The relentless pressure to improve business performance, agility, and efficiency has driven most enterprises to transition to the cloud. However, despite its varied benefits, there are a number of risks that arise if the cloud is not adopted and managed in an informed manner. According to the Cloud Security Alliance’s report on “The Treacherous 12 - Top Threats to Cloud Computing + Industry Insights,” the top three threats to cloud computing are (1) data breaches, (2) insufficient identity, credential, and access management, and (3) insecure interfaces and APIs.

These risks need to be identified, assessed, and mitigated swiftly in order to truly realize the benefits of the cloud. It’s only with a timely, accurate view of cloud risk exposure that enterprises can effectively attain economies of scale, manage regulatory pressures and compliance, reduce capital costs, and streamline processes.

The GRC Cloud:

A well-defined risk assessment framework or a risk-based approach to cloud computing adoption can help ensure that all forms of risks are minimized. It enables enterprises to deploy their critical data and applications on the cloud in a manner that is consistent with their risk appetite and strategic objectives.

To keep their risks in check, enterprises often implement a number of cloud security controls, threat monitoring tools, vulnerability scanners, and other systems. A Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) cloud platform goes one step further – it brings all these risk and compliance pieces together into a single source of truth so that enterprises gain an integrated view of their GRC profile in the cloud. Plus, it delivers the agility, scalability, and cost-efficiency that comes with a cloud deployment.

A cloud-based GRC platform has other advantages as well. It enables enterprises to automate their compliance and continuous control monitoring processes, while also improving visibility into risk exposure. Capabilities for provisioning, GRC solution deployment, and change management, as well as advanced cloud services, allow enterprises to optimize their GRC processes


The Multi-Instance Cloud:

With massive amounts of business-critical data being stored on the cloud, enterprises need to be able to manage data confidentiality, integrity, and availability. A GRC cloud with a multi-instance cloud architecture can help in this endeavor by maintaining a separate full-stack environment to secure data and to avoid any data co-mingling. Essentially, it provides a dedicated cloud environment for each organization, while enabling the complete separation of instances to ensure data integrity and quality.


Change Management:

Businesses today operate in an extremely dynamic environment with continuously changing risks and compliance requirements which, in turn, impact organizational structures, processes, functions, and people. To keep up with these changes, enterprises need a GRC cloud technology infrastructure that is flexible, extensible, and configurable. It should enable authorized users to personalize, configure, extend, or customize their GRC systems to address evolving requirements. These changes need to be upgrade-safe and cost-efficient, enabling the business to adapt and grow in an agile and sustainable manner.


Preparing for the Future of GRC:

The volume of data in our world is expanding at unprecedented rates. Handling these huge and scattered data sets using traditional data warehousing or business intelligence tools is becoming increasingly challenging. Enterprises need to think not only about data security, but also about monitoring, maintenance, and cost. To that end, many are adopting next gen IT strategies and techniques such as advanced analytics, visualization tools, and parallel data processing.

Meanwhile, the risks related to cloud data storage and governance are growing in complexity and impact. By employing a robust cloud-based GRC platform on an advanced cloud data center, enterprises can effectively identify, assess, and mitigate their cloud computing risks, while efficiently complying with data governance regulations.


The Road Ahead:

Today cloud computing is a top-of-mind priority for business leaders around the globe, leaving no doubt that it is here to stay. As the underlying technology continues to evolve, enterprises need to ensure that the cloud is evaluated, implemented, and adopted in a risk-aware manner. A well-defined GRC cloud program supported by a robust technology platform can go a long way in supporting these efforts.



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