As we start to see the full impact of insufficient cybersecurity, it has become increasingly evident that traditional ways of managing cyber risk and information security compliance in the Digital Era are not enough. Siloed and legacy governance, risk and compliance (GRC) solutions cannot meet the rigorous demands of today’s market.
To improve resilience and achieve long term objectives, organizations require a holistic view of risk and compliance across all business units as well as the supply chain. Traditional GRC fails to offer this view, which is why many leading companies are turning to integrated risk management (IRM).
By 2021, Gartner projects that 50 percent of enterprise risk management strategies within large organizations will involve an IRM solution, and that the market will reach $8 billion annually.
IRM puts risk at the forefront of the cybersecurity program and while not easy, there are some clear benefits to this approach:
- Better visibility of risks: Given that all of the data is stored in one place, IRM offers better accuracy and greater visibility of risk and compliance status. This means that risks can be easily identified, addressed, tracked and reviewed – reducing the likelihood of adverse outcomes and improving decision making.
- Improved efficiency and cost savings: Traditional GRCs tend to be quite modular and therefore require individual customization. This makes it difficult to make sense of the information as it is often spread across different platforms in different forms. It is therefore difficult to update and maintain. IRM platforms on the other hand, fully integrate the different data sets needed to truly understand risk – with access permissions restricting the activity to designated individuals only. In addition, they are designed to scale.
- Enhanced accuracy: Again, due to the centralization, IRM tools can offer a higher degree of automation. When configured appropriately, it recognises the complex relationships between the data sets (for example: risks and controls, or vulnerabilities and incidents) – not only does this save a substantial amount of time (where there’s a skills shortage) but it also reduces the likelihood of human-error.
- Effective reporting: IRM solutions provide actionable risk-based insights and streamline the reporting process. It takes minutes to pull meaningful reports – unlike traditional GRCs which can take days.
By adopting IRM, organizations can deliver efficient and actionable risk mitigation strategies that align with business objectives. More importantly, it puts focus on the unique set of risks faced by the organization – something that a compliance-based approach does not.
All of the above increases the security and resilience of an organization but it is only possible if the organization embrace a risk-aware culture – unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. Often, there is a better chance of success when business leaders lead by example and embed risk into the core of their strategies. This is why, when communicating cyber risk information, we must communicate clearly and often.