Getting Back to Basics with GRC

Mohamed Omran
November 18, 2021



GRC is a strategy for managing an organisation’s overall governance, risk management and regulatory compliance. The acronym GRC was coined as a shorthand reference to the critical capabilities that must work together to achieve Principled Performance.

The motivation for developing a GRC framework is to ensure that your information technology supports your company’s strategic objectives. Moreover, this needs to be done in a way that manages the associated risks and meets compliance requirements. The framework comprises a set of practices and processes which create a structured approach to managing risk. It also helps improve decision-making and performance with defined measurables.


Integrating GRC capabilities involves establishing an organisational-wide approach that ensures the right people have access to the right information at the right time. Ultimately it is all about visibility, enabling the business to address uncertainty and act with integrity. When done right, it delivers several business benefits such as:

  • Better decision-making
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Higher quality of data accuracy
  • Optimised IT investments
  • Reduced costs

And, to achieve these benefits, there is no need for overly complex and specialised programs. To avoid silos and duplication of activities, GRC strategy should be almost invisible. The goal is that tools, technologies, and processes are seamlessly integrated into the day-to-day workings of your business.


The Three Lines of Defence model is a universal method for managing uncertainty and mitigating risk. The idea is to divide an organisation and describe risk management based on these three groups:

  1. Functions that manage and own risks - the first line of defence is formed by managers and staff who are responsible for identifying and managing risk as part of their objectives. This group should have the necessary knowledge, information, and authority to operate the policies and procedures of risk control.
  2. Functions that oversee risks - the second line of defence delivers the policies, frameworks, tools, and techniques to empower those in the first line of defence. Moreover, this function includes monitoring the effectiveness of risk management and ensuring consistency.
  3. Functions that provide independent advice and assurance - the third line of defence is provided by internal audit and sits outside the risk management process itself. The aim is to ensure that the first two lines of defence are operating effectively. The role includes providing an evaluation on the effectiveness of governance, risk management and internal control to senior management, governing bodies, and external auditors.

The Three Lines of Defence model focuses on the fact that risk management frameworks effectively identify types of risk but don’t specify how duties should be delegated and coordinated. By splitting an organisation across these three layers and outlining how each position fits into the overall risk and control structure, businesses can more easily ensure success in GRC.


As GRC touches many departments within an organisation, it is made up of an integrated collection of capabilities. However, a GRC program is sometimes set up to focus on an individual area of the enterprise. When reviewed as individual GRC areas, the most common types of GRC are:

  • IT GRC - IT GRC involves putting in place the processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT to achieve business goals while maintaining compliance. This is achieved by selecting and implementing the right systems and ensuring the IT department runs in an effective and compliant manner.
  • Enterprise GRC (EGRC) - EGRC is the company-wide enforcement of policies, procedures, and internal controls. This includes risk assessment and risk monitoring to ensure the right processes are in place at all times.
  • Cyber GRC - this area of GRC is a central point for an organisation’s technology strategy. It aims to help businesses achieve their objectives while ensuring compliance requirements are met. GRC efforts are heavily focused on cybersecurity and are integrated with GRC business processes.


Organisations across a variety of industries can benefit from a well-planned GRC strategy. A solid GRC framework helps you to improve efficiencies, mitigate potential risks, increase performance, and ultimately increase return on investment. Effective governance not only complies with legal requirements but also demonstrates that your organisation values privacy and security. However, achieving org-wide compliance to globally recognised standards, or to a standard where your GRC framework must comply with industry or legal regulations, can prove challenging. This is where InfoTrust can help. Our team of cybersecurity experts can help you with assessing your company’s risks and implement a straightforward GRC strategy to ensure governance and compliance is being managed effectively. To find out more, book a consultation with our experts today.