A black and white drawing of a rock formation.
An engine with multiple disks

Manual GRC management is unreliable and unsustainable for businesses today, which is why many organizations are turning to GRC automation. Let’s explore GRC automation and how your organization can use this technology to make your processes more efficient.

What is GRC automation?

GRC automation is using purpose-built GRC software that tracks many of your traditionally manual GRC activities for you. It streamlines your GRC management processes, improves accuracy, and integrates your day-to-day workflows so you’re more consistently up-to-date with all your GRC needs and requirements.

What GRC processes can be automated?

A well-designed GRC platform can automate many tasks and processes, such as:

  • Compliance monitoring and screening for missing controls or compliance gaps.
  • Identifying and assessing potential risks.
  • Reporting on GRC responsibilities and GRC performance
  • Managing policy documents.
  • Maintaining audit documentation and evidence.
  • Collecting third-party risk information.
  • Completing security questionnaires for potential clients.
  • Tracking risk mitigation and compliance tasks.

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The benefits of GRC automation

GRC automation can offer several advantages, such as:

  • Improved efficiency: With GRC automation, you’re reducing the manual efforts spent on GRC tasks and freeing up your team’s time for other initiatives.
  • More cost-effective: GRC automation saves your organization money by making your team more efficient and by lowering the risk of a data break or compliance error that could cost the company in legal penalties and loss of business.
  • Better reliability: Human error is always a risk in manual processes, and simple mistakes could be costly if they leave you vulnerable to a data breach or gaps in your compliance. 
  • Real-time data: When your staff is handling tasks manually, you must wait for them to complete the tasks and report their findings. When these tasks are automated, you have real-time data around the clock.
  • Scalability: GRC becomes more complicated as your business grows. Automation can help your organization scale and make it easy to grow even as your processes get more complex. 

Key features of GRC automation tools

The GRC platform you choose will make a powerful difference in the scope of automation you’re able to implement. Consider your business needs and look for a tool that has the following features:

  • Customizable risk assessment templates you can adapt to your needs.
  • Compliance management modules that monitor your compliance status.
  • Integrated reporting functions with real-time accuracy.
  • Capacity to manage compliance with the specific frameworks you adhere to.
  • User-friendly and accessible UI so all stakeholders can use it.
  • Integration with your existing tools and platforms.

5 steps to automate GRC

Follow these steps to begin making the transition from manual GRC processes to GRC automation:

1. Assess your of current GRC processes

Many organizations begin by focusing on one particular GRC framework and then add or change elements as their organization grows. Take inventory of your current GRC processes and how they’re performed by your GRC team and contributing departments.

Talk directly to staff about their GRC work and ask them how they perform these processes and identify any inefficiencies and redundancies. This provides you with the information you need to best automate your GRC practices and improve the efficiency of these workflows.

2. Define automation objectives

What are your objectives for your GRC automation? How do you want your GRC program to operate? What business initiatives does the GRC program align with? What types of data does your leadership need visibility into? Consider these questions in collaboration with your team. Ask the teams what they would like to see from the automation and how it can help work better.

3. Plan and execute

Now that you have your objectives in place, it’s time to put them into action. The foundation of your GRC automation will be the GRC software you choose

Weigh the options available and consider factors, such as:

  • How each tool helps you achieve your objectives.
  • Tool-specific features.
  • The compliance frameworks each tool offers. 
  • The potential for this tool to scale with your organization
  • Support availability for each tool.
  • Customizable features that can adapt to your GRC program and workflows.
  • The breadth and depth of integrations into your tech stack offered by each tool.

After choosing your platform, proceed with planning and implementing your automation rollout. This will involve setting up the automation solution, integrating it with your other tools, customizing the processes and reports you need, implementing controls, and testing the systems and processes.

4. Train staff and manage change

Now that the tools and workflows are in place, it’s important to bring your team into the mix. Train all involved staff on the software and how to implement the new processes into their workflows. Ensure that everyone understands their role in your GRC program. 

5. Monitoring and continuous improvement

Even with automation, continuous oversight of your GRC program is essential to ensure it’s effective and accurate. Create practices for reviewing GRC data, test processes for any potential concerns, and identify ways to improve your GRC program. Regularly ask your staff how the program is working for them and get feedback on how to improve it.

Overcoming challenges in GRC automation

There are some common challenges you may run into when implementing GRC automation. Here are those challenges and solutions for overcoming them:

  • Attaining leadership buy-in: Leadership may not see the limitations of your current GRC program and be hesitant to change. Present the limitations of your current program, the costs of inefficiencies, and how they could be preventing growth and profitability.
  • Making time for the switch: You may be too buried in your manual processes to make the time to implement automation. Consider temporary measures to accommodate the transition, like bringing in short-term staff to help manage workloads. Choose an easy-to-implement automation platform to make the transition easier and shorter.
  • Resistance to change: Leaders may be under the impression that your current processes are fine as is. Communicate the current pitfalls with your processes and what your organization is risking by relying on manual tasks.
  • Integration difficulties: Making a new platform work with existing tools is sometimes difficult and time-consuming. Choose an automation platform that has out-of-the-box integrations with your current tools.

Simplifying GRC automation with Vanta

GRC tools should make managing your program easier, more sustainable, and transparent as your business grows. Vanta’s trust management platform allows you to coordinate your GRC controls, manage regulations, track your implementation, and offers continuous monitoring. 

Unlike traditional GRC tools, Vanta takes it a step further with automated GRC management, including automated evidence collection and alerts, AI-powered risk questionnaires, and simplified audit preparation. Schedule a demo with our team to see if adding trust management to your GRC program is right for you. 

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Optimizing a GRC program

Getting started with GRC automation

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.
An engine with multiple disks

Manual GRC management is unreliable and unsustainable for businesses today, which is why many organizations are turning to GRC automation. Let’s explore GRC automation and how your organization can use this technology to make your processes more efficient.

What is GRC automation?

GRC automation is using purpose-built GRC software that tracks many of your traditionally manual GRC activities for you. It streamlines your GRC management processes, improves accuracy, and integrates your day-to-day workflows so you’re more consistently up-to-date with all your GRC needs and requirements.

What GRC processes can be automated?

A well-designed GRC platform can automate many tasks and processes, such as:

  • Compliance monitoring and screening for missing controls or compliance gaps.
  • Identifying and assessing potential risks.
  • Reporting on GRC responsibilities and GRC performance
  • Managing policy documents.
  • Maintaining audit documentation and evidence.
  • Collecting third-party risk information.
  • Completing security questionnaires for potential clients.
  • Tracking risk mitigation and compliance tasks.

{{cta_withimage1}}

The benefits of GRC automation

GRC automation can offer several advantages, such as:

  • Improved efficiency: With GRC automation, you’re reducing the manual efforts spent on GRC tasks and freeing up your team’s time for other initiatives.
  • More cost-effective: GRC automation saves your organization money by making your team more efficient and by lowering the risk of a data break or compliance error that could cost the company in legal penalties and loss of business.
  • Better reliability: Human error is always a risk in manual processes, and simple mistakes could be costly if they leave you vulnerable to a data breach or gaps in your compliance. 
  • Real-time data: When your staff is handling tasks manually, you must wait for them to complete the tasks and report their findings. When these tasks are automated, you have real-time data around the clock.
  • Scalability: GRC becomes more complicated as your business grows. Automation can help your organization scale and make it easy to grow even as your processes get more complex. 

Key features of GRC automation tools

The GRC platform you choose will make a powerful difference in the scope of automation you’re able to implement. Consider your business needs and look for a tool that has the following features:

  • Customizable risk assessment templates you can adapt to your needs.
  • Compliance management modules that monitor your compliance status.
  • Integrated reporting functions with real-time accuracy.
  • Capacity to manage compliance with the specific frameworks you adhere to.
  • User-friendly and accessible UI so all stakeholders can use it.
  • Integration with your existing tools and platforms.

5 steps to automate GRC

Follow these steps to begin making the transition from manual GRC processes to GRC automation:

1. Assess your of current GRC processes

Many organizations begin by focusing on one particular GRC framework and then add or change elements as their organization grows. Take inventory of your current GRC processes and how they’re performed by your GRC team and contributing departments.

Talk directly to staff about their GRC work and ask them how they perform these processes and identify any inefficiencies and redundancies. This provides you with the information you need to best automate your GRC practices and improve the efficiency of these workflows.

2. Define automation objectives

What are your objectives for your GRC automation? How do you want your GRC program to operate? What business initiatives does the GRC program align with? What types of data does your leadership need visibility into? Consider these questions in collaboration with your team. Ask the teams what they would like to see from the automation and how it can help work better.

3. Plan and execute

Now that you have your objectives in place, it’s time to put them into action. The foundation of your GRC automation will be the GRC software you choose

Weigh the options available and consider factors, such as:

  • How each tool helps you achieve your objectives.
  • Tool-specific features.
  • The compliance frameworks each tool offers. 
  • The potential for this tool to scale with your organization
  • Support availability for each tool.
  • Customizable features that can adapt to your GRC program and workflows.
  • The breadth and depth of integrations into your tech stack offered by each tool.

After choosing your platform, proceed with planning and implementing your automation rollout. This will involve setting up the automation solution, integrating it with your other tools, customizing the processes and reports you need, implementing controls, and testing the systems and processes.

4. Train staff and manage change

Now that the tools and workflows are in place, it’s important to bring your team into the mix. Train all involved staff on the software and how to implement the new processes into their workflows. Ensure that everyone understands their role in your GRC program. 

5. Monitoring and continuous improvement

Even with automation, continuous oversight of your GRC program is essential to ensure it’s effective and accurate. Create practices for reviewing GRC data, test processes for any potential concerns, and identify ways to improve your GRC program. Regularly ask your staff how the program is working for them and get feedback on how to improve it.

Overcoming challenges in GRC automation

There are some common challenges you may run into when implementing GRC automation. Here are those challenges and solutions for overcoming them:

  • Attaining leadership buy-in: Leadership may not see the limitations of your current GRC program and be hesitant to change. Present the limitations of your current program, the costs of inefficiencies, and how they could be preventing growth and profitability.
  • Making time for the switch: You may be too buried in your manual processes to make the time to implement automation. Consider temporary measures to accommodate the transition, like bringing in short-term staff to help manage workloads. Choose an easy-to-implement automation platform to make the transition easier and shorter.
  • Resistance to change: Leaders may be under the impression that your current processes are fine as is. Communicate the current pitfalls with your processes and what your organization is risking by relying on manual tasks.
  • Integration difficulties: Making a new platform work with existing tools is sometimes difficult and time-consuming. Choose an automation platform that has out-of-the-box integrations with your current tools.

Simplifying GRC automation with Vanta

GRC tools should make managing your program easier, more sustainable, and transparent as your business grows. Vanta’s trust management platform allows you to coordinate your GRC controls, manage regulations, track your implementation, and offers continuous monitoring. 

Unlike traditional GRC tools, Vanta takes it a step further with automated GRC management, including automated evidence collection and alerts, AI-powered risk questionnaires, and simplified audit preparation. Schedule a demo with our team to see if adding trust management to your GRC program is right for you. 

{{cta_simple2}}

Have you outgrown your security processes?

Get step-by-step guidance for auditing and updating your inefficient security processes.

Upgrade to continuous, automated GRC

Request a demo to see how Vanta automates compliance, streamlines security reviews, and saves you time.

Have you outgrown your security processes?

Get step-by-step guidance for auditing and updating your inefficient security processes.

Upgrade to continuous, automated GRC

Request a demo to see how Vanta automates compliance, streamlines security reviews, and saves you time.

Have you outgrown your security processes?

Get step-by-step guidance for auditing and updating your inefficient security processes.

Upgrade to continuous, automated GRC

Request a demo to see how Vanta automates compliance, streamlines security reviews, and saves you time.

Role:GRC responsibilities:
Board of directors
Central to the overarching GRC strategy, this group sets the direction for the compliance strategy. They determine which standards and regulations are necessary for compliance and align the GRC strategy with business objectives.
Chief financial officerPrimary responsibility for the success of the GRC program and for reporting results to the board.
Operations managers from relevant departmentsThis group owns processes. They are responsible for the success and direction of risk management and compliance within their departments.
Representatives from relevant departments
These are the activity owners. These team members are responsible for carrying out specific compliance and risk management tasks within their departments and for integrating these tasks into their workflows.
Contract managers from relevant department
These team members are responsible for managing interactions with vendors and other third parties in their department to ensure all risk management and compliance measures are being taken.
Chief information security officer (CISO)Defines the organization’s information security policy, designs risk and vulnerability assessments, and develops information security policies.
Data protection officer (DPO) or legal counselDevelops goals for data privacy based on legal regulations and other compliance needs, designs and implements privacy policies and practices, and assesses these practices for effectiveness.
GRC leadResponsible for overseeing the execution of the GRC program in collaboration with the executive team as well as maintaining the organization’s library of security controls.
Cybersecurity analyst(s)Implements and monitors cybersecurity measures that are in line with the GRC program and business objectives.
Compliance analyst(s)Monitors the organization’s compliance with all regulations and standards necessary, identifies any compliance gaps, and works to mitigate them.
Risk analyst(s)Carries out the risk management program for the organization and serves as a resource for risk management across various departments, including identifying, mitigating, and monitoring risks.
IT security specialist(s)Implements security controls within the IT system in coordination with the cybersecurity analyst(s).

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