Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) is the strategy for managing the enterprise’s overall governance, risk management, and compliance regulations. It is the structured approach for aligning IT with business objectives. 

Cyber risk quantification (CRQ) is the model to quantify and prioritize mission-critical security initiatives that pose the greatest business impact. 

Once upon a time, these two models didn’t mesh or meld in the same cyber circles, but that is all changing. Cyber risk is on the docket for a majority of executive teams as they plan out their budgets. 

In order to keep pace with the ever-changing marketplace and scale properly, companies need to couple GRC with risk management tactics, like cyber risk quantification for full-scale protection. These tactics create a risk-scoring model and predictive analytics to give CISOs and Security Leaders a deep view into their cybersecurity ecosystem. With these visualizations, the CISO can provide stakeholders with valuable insights on the company’s cybersecurity posture as it relates to growth goals.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance 101

In the IT ecosystem, GRC has three main components: 

  • Governance:  Ensures organizational activities (i.e. managing IT operations) are aligned to support and heighten business goals.
  • Risk:  Deals with ensuring that any risk (or opportunity) related to organizational activities is identified and addressed for the good of the business. An example would be having a comprehensive IT risk management process that feeds into the enterprise’s risk management function. 
  • Compliance: Set up and regulate adherence to frameworks or laws impacting organizational events. For IT this means that IT systems and the data contained in them are used and secured properly.

Why CRQ is the future of GRC

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – the digital landscape is constantly evolving and expanding…exponentially. Not least of all, cybersecurity no longer belongs solely to the IT department. Yet, realistically it also can’t only belong to cybersecurity teams. The future of cybersecurity will address cybersecurity in all areas of the organization. With hybrid cloud environments and a broad range of devices (both personal and organizational), GRC has never been more complicated or necessary. 

But there is another monkey wrench. Cybersecurity is now considered a critical portion of the business budget. Therefore, stakeholders expect it to work efficiently, effectively, and as a means for damage prevention. 

No pressure, right? 

In order to meet these criteria, organizations must create GRC processes that reflect modern-day risk management practices, like risk-scoring and predictive analytics. That’s where cyber risk quantification (CRQ) comes into play.

Justify cybersecurity investments with cyber risk quantification 

As with any investment, stakeholders will ask: how much? why? and what’s the benefit? it poses to the company. At a base level, cyber risk quantification monitors and creates reports with up-to-date company initiatives and customizable visualizations of gaps in coverage. With this report, the CISO or risk managers can provide C-level executives with the most valuable information to justify cybersecurity investments and meet GRC requirements. Now, they will have quantifiable data on which investments should come first and why.

[Read Now] “How to Report Effectively to the Board with Cyber Risk Quantification”

Risk management starts with a solid methodology towards your security posture. Here’s how to get the most out of a cyber risk quantification model:  

Risk assessment

Identify the applications, assets, data sets, people, and processes within the organization that are most at risk of a cyber threat. Prioritize them based on the impact an incident would have on the organization, including financial, reputational, operational, etc. 

Compare stack to standard

Establish a framework, such as NIST 800-53, and compare the features in your current cybersecurity stack against the standard. A cyber risk quantification tool will produce quantifiable, digestible insights and data that impact all departments. Assessing risk and compliance in tandem sheds light on an enterprise’s compliance stance while simultaneously illuminating risk remediation priorities for product owners.

Communicate to stakeholders

Equipped with a detailed report that pinpoints specific areas for cyber risk, risk managers can quantify, in terms of dollars and cents, the risk of a gap in coverage. Starting with the most pressing matter, they can identify and respond to these concerns affecting the health of the enterprise infrastructure, and better predict the outcomes of business decisions.  

Consistent learning & Risk data visualization

Technology changes constantly. Cybercriminals are like a hydra-cut one-off and they come back with a different angle and a new threat. Regulations, requirements, frameworks, and legislation are in flux every day. 

Investing in ongoing training and reporting is imperative for an organization to meet GRC requirements. That’s why a cyber risk quantification program is essential to gain a single, company-wide view of the risk landscape. Knowing what you’re up against is half the battle. The ability to know how to respond specifically to risk gives you an edge to not only improve your security posture but make it part of the company’s revenue generation.

GRC & Cyber Risk Quantification provides a one-two punch for risk prevention

Governance, risk and compliance, and cyber risk quantification are no longer an either/or, but a both/and scenario. As businesses become digitized, C-level executives are looking to secure company assets and create paths to business protection. Together GRC and CRQ create this pathway to smart cybersecurity investment models. 

They minimize an organization’s risk for a breach and allow the company to take on additional, strategic risks, like acquiring competitors in their space. Now is the time for cyber risk to take a seat at the boardroom table with a targeted focus on quantification, prioritization, mitigation and recovery. 

Are you ready for the next cyber threat?

Assess your stack with this comprehensive cybersecurity checklist.

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Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly

Vice President of Growth

Nichole Kelly brings over two decades of experience in growing organizations top line and bottom line revenue. As one of the leading marketing influencers she is the author of "How to Measure Social Media" and has traveled the world teaching marketers how to build and execute ROI-driven marketing strategies at every major marketing conference. Also an entrepreneur, Kelly was also the founder of SME Digital, a digital marketing agency that was sold to Renegade Marketing.

Kelly leads an active life of service and is the founder of The Bipolar Executive blog and podcast. This project is  designed to help shift the conversation around mental illness to one of mental wellness in Corporate America. 

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing from Saint Leo University.

Connect on my blog The Bipolar Executive

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Chris Schroeder

Vice President of Engineering, Co-Founder

Chris Schroeder has over 25 years of experience in large complex IT environments from the Fortune 500 to the federal government. Chris has an extensive technology background in mobility, infrastructure operations, and data analytics. Schroeder is a seasoned entrepreneur and co-founder of App47 and the Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of RealOps (sold to BMC).

Chris is an active volunteer in his community coaching boys and girls lacrosse, supporting high school STEM programs, and serving on the Pastoral Council. 

Schroeder holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Radford University and a Masters Degree in Technology Engineering from George Washington University.

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Sean McDermott

President & CEO, Founder

Sean McDermott’s curiosity for advancing technology began at his first job as a network engineer/architect installing and managing the first private internet for the U.S. Department of Justice. At a time when the internet was just taking off, McDermott was at the forefront and has continued to be on the cutting edge of technology leading Fortune 500 companies through the dot-com bust, 9/11 and the 2008 recession. Sean has over three decades of experience working with CIOs in the Fortune 500 to trail blaze innovation and protect the IT infrastructure of the largest commercial and federal organizations in the world. 

McDermott is a mission-driven, serial entrepreneur who founded Windward Consulting Group, RealOps, Inc. (sold to BMC), App47 and RedMonocle. He is also the founder of the Windward Foundation and Alzheimer’s Caregiver Alliance, an organization dedicated to easing the burden of caregiving for individuals and families touched by Alzheimer’s disease.

McDermott is a member of the Forbes Tech Council and has been featured in Security Boulevard, TechRepublic, IT Visionaries, APM Digest, Inside BigData, DevPro Journal, IT Toolbox and more. He  holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University and a Masters in Engineering Management from The Catholic University of America. 

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