A Pocket Guide to Risk and Compliance Automation

Published On: September 12, 2022|Categories: GRC|

By Scott McCormick, CISO at Reciprocity

 

A Pocket Guide to Risk and Compliance Automation

You don’t have to be an expert to know that risk management and corporate compliance are different things. Risk management refers to events that can result in some unexpected or undesirable consequence, and how your organization keeps those threats at bay. Corporate compliance is about conforming your business operations to various rules or requirements set forth by an oversight body.

That oversight body may be internal, such as your board of directors enforcing standards for a Code of Conduct; or external, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s rules for publishing financial reports or various data protection agencies that set standards for protection of consumers’ personal information.

Despite these differences, risk management and compliance go hand-in-hand. Complying with established regulations can protect your company from many risks, while a robust risk management program can prevent the many problems that may occur due to non-compliance.

Ultimately, you need both risk management and compliance to meet regulatory obligations, manage risk, safeguard assets, and maintain financial stability. And all of this is easier to do with risk and compliance automation.

Automation eliminates the need for time-consuming manual processes to maintain compliance and manage risk. In this pocket guide, we explore this and other benefits of automation.

What is Risk Automation?

Risk automation enables organizations to eliminate manual risk management workflows and manage and mitigate risk programmatically. Automation powered by modern technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) streamlines risk assessment and analysis processes and reduces the effort required for risk reduction.

Click here to learn more about compliance considerations for RPA.

With automated tools instead of old-fashioned spreadsheets, your organization can:

  • Monitor risk continuously to increase business resilience;
  • Strengthen third-party and supply chain risk;
  • Protect data from cybersecurity attacks;
  • Implement and strengthen risk management controls;
  • Stay updated on the risk landscape.

Risk automation simplifies risk communication. It helps to break down information silos, and fosters better alignment across multiple processes and departments. Both are vital to optimize risk management throughout the enterprise.

What Is Compliance Automation?

The regulatory landscape evolves quickly; keeping up with these changes can be difficult. That, in turn, can increase the risk of non-compliance and result in financial losses, lawsuits, fines, and even reputational damage.

Compliance automation helps to minimize this risk. The right automation tools will continually and automatically check your organization’s regulatory compliance posture. They will also track new or updated regulations so you can respond quickly to changes without manual methodologies or burdening the compliance officers or team.

Automation also makes it easier to manage compliance workloads, implement and document internal controls, simplify data collection, and track audit requests. In addition, compliance automation is vital to:

  • Control compliance costs;
  • Improve internal governance;
  • Increase visibility into business processes;
  • Better identify, analyze, manage, and monitor non-compliance risks;
  • Maintain data security and privacy.

Compliance monitoring is also easier with automation. With automated tools, you are more likely to detect potential misbehaviors and risks, and then fix them before they can cause material damage to the organization or its assets, customers, or reputation.

The Benefits of Risk and Compliance Automation

So, why automation for risk and compliance?

For one, automation eliminates manual, administrative work so you can more easily scale your risk and compliance activities as your business grows, and to match evolving regulatory requirements. Automated tools will also monitor the enterprise ecosystem for risks and respond automatically to potential issues, minimizing the probability of loss or disruptions.

A compliance automation program enables effective monitoring of compliance requirements. It also reduces mistakes that are common with human compliance processes.

Automation software provides a complete overview of the organization’s risk and compliance posture. It can also help:

  • Inform what controls are required to minimize risk and ensure asset and data protection;
  • Improve cross-functional collaboration to improve enterprise risk management;
  • Reduce the costs of audits and remediations;
  • Communicate risk information to stakeholders more efficiently;
  • Improve enterprise decision-making.

Best Practices to Implement Risk and Compliance Automation

Keep the following best practices in mind when implementing automation, to assure that your compliance and risk automation program delivers its expected ROI.

Always start with the objectives

Clear objectives for the automation initiatives will help you choose the best technologies, software, and tools for your specific requirements.

Implement an automated risk intelligence system

An enterprise-wide risk intelligence system should consider the organization’s specific risk appetite and tolerance. It should also calculate risk scores and accordingly determine the appropriate risk mitigation actions.

Implement measures and controls

Identify your compliance and risk management requirements to identify the required controls. If some controls are already in place, perform a gap analysis to see where they might be falling short. Then develop a remediation plan.

Select automation tools carefully

The tools you select should support your risk and compliance objectives. Look for an automation solution that will:

  • Automate and monitor risk in your enterprise environment;
  • Support your governance, risk, and compliance strategy;
  • Integrate with other enterprise tools to facilitate seamless collaboration;
  • Provide dashboards and reports to communicate risk and compliance information to stakeholders.

Implement a human risk response center

Tools are crucial for automated risk response. That said, you should also have a human risk and compliance team to mitigate the most critical risk events that automation cannot handle.

Make Compliance Automation Work for You with ZenComply

Automation is the key to mitigating risk quickly and assuring ongoing compliance. With Reciprocity ZenComply, you can do all this and more. This compliance and audit management solution automates task workflows to simplify compliance and risk management.

ZenComply includes expert-built content for more than 20 compliance frameworks, helping you speed up compliance efforts. It also provides prescriptive guidance so you can clarify scoping requirements and implement appropriate controls.

Get real-time reporting to understand the status of your compliance programs and see your current audit status. ZenComply will also help you connect compliance with risk and determine how compliance activities are affecting your risk posture.

Get a free demo of ZenComply and see how the solution can help you achieve compliance and minimize the risks of non-compliance.

 

Scott McCormick,  CISO at Reciprocity

Scott McCormick, brings 20-plus years of security and GRC experience as CISO at  Reciprocity. Prior to Reciprocity, Scott led Security Compliance at HackerOne. He has also held security positions at RSA Security, KEYW Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to his career in the private sector, Scott worked in the U.S. Intelligence Community at the FBI, NSA, and CIA and was a Nuclear Weapons Specialist and a Signals Intelligence/Digital Network Intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Air Force. Scott serves as an advisor to security-focused startups. He also serves on working groups and leadership within the ICANN community.

Reciprocity is proud to support the CyberGuild and its mission in Making the World More Secure.

 

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