Key Components of a Governance, Risk, and Compliance Program

June 23, 2021

Over the past year or so, the importance of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs has become even more critical as organizations work to adopt remote-first operating systems. The importance of operational efficiency, productivity, security, and effectiveness is at an all-time high, and GRC programs are the foundational backbone of these strategic initiatives. Whether your team is looking to optimize your GRC program or implement new GRC processes, here are the critical components of any winning GRC strategy:



The first pillar of GRC, governance, is supervising GRC initiatives and managing adherence to GRC policies. Typically, a company will have a designated compliance officer to oversee all of the different facets of a GRC program. A compliance officer may also be tasked with reporting to executives, board members, and other key stakeholders on the status and success of any GRC initiatives.



The next component of a GRC program is risk, which identifies and mitigates any potential threats and risks to your business. Risk incorporates all IT risk, financial risk, personnel risk, and even physical risk (aka secure entry to your office space, etc.). The most critical part of the risk component of GRC is having a plan in place for mitigating any identified risk and implementing contingency plans in the case of a malicious incident. Any corporate vendor risk management operations such as questionnaires and/or vendor audits would fall into this risk component.



Finally, compliance refers to any corporate initiative, control, or process that monitors GRC programs. This could include anything from HR codes of conduct to IT policies on data sharing to industry laws that govern more significant company decisions. Compliance is the monitoring of these rules (typically by governance committees or roles) to ensure employees, vendors, and partners adhere to the controls in place.


A holistic GRC program

A holistic, successful GRC program leverages digital solutions and technology to overlap each one of these components with each other seamlessly. For example, a company’s identified risks would help inform compliance initiatives, which a governance committee would monitor. The key to a successful GRC program is having the right technology to share information, educate stakeholders and employees, and monitor any compliance violations.

Building and maintaining a solid GRC program across your organization can be difficult if there is a lack of transparency and visibility into different programs and teams. With Whistic, your organization can track GRC initiatives and ensure each pillar of your GRC program operates at the highest level.

You can learn more about how Whistic can optimize your GRC strategy here.

vendor risk management grc vendor assessment compliance vendor security review regulatory compliance vendor security management

About the author


The latest insights and updates on information security and third party risk management.

Hate security reviews?
Want FREE AirPods?*

Offer valid for any decision-maker/influencer in relation to your company’s third-party risk management strategy. Company size must exceed 100 employees. Exclusions apply. Limit 1 pair per company.