As businesses grow and become ever more complex, the regulatory landscape around them also changes. Regulatory standards are put in place to ensure accountability, leading organizations to pursue initiatives in Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) as they expand. However, these GRC initiatives are quite often disparate and siloed, despite being interdependent on one another and sharing many of the same risks and controls. This can lead to duplication of work and other inefficiencies which, in turn, lead to spiralling costs. It’s therefore beneficial for businesses to coordinate and integrate these initiatives as much as possible, using risk and compliance solutions like SureCloud’s cloud-based GRC platform. Within this blog we discuss how streamlining compliance with an embedded metaframework such as Secure Controls Framework (SCF) can help you master your GRC initiatives.
What is a metaframework?
A metaframework lies at the very core of any compliance program and is pivotal in achieving business automation and streamlining the process. When talking about Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), ‘controls’ are simply a collection of practices and procedures that have been established to help an organization mitigate risk without stopping business operations. A metaframework is a way of organizing and categorizing these controls in an effective and useful way. Often as organizations begin to bring together their controls there is a substantial amount of duplication and overlapping controls. The more unified and complete the metaframework, the more streamlined and effective an organization’s compliance initiatives are.
The benefits of a metaframework
The ability to completely harmonise all compliance requirements is invaluable to businesses looking to grow and compete in the modern world. With a rapidly evolving threat landscape and constantly changing regulatory requirements, businesses need the ability to meticulously plan and adapt at speed. That means visibility and true interoperability are crucial, and that’s where a metaframework comes in. Adopting a unified approach to compliance, such as that offered by SureCloud and the SCF, will allow businesses to:
- Extract mandates – External standards and regulatory requirements usually come in the form of ‘authority documents’, which are then stored as references from which policies can be defined.
- Map mandates – Once mandates have been extracted from authority documents, they must then be mapped to relevant common controls, creating new common controls where necessary.
- Report mapping accuracy – Tagging mandates and mapping them to common controls are incredibly complex, and organisations should match accuracy feedback in the form of detailed reports.
- Standardize audits – Create a standardised structure for auditing the implementation of common controls.
Put simply, a unified approach to compliance will streamline the entire control mapping process, allowing organizations to operate more quickly, make better decisions, and ensure they remain secure and compliant as they grow and diversify by allowing them to perform risk management with ease.
A comprehensive compliance program is extremely difficult to maintain, particularly in a fast-moving regulatory landscape that is continually evolving. It can distract organizations from day-to-day business, leading to burnout and over-stretched resources, which ultimately leave them vulnerable to security breaches or even legal issues.
What is the Secure Controls Framework (SCF)?
The SCF is a volunteer-led organization comprised of auditors, engineers, architects, incident responders, consultants, and other specialists who work throughout the compliance and cybersecurity industry. Together, they’ve taken on the ambitious challenge of creating a comprehensive catalogue of controls designed to help companies build and maintain secure processes, systems, and applications. The SCF’s primary objective is to tackle inefficient siloed practices within an organization and nudge them toward a more data-centric, joined-up approach. Their frameworks are comprehensive, customisable, and constantly reviewed and updated so that any organization, regardless of industry, can advance its GRC initiatives with confidence.
SureCloud’s partnership with SCF
We want our users to have every advantage when it comes to mastering their GRC initiatives. That’s why we partnered with SCF, granting all of our users’ access to the complete SCF catalogue through our own integrated Compliance Management solution. Users can load any of the SCF’s controls directly into their own control library, complete with all of the regulatory mappings and associated data. This will enable organizations to quickly ascertain which controls it needs to comply with according to its own sector and regulatory drivers, saving time and dramatically reducing overheads. We’ve worked hard to make the integration as seamless and as useful as possible, equipping the SCF data with maturity level implementation guidelines that can be accessed directly in the SureCloud Platform.
To learn more about unified frameworks and how to avoid compliance fatigue, join SCF’s Founder, Tom Cornelius, and VP of Product, Alex Brown, in our latest webcast titled: How to Implement a Metaframework to Help Avoid Compliance Mistakes and Fatigue.
SureCloud is a provider of cloud-based, Integrated Risk Management products and Cybersecurity services, which reinvent the way you manage risk. SureCloud connects the dots with Integrated Risk Management solutions enabling you to make better decisions and achieve your desired business outcomes. SureCloud is underpinned by a highly configurable technology platform, which is simple, intuitive, and flexible. Unlike other GRC Platform providers, SureCloud is adaptable enough to fit your current business processes without forcing you to make concessions during implementation; meaning you get immediate and sustained value from the outset. SureCloud has been recognized as a Challenger in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrants for Integrated Risk Management and Vendor Risk Management solutions.