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Navigating Governance, Risk and Compliance

As security risks become more complex, businesses of any size and across industries need to have a framework to manage risk and meet compliance regulations. Staying ahead requires oversight and ongoing internal risk assessment. For many small businesses, this function is outsourced to Managed IT Services Providers and it is a Virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) that works with business leaders to optimize their governance and risk management. In this blog post, we will outline governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and explain how a vCIO can support your business in this area. 
What is Governance, Risk and Compliance? 
GRC refers to an organization's strategy to manage corporate governance policies, risk programs and compliance. GRC emerged out of the increasing complexities coordinating people, processes and technologies. The three components of GRC are as follows: 
Governance: the backbone of risk mitigation; it is what keeps organizations aligned with business plans and strategies. 
Risk Management: an organization's process for identifying, categorizing, assessing and enacting strategies to minimize risks. 
Compliance: the level of adherence an organization has to the standards, regulations and best practices mandated by the business and by relevant governing bodies and laws. 

Governance Frameworks 

Governance frameworks are a set of requirements that are established best practices in various areas of business. The objective of assessing GRC for an organization is to determine a strategy to ensure that a business is and stays adherent to each framework. Some of the most common frameworks we work through are: 

  • InfoSec/Cybersecurity: CISv8, NIST 
  • Public accountability: ITGC for Sarbanes-Oxley Bill 198 (USA) or NI52-109 (Canada) 
  • Service Trust: SOC2 or ISO27001 
  • Privacy: PIPEDA (Canada), GDPR (EU), and others based on region 
  • Industry specific: PCI-DSS (Credit), FedRamp (US Government) 

GRC: How a vCIO can Help  

There are many benefits to a GRC program ranging from improving business resilience to maturing security to increasing productivity and minimizing risk. Our vCIOs provide businesses with a strong GRC foundation and ensure its continuously up to date to support your businesses’ evolving needs. Here is a list of some of the most common GRC projects Nucleus takes on: 

  • Define suitable GRC frameworks for a business 
  • Develop and refine policies (access, security, among many others) 
  • Develop a risk register to prioritize and mitigate through controls 
  • Establish controls and evidence collection cycles to provide an overview of where processes and systems are effective, or where change is required 
  • GRC administration: manage evidence collectors and management reporting   
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning  
  • Develop strategic plans to refine IT and reduce risk 
  • Reporting to third Party auditors , such as the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Ontario Securities Commission (Canadian Securities Administrators) 
Our vCIOs understand the complex challenges businesses face. Our team has the in-depth global experience, technical skill and industry knowledge required to ensure your business is and stays compliant. We specialize in industries that demand a level of regulation which exceeds that of other businesses. If your business is struggling with navigating governance and compliance requirements, reach out to us to learn more about our vCIO services. 

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