Are GRC Tools Adding Risk to Your Company? Can Trust Assurance Help?

Richa Tiwari

6 Apr 2022

Emerging threats to enterprise security continue to evolve and become more complex over time.

Cloud-based applications are complex for security and compliance professionals to audit and keep locked down. Having a cloud-based backend tech stack means that you’ve got more endpoints to cover, and makes you more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Along with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) that has led to the automation of many business processes, the Internet of Things (IOT), and the increase of remote work as a result of the pandemic, cyber security threats have continued to increase significantly over time.

Additionally, business operations have also evolved in the past decade due to the digital transformation occurring in almost every sector. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things have broadened the scope of business practices and systems in most companies. The number of (and types of) devices connected to the internet is growing rapidly, and with this growth comes the increased threat of data breaches.

New and future business models require agility and flexibility to be competitive in an innovative digital world. This requires security regulations that embrace the highest possible standards with regards to existing risks and control systems — something that the philosophy of Trust Assurance takes into account.

What is GRC? Governance, Risk, and Compliance Limitations

By definition, GRC is a business discipline that involves the integration of risk management with enterprise governance and compliance. While the biggest driver for GRC is regulation, the current digital era propagates threats in regulation.

Heavy financial implications (in the form of fines) seem to be the norm for many enterprises from every sector. Companies are searching for novel ways to manage risks and compliance by extension.

Most businesses rely heavily on third parties from software providers to temporary employees every single day. These relationships are crucial to operational efficiency but introduce a myriad of risks and compliance challenges.

Governance, Risk and Compliance regulations terminology is a static concept exclusive to compliance-based risk management initiatives. The shift in risk management perspective has broadened to include processes, people and culture which GRC does not include. This has led to many companies experiencing security breaches associated with third party risks, because they are only partially protected.

Third-party Management Problems

Below are some third-party management problems:

1. In the last three to four years, 87% of companies have had troublesome experiences with third parties.

2. On the other hand, only 34% of companies keep a detailed inventory of their third parties.

3. According to 39% of IT organizations there is insufficient data collection and analysis for third-party security audit processes.

4. A whopping 44% of IT organizations state that there are inadequate resources available to support third-party security audit processes.

5. Consequently, 22% of organizations conceded that they were unaware they had a third-party data breach in the past 12 months.

To mitigate this third-party risk, many enterprises are incorporating governance, risk and compliance technology into their security processes. Vendor ecosystems, however, continue to increase in structure and complexity — making it hard for GRC systems to collect necessary data. The limitations by GRC systems can be grouped into:


If a third party is breached, an organization might learn about the incident in the next assessment. To effectively protect an organization, control systems need timely information about the security status of the third parties.


Current GRC processes and documentation are manual. These include spreadsheets, emails, and phone calls. GRC solutions need detailed information to accurately analyze and configure the risk of current and emerging threats for every third-party enterprise. Analyzing, reporting, and making sense of manual third-party questionnaires is prone to error and cumbersome. Not to mention that if a vendor is not aware they have a security issue the data submitted will be incoherent.


Regulations evolve as businesses continue to evolve. Integration and alignment of processes with the overall organizational goals are paramount. With insurmountable cyber security threats, regulatory compliance injunctions, and lengthy difficult vendor questionnaires to work with it is cumbersome to know which risk to prioritize. No amount of available data can help you mitigate and fix a threat without the appropriate context.

Benefits of Trust Assurance versus GRC

In a recent piece, we defined what Trust Assurance is. With the existence of the new Trust Assurance paradigm, it’s worth exploring how Trust Assurance is inherently different from GRC:

1. Trust Assurance uses an automated approach to risk data collection. The digital world moves more rapidly than ever, which is why agile risk control systems are needed. Trust Assurance promotes businesses to gather intelligence (risk to infrastructure, domain abuse, IT policy violations) associated with all your third parties. Trust Assurance facilitates accountability for auditing purposes across the organization.

2. Trust Assurance provides a comprehensive framework. Alignment across all departments is pivotal. Each department can have its own business objectives and technology to achieve its goals, but they have to be workflow-driven to deliver integral reporting and transparency. A flexible and strategic framework consolidates and unifies relevant insightful data. Trust Assurance helps businesses to prioritize critical tasks and important audit activities which facilitate informed risk management decisions and remediation.

3. Trust Assurance integrates certification guidelines naturally. Regulations are always evolving as business processes continue to evolve. When new regulations are not integrated immediately across all business processes, there is the potential for an SOS nightmare in the form of scam emails and subsequent data breaches. Unless each business unit complies with requisite standards, the whole organization will be affected. Trust Assurance helps businesses to embed security into every department.

4. Trust Assurance aligns with the culture of the organization. It is an undertaking task for an organization to adhere to a myriad set of regulations. For risk management to be taken seriously, a lot of education and positive injunctions have to be implemented. Change has to be embraced by employees and stakeholders alike. Trust Assurance initiates transformation within the corporate culture through change management.

Trust Assurance provides the hope of a better future, and has the potential to become the future of risk management as well.

Trust Assurance acknowledges and strengthens the core business by being a defensive shield against data breaches. If you are looking to get started, we’re happy to show you a demo today.