Effective governance: How to stay compliant and reduce cyber risks

By Matthew Unger, CEO , iComply

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As organizations continue to digitize their operations and store more of their sensitive information online, governance has become a critical aspect of protecting against cyber threats and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. However, many organizations struggle to implement effective governance practices, leaving them vulnerable to cyber attacks and compliance breaches. In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, it is critical for leaders to understand the importance of governance, best practices for implementing governance, and the benefits of a strong governance program.

Governance is the process of setting and enforcing policies and procedures to ensure that an organization is meeting its objectives, managing risks, and adhering to regulations. In the context of cyber security, governance is essential for protecting against cyber attacks and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. Effective governance includes setting and enforcing policies and procedures for access control, incident response, and data protection. It also includes establishing a robust compliance management system to ensure that the organization is meeting all regulatory requirements and staying ahead of the curve.

One of the key components of effective governance is the development and implementation of robust policies and procedures. These policies and procedures should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization and should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they are effective in addressing the latest cyber threats and regulatory requirements. Additionally, an incident response plan should be developed and regularly tested, to ensure quick and effective responses to potential security incidents.

Another important aspect of governance is risk management. Establishing a robust risk management program includes identifying and assessing risks, implementing controls to mitigate these risks, and regularly monitoring the effectiveness of these controls. This will help organizations to identify and prioritize the most critical risks, and to implement effective controls to mitigate these risks.

In addition to policies and procedures, a robust compliance management system should not only meet regulatory requirements but also help organizations to stay ahead of the curve. This includes ensuring compliance with laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection regulations. There are many new tools and technologies to automate compliance management and reporting that make it easier to not only stay compliant but also stay ahead of emerging threats.

Effective governance also requires effective leadership. A good governance structure includes clear roles and responsibilities for key stakeholders, including the board of directors, senior management, and employees. This will ensure that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and that the organization is effectively managing cyber security risks.

By implementing best practices for governance in your organization, you can reduce the risk of cyber attacks, improve regulatory compliance, and improve their overall cyber security posture. Leaders that establish and implement robust policies and procedures, risk management programs, compliance management systems, and effective leadership development programs will be better prepared to protect themselves and their teams against fraud, cyber attacks, and ensure compliance with rapidly evolving regulations.

 

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