A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

Your GRC team is your organization's internal authority on your GRC program, ensuring that every function within it is working smoothly and effectively. There are also other major roles outside of this direct team that impact your organization's GRC framework. This guide will outline the different roles and responsibilities that go into implementing and maintaining a GRC program.

What is a GRC team?

Before we dive into the larger group that impacts the organization’s GRC framework, we’ll first explain where the central GRC team often fits into the organizational structure. The GRC team is the team responsible for owning the GRC strategy and ensuring that the policies and practices are integrated into the organization’s overall operations.

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Depending on how your business is structured, your GRC team could be:

  • Part of your legal and compliance department
  • Organized with your administrative and leadership teams
  • Part of your information security department
  • In another department depending on your organizational structure

Regardless of where your GRC team fits in your org chart, this team should be able to operate outside of their department hierarchy. The GRC team needs to have the authority and visibility to set policies and practices in every department, so it’s important to put the team in a position where other teams are expected to follow their guidelines.

A graphic featuring 12 common GRC team roles

12 common roles and responsibilities for GRC

The division of roles and responsibilities for the organization's GRC framework varies depending on how your organization is structured, its size, the risk it faces, and what frameworks your organization has committed to. There is also some overlap between the roles within a GRC team — for example, some team members might have responsibilities that include IT security, legal, and operational functions.

To help you understand the possible roles and responsibilities needed to implement and maintain a GRC, we’ve created this overview: 

{{role_responsibility_table}}

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, you may also have some individuals fulfilling multiple roles to cover all the responsibilities needed to maintain a functional GRC.

Challenges in GRC operations

As you build and scale a successful GRC program, there are a few challenges to anticipate and prepare for when working with these various stakeholders. Some challenges you could encounter include: 

  • Frequent regulatory changes: Regulations change frequently. It’s important to keep up with best practices in security and privacy, so your GRC working group needs to be able to respond to these changes. Utilize agile workflows and ensure that you have team members monitoring for regulatory changes.
  • Increasing cybersecurity complexity: As technology advances, so do the methods used for data breaches. To keep your organization secure, implement advanced controls to fight against sophisticated attacks. Establish responsibilities within your GRC team for researching and implementing innovations in cybersecurity.
  • Alignment within the organization: Make sure your team has the ability to find and act on hidden risks (for both security and regulatory compliance). That's not always easy to do in large organization or ones that have built-in institutional processes, working in siloed teams.

Bringing your team together with one GRC platform

It’s important to choose the right tools to help you manage your GRC program. GRC tools should make managing your program easier, more sustainable, and transparent for your team. 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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Implementing a GRC program

Understanding GRC roles and responsibilities

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

Your GRC team is your organization's internal authority on your GRC program, ensuring that every function within it is working smoothly and effectively. There are also other major roles outside of this direct team that impact your organization's GRC framework. This guide will outline the different roles and responsibilities that go into implementing and maintaining a GRC program.

What is a GRC team?

Before we dive into the larger group that impacts the organization’s GRC framework, we’ll first explain where the central GRC team often fits into the organizational structure. The GRC team is the team responsible for owning the GRC strategy and ensuring that the policies and practices are integrated into the organization’s overall operations.

{{cta_withimage1}}

Depending on how your business is structured, your GRC team could be:

  • Part of your legal and compliance department
  • Organized with your administrative and leadership teams
  • Part of your information security department
  • In another department depending on your organizational structure

Regardless of where your GRC team fits in your org chart, this team should be able to operate outside of their department hierarchy. The GRC team needs to have the authority and visibility to set policies and practices in every department, so it’s important to put the team in a position where other teams are expected to follow their guidelines.

A graphic featuring 12 common GRC team roles

12 common roles and responsibilities for GRC

The division of roles and responsibilities for the organization's GRC framework varies depending on how your organization is structured, its size, the risk it faces, and what frameworks your organization has committed to. There is also some overlap between the roles within a GRC team — for example, some team members might have responsibilities that include IT security, legal, and operational functions.

To help you understand the possible roles and responsibilities needed to implement and maintain a GRC, we’ve created this overview: 

{{role_responsibility_table}}

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, you may also have some individuals fulfilling multiple roles to cover all the responsibilities needed to maintain a functional GRC.

Challenges in GRC operations

As you build and scale a successful GRC program, there are a few challenges to anticipate and prepare for when working with these various stakeholders. Some challenges you could encounter include: 

  • Frequent regulatory changes: Regulations change frequently. It’s important to keep up with best practices in security and privacy, so your GRC working group needs to be able to respond to these changes. Utilize agile workflows and ensure that you have team members monitoring for regulatory changes.
  • Increasing cybersecurity complexity: As technology advances, so do the methods used for data breaches. To keep your organization secure, implement advanced controls to fight against sophisticated attacks. Establish responsibilities within your GRC team for researching and implementing innovations in cybersecurity.
  • Alignment within the organization: Make sure your team has the ability to find and act on hidden risks (for both security and regulatory compliance). That's not always easy to do in large organization or ones that have built-in institutional processes, working in siloed teams.

Bringing your team together with one GRC platform

It’s important to choose the right tools to help you manage your GRC program. GRC tools should make managing your program easier, more sustainable, and transparent for your team. 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?

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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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