Chief information security officers (CISOs) wear many hats within their organizations, and those hats just seem to keep piling on.

For example, “organizational risk leader” is one of three new roles ascribed to CISOs in a 2020 survey, along with “business leader” and “evangelist for the security program.” The same survey lists risk management as one of the top skills necessary for cybersecurity leadership.

Clearly, the CISO’s role now goes far beyond IT-specific tasks such as choosing the right security incident and event management (SIEM) or virus protection solution. As enterprises digitize their business processes, the CISO is increasingly responsible for keeping the entire operation safe and secure.

That’s not an easy task; it requires strong leadership in every sense of the word. It’s also bringing about yet another hat the CISO might find on his or her head: governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) champion.

The New CISO: GRC Expert

The new CISO needs to be able to work with people across multiple business units, breaking down silos of activity to ensure that decisions around cybersecurity benefit the enterprise as a whole, rather than just the IT department. Plus, those “security-aware” processes should improve business performance rather than slow it down.

A number of regulatory and industry-standard frameworks can help orient management processes to include considerations of risk, and improve compliance management, as well. Because the CISO must also ensure the enterprise’s compliance with important cybersecurity laws and standards.

A good GRC program—one that uses GRC technology rather than spreadsheets—can go a long way to keeping your business and its IT environment (including all your data) safe. GRC software solutions such as ZenGRC make the complex task of cybersecurity much easier, as they:

  • streamline tasks;
  • measure and monitor compliance;
  • collect audit-trail evidence; and 
  • stop non-compliance before it starts, among other features.

A CISO can gain from having a good GRC program and GRC software in many ways, including these five benefits:

  1. An enterprise-wide view of assets and security challenges. A holistic view of the enterprise is essential to effective enterprise risk management. A GRC program connects with all your hardware, software, data, and other IT assets, to give you a complete inventory. It also provides data from vulnerability scans, configurations, SIEM activity and alerts, threat intelligence feeds, and more; all to provide a complete map of your systems and networks—essential for IT resilience, as well as meeting compliance requirements.

    ZenGRC’s integration connector, ZenConnect, provides all of that insight and extends the software’s coverage to encompass all your business applications too. User-friendly dashboards display your risk indicators, so you can quickly see where your vulnerabilities lie, how to strengthen them, and the status of each assigned task.
  2. Streamlined business processes. A good GRC solution helps to streamline business processes, even automating much of the work of risk management. ZenGRC automatically collects and organizes data, generates third-party vendor surveys and compiles results, tracks workflows, ensures that you aren’t duplicating efforts, and keeps all your documentation in a readily available repository that serves as a “single source of truth.” With risk and compliance data readily available in a central location, reporting suddenly becomes much easier.
  3. More effective compliance. The best GRC solutions contain the requirements of your regulatory and industry-standard frameworks and reveal where your control gaps are and how to fill them. ZenGRC incorporates more than a dozen critical security frameworks, checking and cross-checking your control environment to help you avoid reinventing the proverbial wheel with each new framework you implement.  
  4. Lower costs. Compliance via spreadsheet is a time-consuming, labor-intensive (read: expensive) job, and one fraught with the potential for error. A quality GRC tool can reduce the costs of your GRC initiatives by automating many of your GRC tasks, which reduces the need for staff. ZenGRC’s unlimited, “self-audit with one click” not only helps you avoid costly non-compliance fines and fees; it helps you to be ready at audit time, saving the costs of a lengthy audit.
  5. Fewer data breaches. ZenGRC shows in one glance where your control gaps are and how to close them, improving your compliance with security frameworks including those from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), Systems and Organization Controls for Service Organizations (SOC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and more. Meeting the requirements of these often-stringent regulations and standards helps keep your enterprise safe and hack-free.

For worry-free risk and compliance management, CISOs at some of the world’s leading organizations rely on ZenGRC. Why not contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help you too?