3 Ways a GRC Platform Can Help MSSPs Improve the Audit Process 

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Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) management has traditionally been tedious and cumbersome. And while legacy GRC software has been on the market for decades, the reality is these tools intended to simplify processes, can often over-complicate them. Worse yet, they’re expensive and difficult to implement and get widespread adoption within your organization.

If you’re a managed security services provider (MSSP), those processes are even more complicated when you’re managing security and compliance services for a growing client base, each of whom have their own goals and compliance and regulatory requirements.

On top of that, many MSSPs also manage audit processes for those clients. Depending on which regulatory agency is involved, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details, rushing to find documents and tying up resources when your time would be better focused on adopting and implementing proactive measures to detect and mitigate security and compliance issues for these clients.

The good news is, when it comes to those audits, using the right GRC software can actually simplify this process. You just have to know which one to choose and understand how it can help you scale and support your MSSP clients.

GRC Audit Success

When it comes to managing a successful GRC audit for your clients, there are several factors that come into play.

First, what’s a GRC audit?

In a GRC audit, an auditor will evaluate your client’s GRC compliance processes and controls. These audits can be done internally or externally, all with the goal of finding gaps or weaknesses to facilitate mitigation and remediation strategies to mature compliance processes.

Essentially, these auditors will want to know how your client’s IT operations are effectively governed to meet both compliance and organizational goals. They’ll want to know if there is a clear understanding of the risks associated with your client’s most important operational activities and that those risks are assessed and managed. And, ultimately, the auditors should determine if your clients are effectively meeting all of their related compliance, regulatory, and legal requirements, especially in terms of data privacy and security.

So, how can you ensure you’ve got what you need to make sure your MSSP clients have GRC compliance audit success?

First, it’s important to have a reliable, experienced team ready to execute and manage all of these critical processes, whether you’re fully managing your client’s compliance journey or working hand-in-hand with their onsite teams.

But it’s not just about getting the right people together. Having the right software and resources may be of even greater importance. If you can successfully pair the right SaaS-based GRC platform with the right team, you can have more accurate and timely visibility into existing GRC processes and controls, and be available to address any issues that arise during an audit.

A SaaS-based GRC service can help ensure that you have all the documentation you need, easily accessible from a single document repository. And, unlike legacy GRC software on the market, a SaaS-based solution may come with an easy-to-understand dashboard, complete with scoring so you, your clients and auditors have instant insight into how well your GRC program is performing.

An innovative and easy-to-use GRC dashboard can give you insight into a range of frameworks at a high level, but also down to a granular control and sub-control level. If you have controls that are applicable to multiple GRC frameworks, you can even cross-walk those to see if your controls and sub-controls are performing as intended. You can even get instant insight into new frameworks you’ve yet to fully adopt.

Why Use a GRC Platform?

Unfortunately, even some of the most innovative MSSPs today still struggle with GRC management. Why? Because many still rely on spreadsheets and static word processing tools to track program details. It’s hard to get comprehensive insight into program performance and maturity when you’re flipping through binders of printed documents and scrolling through hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of rows in a spreadsheet.

A GRC platform can expedite and automate these paper processes, all while ensuring you never overlook a weakness within any of your processes or policies.

GRC software can also help your MSSPs easily streamline the audit process while also providing a clear snapshot of control weaknesses and gaps in your client’s cybersecurity.

Expediting the Audit Process with a GRC Platform

Here are a few ways your MSSPs can use a GRC platform to expedite the audit process:

  1. A Centralized View. If your client’s audits typically rely on tons of reports, a GRC platform can simplify how your MSSP visualizes cybersecurity and compliance data in a way that your clients (and their auditor) can clearly understand. The days of hundreds of Excel sheets are long over. As an MSSP, you should take advantage of GRC software to build reports quickly and effectively from the audit process. You’ll have the confidence that these reports are accurate, clear, easy-to-read, and helpful in addressing gaps and weaknesses.
  2. A Clear Timeline. Unlike Excel spreadsheets and other decentralized forms of reporting, a GRC platform can help your MSSP visualize and report to your clients on a regular basis. And, maybe even best of all, you can give your clients updates in real time or show them how to use a GRC dashboard so they can instantly check their compliance scoring at any time.
  3. Industry Agnostic. If your MSSP works with clients across multiple industries, it’s critical that you tailor your audits and reports to your client’s specific needs. GRC software includes multiple industry frameworks that provide recommendations for your clients in different fields, such as HIPAA, NIST, CMMC and more. As an MSSP, it’s important to immerse your team into your client’s day-to-day operations. A GRC platform takes the stress out of the audit process and allows your team to focus more on understanding your client’s daily operations and needs. Also, reporting through a framework built for specific industries can help your MSSP clients better visualize and understand data most relevant to them.

Choosing the Right GRC Platform For Your MSSP

So, now that you understand some of the many benefits of using a SaaS-based GRC platform to help manage your client’s cybersecurity and compliance needs, how do you know which GRC is right for your MSSP? How can you find a platform that meets your needs internally, as well as needs of your current and future client base?

The reality is that with cybersecurity at the forefront of national conversations, your clients (and maybe even your own MSSP) are scrambling to find the best GRC resource that fits their needs. Unfortunately, navigating through all of the different GRC software to find one that meets all of their needs can be the trickiest part of the process.

It’s important to note during this discovery process that GRC software, in general, is not one-size-fits-all. As an MSSP looking for a GRC solution, it’s imperative to ask the right questions before making a decision. Interface, customization, ease-of-use, costs, scalability and support are all critical aspects to take into consideration. Also, when you’re looking into a new GRC solution, be sure to think about how you can improve your current audit processes, and then seek out a platform that fills those gaps.

Cybersecurity and compliance are dynamic. Your processes should be, too. Consider adopting a GRC platform to ensure you’re always providing the best insight — with the best support — for all of your MSSP clients.

More information

Contact an Apptega advisor today to learn more.


Want to learn more about how you can simplify your day-to-day cybersecurity program management? Visit Apptega. See more Apptega guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of MSSP Alert’s sponsorship program.

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