These days, regulators and auditors are inspecting risk management, regulatory mandates, cybersecurity, vendor management and other areas like never before. With so many organizations across various industries having to pay massive fines for non-compliance, it’s become obvious that manually performing governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) activities isn’t only risky — it just doesn’t work.

3 Pitfalls of Manual GRC

Manual programs built on spreadsheets present a number of problems, including:

  1. Human Error

    Whenever you receive evidence for various functions, you — or someone on your team — has to open up the spreadsheet and enter the data manually. And as we all know, it’s very easy to make a mistake. In fact, various studies show nearly 90% of spreadsheets contain human-generated errors. People aren’t perfect, which means neither is the data in your manually updated spreadsheet.

  2. Compilation Nightmares

    Integrating and compiling information from a mountain of documents, spreadsheets and emails takes time. A lot of time. Asking your highly-skilled infosec professionals to spend the majority of their time cutting, pasting and manipulating data for reports is not the most efficient approach, especially when such tedious tasks could be automated.

  3. Opaque View of Risk and Compliance

    Offline spreadsheets don’t offer access models for multiple users, so you can’t track who, what or when changes occur. Online options offer “tracked changes” but don’t provide a summary view of activity. Data silos are common. Control mapping is haphazard. And critical compliance information can go missing altogether when an employee leaves the organization.

6 Benefits of an Automated GRC Tool

  1. Resource Management Efficiency

    A GRC tool automates evidence collection, so your team can focus on the high-level activities that add value to your business. No more hunting down evidence via email. No more tracking down files in a shared Drive. You can harness the expertise and manpower of your team to the maximum degree possible.

  2. Data Accuracy and Relevancy

    Old data. Incomplete data. Inaccurate data. An automated GRC tool can eliminate all three problems, so you can deliver real-time business intelligence to the boardroom and accurate reports to regulatory agencies.

  3. Accountability in Evidence Collection

    Using a GRC tool makes collaboration easy, enabling your team to share, connect and collect critical compliance and risk data across the organization through a single system. Moreover, a GRC tool can automate requests for evidence—and reminders should team members forget to respond to such requests. The result? Greater accountability across your organization.

  4. Single Source of Truth

    GRC tools provide a centralized dashboard enabling you to continuously document your control effectiveness, as well as create an audit trail by documenting remediation activities to support your responses to auditor questions. You can map controls to multiple frameworks, thereby improving efficiencies. And get a high-level overview of the cost effectiveness of your GRC program; degree of compliance for each program; and status of compliance with new frameworks.

  5. Regulatory Compliance

    An automated GRC tool can relieve your team from the tedious task of researching the requirements for each regulatory framework. For example, the Reciprocity® ZenGRC® platform comes preloaded with the documentation necessary to stay compliant with the regulations relevant to your industry, such as HIPAA for healthcare organizations. This can prove especially helpful when potential clients request or require certifications like SOC2 or ISO in order to do business with them.

    Another benefit of automated GRC tools? They provide you with a set of controls already mapped out to key frameworks, making it easy to start a comprehensive GRC program — or switch from spreadsheets.

  6. Risk Forecasting

    If you use a risk-analysis tool with your automated GRC platform, for example Reciprocity Risk Intellect with ZenGRC, then you can map compliance control assessments to cyber risks, revealing opportunities to reduce risk.

Streamline and Scale Your Program with Reciprocity ZenGRC

ZenGRC offers these six benefits of an automated GRC tool and more, enabling your team to track, manage, visualize and report on everything related to governance, risk and compliance within your organization. It is a single pane of glass into your GRC program. It is a safety net for your enterprise. And it can enable you to scale your program as your company grows.

How to Make the Business Case for a GRC Tool

Manual tools, such as spreadsheets, don’t work for GRC programs, and in fact, are often more of a problem than a solution. The good news is, there are GRC tools available today that can future-proof your compliance and risk management programs.

While the benefits of an automated GRC tool are clear from the above points, you may be wondering how to make a business case for one in your organization.

Check out our recent webinar for expert analysis on how an automated GRC tool can take your program (and organization) to the next level: Real-World Perils of Manual GRC and What to Do Instead.

The Experts Guide to Evaluating GRC Tools