Many of the primary standard and regulations overseeing information security require you to identify, assess, and control risks which is why finding a risk management information system (RMIS) to assist with the process can ease your burdens. Although traditionally positioned as a tool enabling better insurance communications, automating risk management eases the audit process as well.

Using RMIS To Support Risk Management

What Does It Mean to Manage Risk?

Managing risk means being proactive about your data environment. You need to be able to catalog your information assets, review the threats against them, find ways to control the risks, establish risk mitigation procedures, and ensure appropriate policies document your process.

Cataloging your risk requires you to look at all information storage locations (physical and electronic) and then review access to them. Reviewing threats includes external ones like hackers as well as internal ones such as weak passwords. Controlling risks requires you to find ways to lock down your information environment whether using a firewall or establishing role-based authorizations for access. Mitigating risks means thinking about ways in which you can lessen the impact of a potentianl event, such as by ensuring ongoing monitoring. Your policies, therefore, document all of the decisions you make regarding your risk management.

What Is an RMIS?

Your RMIS is a computer information system that enables risk evaluation. It allows you to document your information assets, controls, mitigation procedures, and compliance requirements in a single location. Although originally used for gathering information to provide to insurance brokers, many IT professionals now use these systems to help assemble necessary data to perform audits as well.

Effectively consolidating the risk information and being able to automate communications between stakeholders means that your risk manager and IT department can more efficiently work together. An RMIS allows organizations to determine their risk to establish controls that allow them to mitigate risk. As cyber insurance becomes more important, organizations need to provide the best data available to help their cyber insurers set premiums.

What Are the Primary Functions of an RMIS?

One of the most difficult aspects of information security involves coordinating information between departments to incorporate all safety measures. Your risk management information system allows you to move away from spreadsheets and word documents that make compliance bulky.

Storing Documents

Providing information means gathering it first. When applying for cyber insurance, you need to be able to provide your policies, controls, risk evaluations, and risk mitigation strategies. Housing this information in a single location streamlines the process. Similarly, if your auditor is looking for the same information, an RMIS provides double the benefits since the system allows you to aggregate information for both processes.

Automating Workflows

A primary benefit of an RMIS is that it automates workflows and clarifies employee responsibilities. Automating task management allows risk managers to assign duties and track their status without the hassle of emails. By organizing the duties inherent in cyber risk management and, similarly, audit task management, your risk and audit managers can create cross-functional teams that streamline the process. For example, both your risk and audit managers need access to your overall cyber risk information. Rather than sending separate emails to your IT department coordinator, all three members of the organization can connect and share information through the system.

Real-time Analytics

In the cyber environment, risk changes constantly. Hackers find new exploits every say. The speed with which your risks can change requires something that allows you instant insights as well as instant mitigation response techniques. Using an RMIS allows you to continuously evaluate risks so that your data environment remains protected.

Streamlining Reporting

Most CISOs recognize that providing easy-to-digest risk exposure reports for their senior management partners and Boards of Directors is a pain point. When using the appropriate RMIS tool for your organization, you can lessen your reporting burden. For example, rather than generating IT reports whose data needs to be manually entered into a spreadsheet that allows you to create an easy-to-digest chart, an RMIS tool can automate that process. These reports enable your c-suite and Board to engage in the required oversight.

How Can an RMIS Enable a Risk Management Plan?

Your IT risk management plan requires your organization to estimate the impact of threats to your environment. A primary difficulty in establishing an appropriate organizational risk management plan arises from the variety of vendors, departments, and controls needed to maintain system security.

Moreover, within the information security realm, you face continuously evolving risks and updates. For example, your organization’s compliance practices intend to mitigate risks to your environment. However, within your compliance program, you may be looking at multiple standards and regulations. If you’re an online retailer, you need to be Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant. Meanwhile, if you are also a vendor, you may need to provide your customers with SOC 1, SOC 2, or SOC 3 reports. Compliance with both requires a risk evaluation, yet their standards for determining risk are different.

Your risk management plan needs to be flexible to meet any compliance requirements for your organization. Additionally, since both of these compliance requirements impact your insurance coverage, your cyber insurer needs the most updated and comprehensive data to help protect you. Therefore, using an RMIS streamlines multiple business operations across your organization.

How ZenGRC Acts As Your RMIS

Additionally, ZenGRC’s risk assessment tools allow you to incorporate vendor management into your business risk management process more rapidly. Our Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)aligned questionnaires, and task reminders enable faster risk documentation tracking.

With our role-based authorization capabilities, you can provide all employees access to the information they need to enact your risk based corporate strategies. Empowering employees with the required information allows them to maintain the corporate culture you set and reinforces the environment management defined.

A primary component required for establishing an ERM is Board oversight and informed review. However, your Board of Directors does not want overly detailed reports. Creating annual presentations is time-consuming. ZenGRC’s reporting tools provide easy-to-digest reports with graphics that clearly explain your risk profile. These reports give your Board the information they need while saving you creation time.

This ease of communication applies to work with your internal auditor as well. Auditors need documentation to prove that implementation matches policy. When they spend time on the administrative information gathering tasks, audits take longer and information may end up incomplete. ZenGRC provides a single source of truth by aggregating all records, reports, policies, procedures, and control listing in one place. Streamlining the audit process not only saves time and money but also leads to stronger audit outcomes.

To learn more about how ZenGRC can help your company establish an enterprise risk management program effectively aligned to business objectives, schedule a demo.