC-related strategy and implementation in a methodical, structured manner. It bundles the core GRC management applications into a single and integrated package. Administrators can monitor and enforce policies using a single framework rather than multiple siloed applications. Successful installations help organizations control risk, lower the costs associated with multiple installations, and ease manager complexity.

An effective GRC software includes tools for risk assessment and identifying connections between operations, internal controls, and business processes. The single, multipoint, and enterprise-wide software that the company currently uses can be integrated with GRC software to help identify the procedures and instruments that are used to manage those risks.

In addition, GRC platforms offer operational risk management, IT risk management, policy management, audit management, third-party risk management, issue tracking, and document management.

The right way to implement GRC

Implementing GRC software generally involves complex installations that require vendor negotiation and data coordination between the technical team of the vendor and numerous internal organizational departments, including business, IT, security, compliance, and auditing.

Integration of data and other pertinent information from internal departments and outside organizations into useful GRC information, as well as ensuring that all GRC system users are properly trained to reap the most advantages from the software.

The corporate culture may perhaps need to adjust due to the new GRC system’s collaborative nature. GRC software requires routine testing to make sure internal departments are utilizing it properly. GRC software must be considered in technology disaster recovery plans to guarantee that it will continue to operate in any disruptive event.

 Key benefits of GRC

Administrators can identify an organization’s risk exposure, track progress toward quarterly goals, and quickly put together an information audit with the aid of GRC dashboards and data analytics tools once they are in place. Good governance is viewed as an objectively quantifiable commodity, which is defined as efficient, moral management of a business at the executive level. Risk management and data retention are transformed into measurable metrics, GRC software compares current activities to standards and regulations and identifies areas for improvement, and compliance with standards and regulations can be further ensured. Finance managers are tasked with ensuring regulatory compliance, it aids the needs of a variety of stakeholders, including the administrators who recognize and manage risk. GRC software helps to configure reports and analytics along with enhanced cross-functional communication. It offers automated workflows by tracking obligations, helping flag compliance gaps, and automating action support.

 Establishing an appropriate methodology and structure

As organizations try to manage increasingly complex compliance and regulation, businesses are rapidly moving towards GRC solutions. Organizations need a holistic and integrated view of risk now more than ever to make better strategic decisions. Even though GRC technology holds promise as a response to these modern demands, implementation is usually a drawn-out process for organizations. Organizations need to understand GRC objectives and implement them through comprehensive strategies and effective tools. To reap the benefits of GRC integration, organizations need to consider a strategy that includes solid policies and processes for GRC and a flexible architecture that supports and enhances the GRC efforts. There are many solutions available in the market to meet the needs of GRC, like risk management (logging, analysis, and management), document management, audit management, reporting, analytics, etc. 

Technology is a great way to reduce the “compliance” overhead that comes with gathering and managing data without overburdening employees who should be focused on creating value instead.  But just having a tool isn’t enough to make sure the successful implementation of GRC. Ethics are something that only people have. So, GRC must be looked at from the point of view of people and processes before technology.

Cyware adopted the newly launched Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) standard version 2.0

Cyware has announced the adoption of the newly launched Traffic Light Protocol (TLP) standard version 2.0 to strengthen threat intelligence sharing capabilities within and between organizations worldwide.

The TLP standard is an essential system that aids organizations all over the world in sharing sensitive information with the necessary disclosure rules, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Team (FIRST) for the cybersecurity industry has updated it. In 2015, FIRST spearheaded efforts to harmonize and standardize the TLP to encourage greater sharing of threat information across industries, and Cyware has become one of the early adopters of the new standard.

Anuj Goel, CEO of Cyware commented, “The initiative to elevate threat intelligence sharing capabilities while keeping pace with the latest industry standards puts Cyware in a leading position with regards to adoption of the TLP 2.0 standard. In addition to providing large enterprises, MSSPs/MDRs, information-sharing communities (ISACs/ISAOs), and national CERTs with state-of-the-art threat intelligence-sharing, low-code security automation, and threat response solutions, Cyware has now taken one more step to enable organizations across the spectrum to modernize their information sharing initiatives to foster cybersecurity collaboration.”

Cyware Situational Awareness Platform (CSAP) helps businesses and information-sharing communities (ISACs/ISAOs) to precisely regulate the dissemination of sensitive threat intelligence, vulnerability, and malware advisories. Industry-leading ISACs and ISAOs from the healthcare, retail, energy, space, aviation, automotive, and other sectors use the platform extensively to share threat intelligence with their members and amongst themselves using the ISAC-to-ISAC sharing capability provided by Cyware.

TLP: WHITE has changed to TLP: CLEAR under the new TLP 2.0 standard, while a new TLP: AMBER+STRICT label has been added to highlight information that is only accessible within the recipient’s organization. There are four labels and a sub-label in the TLP standard. This comprises:

  • No restrictions on disclosure; TLP: CLEAR.
  • Limited disclosure to the community; TLP: GREEN.
  • TLP: AMBER – Need-to-know basis restricted disclosure both inside the company and with clients.
  • TLP: AMBER+STRICT – Limited disclosure within the organization only to those with a need-to-know basis.
  • TLP: RED – Only one recipient may receive disclosure.

Chris Taylor, Director of ME-ISAC stated, “Since the ME-ISAC transitioned to Cyware’s threat intelligence sharing solutions for all of our alert distribution and indicator sharing, we have seen a huge increase in member engagement. The increased efficiency in writing and distributing alerts has enabled our analysts to spend more time focused on analysis instead of the tedium of alert authoring, and the incredible granularity in distribution options with the new TLP 2.0 support has enabled the distribution of alerts to be more focused so that our members receive just the alerts that are the most meaningful to them.”

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Drata introduced Drata Risk Management

Drata introduced Drata Risk Management, to enable customers to manage end-to-end risk programs by constantly monitoring, identifying, assessing, and treating risks. Following the recent launch of Drata’s Trust Center, Risk Management is now integrated into the company’s current platform to provide a more comprehensive view of developing and maintaining a healthy security posture. 

Adam Markowitz, Co-Founder, and CEO of Drata stated, “Drata aims to be the trust layer between our customers and those they do business with, and we know compliance automation is just one critical piece of that equation. Launching Risk Management and integrating it into our platform is one of the many steps we’re taking to address the maturing needs of customers advancing in their compliance journey.” 

Companies of all sizes and industries face a plethora of risks that can have long-term consequences for their security, reputation, and financial well-being, but monitoring risks frequently results in the management of cumbersome data sheets or siloed tools. With the majority of business executives unsure how or when their organization will be impacted by a cybersecurity incident, Drata’s Risk Management solution gives customers who already have a mature risk and compliance program a centralized view of all potential risks, allowing them to make strategic decisions across the organization and resolve issues quickly. 

The comprehensive Risk Management solution includes a risk register that creates and maintains a risk register to identify and analyze risks, proactively monitor, and manage risks, recognize evolving patterns, and more, as well as a library of more than 150 pre-mapped threat-based risks based on established sources such as NIST SP 800-30, ISO 27005, and HIPAA guidelines. 

Continuous automated monitoring to evaluate and proactively notify customers about the effectiveness of their controls to mitigate new or evolving risks. The Drata Control Framework (DCF) comes pre-mapped to Drata’s threat-based risk library as well as the requirements of multiple security and privacy standards and regulations for integrated risk and compliance. 

Tonya Thepthongsay, Director of Risk and Compliance at Rialtic commented, “Drata’s Risk Management module adds enormous value to our risk management program. Automating the relationship of risks to controls and tests in Drata gives us near real-time visibility to changes in our risk environment. The ability to assign risk owners and automate the follow up process elevates risk visibility and accountability throughout the business.” 

Forescout and Allied Telesis Collaborated to Reduce Risk

Forescout and Allied Telesis have announced a collaboration in which Allied Telesis’ Vista Manager Ex network management solution will be integrated with Forescout’s Continuum Platform. Customers can now leverage Forescout’s unrivaled device discovery capabilities to improve the security and manageability of their enterprise networks.

The integration of Vista Manager and Forescout provides complete network topology and endpoint device information. Vista Manager uses graphic visualization to quickly identify the connected network segment from the devices in the dashboard map. The map updates with any status change to ensure that the information is always up to date. The dashboard provides easy access to device discovery, visualization, monitoring, and traffic analysis features.

Digital resources, BYOD policies, and third-party devices, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), security cameras, and IP phones, all necessitate wired and wireless access on corporate networks. Prior to today’s explosion in the number and variety of devices in use, remote management was made possible by installing software agents on the devices themselves. Organizations must devise methods for collecting, visualizing, and controlling network assets while not overburdening operational staff to successfully manage this complex environment.

Allied Telesis’ Vista Manager is a graphical network dashboard that simplifies the management of enterprise wired, wireless, and wide-area networks. Originally designed as a graphical interface for the company’s network automation tool, Autonomous Management Framework (AMF), the latest update elevates Vista Manager to a true vendor-agnostic management solution.

Rahul Gupta, Chief Technology Officer at Allied Telesis commented, “We’re delighted to launch an integration with an industry leader like Forescout. Their agentless device discovery and automated security features are second-to-none, and together with our Vista Manager network dashboard, we have a powerful solution for enterprises that is very easy to use.”

The Forescout integration with Vista Manager provides simple plug-in style integration for easy Forescout Continuum installation. Forescout’s agentless discovery technology detects network devices automatically. Discovered devices are added to the network topology and labeled with meaningful icons so that they can be easily identified and controlled.

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Fusion Announced New Functionalities for Incident Response

Fusion announced the expansion of its Dynamic Response capability as well as the launch of Fusion Intelligent Incident Manager to deliver agile and interactive resilience. Fusion Risk Management Inc. is a leading provider of operational resilience, risk management, and business continuity software and services. The new Intelligent Incident Manager is a purpose-built solution that allows businesses to identify the full scope of an incident and impacted assets or known outages.

Cory Cowgill, Chief Technology Officer at Fusion Risk Management stated, “The past two years have proven that organizations must remain agile and adaptable as disruptions continue to impact business as usual. Static response plans are no longer sufficient for businesses that need to operate in a layered threat landscape. Data-driven recovery strategies and response plays are increasingly critical. We are excited to offer our global customers these new agile capabilities to help businesses navigate chaos but also thrive during times of disruption.”

The enhanced Dynamic Response features build on already-existing capabilities to drive data-driven response plans that are customized for any business concern. Instead of using static plans to respond promptly when a disruption occurs, the new functionality makes use of dynamic response strategies. Response strategies are dynamic runbooks compiled in real-time based on a unified picture of business operations and the current operating environment. Through flexible diagnostic and remediation procedures that can be flexibly combined into plays based on what the situation commands, organizations will be able to reduce time spent on response planning.

Fusion’s Intelligent Incident Manager uses insights from scenarios and live response outcomes to inform greater agility in times of crisis. The functionality provides a centralized location for resolving critical incidents more quickly. With frictionless activation, organizations can focus on precision of response, more accurately forecast incident resolution time, and provide real-time updates to customers, partners, and internal teams.

Fusion’s new functionalities enable organizations to quickly understand the full impact of disruption and engage teams, critical partners, and response automation in response and recovery efforts by providing a dynamic approach to incident response. Organizations now could safeguard critical services and products by resolving incidents more quickly and preventing future occurrences.

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ISACA Risk Starter Kit Offers Risk Management

ISACA has launched a Risk Starter Kit that includes a plethora of tools and templates to help with risk assessment, risk appetite, risk maturity assessment, risk policy creation, and other related tasks. Risk management is critical to minimizing disruption and ensuring business continuity in the face of challenges, as businesses have learned all too well in recent years. To assist businesses in developing their own customized risk management program ISACA will offer tailored risk management templates and policies.

Paul Phillips, Director of Event Content Development and Risk Professional Practice Lead at ISACA commented, “Risk professionals know that a strong risk management program requires a coordinated spectrum of activities that are integrated into the business and involve support and buy-in from across all levels of the enterprise. It takes time and reflection for enterprises to perform risk management functions and having a trusted foundation from which to design these risk activities adds significant value. These tools will help enterprises meet their unique goals and needs within their industry and region.”

The Risk Starter Kit is developed by a group of global risk experts and includes guidance and templates that provide enterprises with a solid foundation for developing their own customized risk management tasks tailored to their specific needs. Instead of creating each tool to perform standard risk management tasks on their own, enterprises can save time by downloading the components and editing and customizing them based on their own needs and key risk management functions. ISACA members can get the Risk Starter Kit for free. ISACA also provides risk resources such as the Risk IT Framework and the Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification.

The offered resources include a Risk appetite statement, a Template for risk assessment, Risk reporting, and Risk governance tools, such as an IT risk management policy and a risk committee charter, Risk maturity analysis, Job descriptions for IT risk management, Template for risk scenarios, the risk and control library, and Register of Risks.

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Akamai introduced Linode Managed Database for Developers

Akamai Linode Managed Database simplifies database deployment by assisting developers in reducing risk, improving efficiency, and reducing the complexity associated with manually managing production database clusters. Akamai Technologies introduced its database service powered by Linode that supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, and MongoDB.

Will Charnock, Senior Director of Engineering at Akamai stated, “Every web application needs a database. Being able to automate aspects of database management is critical for applications that need to be scalable, highly performant, and resilient. Linode Managed Database continues the important work, which began with Linode Kubernetes Engine – our managed Kubernetes service – of supporting developers, businesses, and partners by managing the day-to-day tasks of mission-critical components of their applications, allowing them to focus more on innovation and less on daily infrastructure management. With the click of a button, developers can have a fully managed database deployed and ready to be populated.”

Databases are the most crucial facet of any application but managing them manually is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.  Akamai Linode Managed Database service can allocate common deployment and maintenance tasks to Linode and select highly available configurations to ensure that database performance and uptime are never compromised. As a result, deploying applications requires less hands-on management expertise and has a lower risk of downtime when compared to manual management.

Linode customers have frequently sought the need for managed databases. Following the acquisition of Linode in March of this year, Akamai’s first product launch in its compute line of business is the Linode Managed Database service, reinforcing its mission to develop the world’s most powerful and distributed compute platform from the cloud to the edge.

Akamai will initially offer Linode Managed Database for MySQL in all of Linode’s 11 global data centers, with PostgreSQL, Redis, and MongoDB support coming in the second quarter of 2022. Customers can take advantage of features such as flat-rate costing, security and recovery measures, flexible deployment options, and high availability cluster options with each supported managed database.

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BreachBits Launches BreachRisk

BreachBits Launches BreachRisk, a New Cyber Risk Scoring Standard

BreachBits BreachRisk will enable corporations, managers, insurers, and others to assess the likelihood of a data breach regularly, as well as communicate and quantify their risk reduction using a simplified cyber risk score. BreachBits launched BreachRisk as a standard for understanding, measuring, and communicating cyber risk. It is built by the veterans of US military cyber warfare and is based on the same methods used by hackers.

John Lundgren, BreachBits CEO and Co-Founder stated, “Our goal is to help organizations confront the rising tide of ransomware and other cyber-attacks that are increasing every year. To accomplish that, you need more than strong defenses and advanced cybersecurity technology. You need to include more stakeholders in the effort. With BreachRisk, we’ve taken the complicated processes that hackers use and translated that into a cyber risk score. Now everyone from the server room to the boardroom can better manage risk knowing where hackers will break-in.”

The BreachRisk score employs a 10-point scale to communicate the relative risk of a cyber breach while avoiding technical detail. The context, such as level of rigor, fidelity achieved, and risk range, is factored into the score. BreachRisk report provides the next level of insight into that score, allowing you to understand and influence it. The cyber risk scoring standard is simple to grasp and enables the organization to safely share its risk summary with trusted funders, cyber insurance providers, holding companies, or new partners.

J. Foster Davis, COO and Co-Founder of BreachBits commented, “BreachRisk helps you understand the risk of other companies, not just your own. Whether you’re trying to estimate risk for cyber insurance rates or conducting due diligence before a key acquisition, you can easily compare an organization’s risk over time or even compare companies to make smarter business decisions.”

The BreachRisk scoring technology relies on dynamic and strategic risk management principles, used by organizations ranging from the Pentagon to Wall Street. BreachRisk also acknowledges threats with active attack methods that go beyond the National Vulnerability Database and integrates the Common Vulnerability Scoring System standard to characterize all threats in a coherent and compatible manner. The resulting cyber risk score and report provide businesses with the most realistic and understandable breakdown of cyber risks, enabling leaders to make more efficient decisions.

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Vicarius Launched Nmap Scan Analysis

Vicarius Launched Nmap Scan Analysis to Identify High-risk Assets

Vicarius Nmap Scan Analysis is the most versatile tool for port scanning, network discovery, and security auditing. Nmap helps security and IT professionals determine which hosts are available, what services they offer, what operating systems are in use, and what software versions are installed on each host. Vicarius is offering Nmap Scan Analysis services for free to help security professionals, IT administrators, and pen-testers who use Nmap with vulnerability assessment, prioritization, and remediation.

Michael Assraf, CEO of Vicarius stated, “We’ve long believed in the value of open-source projects and the community that supports them. This is an exciting way for us to give back and contribute to the Nmap legacy. With our integrated analysis, we are putting more resources and sound decision making in the hands of system and network administrators and leading the way for democratizing security tools.”

Nmap is praised by network administrators for its pace, flexibility, and performance. The scan results can be difficult to interpret, particularly as the network’s scope grows. Vicarius hopes to enhance what is already one of the most valued resources in the security community by providing comprehensive data visualization.

Users can import an XML file of a Nmap scan result directly into the Vicarius TOPIA dashboard using Nmap Scan Analysis. Following the completion of the analysis, users are presented with a comprehensive and visually coherent interpretation of their results, which includes open ports, services, operating systems, and detected CVEs. The tool is available for free on the company’s website.

Vicarius has made its Nmap scripts available to the public via its Github repository. Vicarius engineers will push code updates and new features directly to the open-source project, ensuring that enhancements are always available. Nmap users can expect improved precision, dynamically updated CVE content, and daily CVE updates. The company has also set up a Research Center, which offers free and unlimited access to the world’s CVE database, as well as information on vulnerable apps and operating systems.

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Integrated Risk Management – Buying Guide

An integrated strategy, enabled by an IRM solution, merges various components into a single system focused on business results. Through the simplicity, automation, and integration of strategic, operational, and technical risk management procedures and data, Integrated Risk Management as a solution enables transparency. IRM incorporates some of the use cases that previous governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) systems have attempted to tackle. In the digital age, integrated risk management enables specialized tasks and allows to work with agility. Integrated risk management is becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Some factors like digital transformation, and cybersecurity compliance and risk transformation are driving the growth.

Strategy is about developing and implementing a framework to support governance and risk management.

Assessment – Risk identification, analysis, and prioritization are all part of the assessment process.

Response – Identification and implementation of risk-mitigation strategies.

Reporting– Providing the best methods for tracking and informing about a company’s risk responses.

Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) Measurement

Keep track of Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) and report on how each risk affects the business in terms of money, probability, and the capacity to operate quickly.

Digital Risk Management (DRM) 

Digital risk management is possibly the most important part of an integrated risk management program considering organizations’ dependency on technology, but it is also the least defined. New technologies have offered new options for cybercriminals and raised cyber risk for businesses. IRM solution vendors must provide proper digital risk management. To support a DRM strategy unique to your organization, your staff should be able to mix frameworks, standards, and customize controls. In addition, IRM should incorporate the most recent frameworks and versions onto the platform so that staff can start supplementing their DRM approach right away.

Audit Management

Internal auditors are the organization’s defence against risks. Organizations are experiencing audit exhaustion as regional and sector guidelines, auditors within IT grow. Auditors must use a system that strengthens their team by removing manual work and providing creative features to supplement their skills. Based on the determined methodology, the IRM solution should be capable of supporting remedial processes by tracking activities and assigning tasks such as audits and risk assessment. It should provide options to assign resources like staff and time to certain processes. In order to prepare a report for the audit committee, IRM solution must be able to combine the findings. A more robust IRM solution will provide downloadable reports and visualizations options to auditing teams.

Policy Development And Management

One of the key drivers that shape organizational security standards is compliance policies. So, an IRM solution must help with policy formulation and management. The option to explicitly map policies and controls to compliance requirements, in particular, guarantees that the company satisfies its security obligations. The IRM platform should enable the generation and maintenance of the organization’s policies from start to end, including the development, control, authorization and modification workflow required to manage policies throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Risk Identification, Prioritization, Tracking, Quantification and Mitigation

Risk managers are certain that they will be able to respond to hazards quickly and accurately with IRM, giving them pride in their work and the potential to exhibit their expertise with remarkable accuracy. Risk managers may credibly communicate to executive teams about the state of the organization’s cybersecurity program in relation to the most significant and important threats. IRM is a solution that enables teams to quickly modify risk management actions and priorities while also coordinating those processes with management objectives and overall corporate goals. When looking for risk quantification in an IRM platform should offer multiple risk quantification approaches with qualitative analysis.

Cost and Support

IRM costs vary based on the size, capability, compliance standards supported, quantitative and qualitative risk analysis techniques incorporated, and automation. It’s crucial to remember that an IRM solution must integrate with other solutions. The cost and frequency of software updates must be addressed. Does the vendor provide staff with training? Costs and degrees of service assistance differ. It’s valuable to evaluate the level of support provided by a specific vendor. In any event, complete technical support is an add-on that could significantly raise costs.