During the present volatile circumstances, it is becoming essential for organizations to have the robust capability of risk management for maintaining vigorous performance and customers’ faith. In 2021, about 65% of firms claimed that a third-party security breach had a detrimental effect on them. Continuous control monitoring is possible only when control testing can be fully automated. For managing compliance, risk, auditing, and other security measures, organizations must ensure that the operations of internal controls are effective on a continuous basis. Strict control testing within organizations is also an essential part of any organization that desires to be assured that every critical risk is vigorously handled.

Nonetheless, control testing is increasingly becoming challenging to operate as organizations are implementing and scaling up more additional controls to keep up with the latest rules and regulations. in spite of organizations’ best intentions, compliance experts frequently encounter tight restrictions keeping ongoing control testing inaccessible. Internal auditors and compliance teams frequently examine just the controls that will be reviewed in the upcoming external audits. impromptu control testing is most likely to leave holes in the organization’s control management, cause duplicate effort, and incur unforeseen costs.

According to a current statement by SonicWall, 2021 witnessed a rise in encrypted threats by 167% and attacks related to ransomware by an approximate 105% increase from the prior year. In all these, 90% of the cyber-attacks and data breaches occurred because of human error exclusively in 2019, this percentage was given according to data analysis from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The capability to automate a control test method implies that even after the initial setup process, all operations, such as the retrieval of pertinent information for testing, starting the test, producing testing results, and establishing subsequent interaction based on the testing result (for example, having to send an activity to a controlling owner to confront a defect with a control), are all automatically carried out by software.

Advantages of deploying Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM)

By reducing the volume of human testing, Continuous Controls Monitoring deployment not only boosts the efficiency of regulatory and internal audit specialists but also has several other advantages, such as:

  • Achieving accountability from business unit stakeholders for controlling the risks related to operating systems and management procedures: “Security is everyone’s responsibility.” This is a common thing that almost everyone has heard. However far too frequently, compliance experts lack a reliable method of determining if respective business unit counterparts, like IT employees, engineers, and sales executive managers, are contributing to the asset protection of an organisation. Assurance professionals can move risk and compliance management responsibilities to the initial defence line while maintaining a framework for assessing security controls that have been carried out as intended by automating control testing and establishing an alert structure based on the test findings.
  • Decreasing audit expenses by automating audits: Compliance experts no longer need to rush to acquire evidence and assess controls prior to an audit when evidence of critical control actions is automatically gathered in accordance with established policies. After CCM is in place, an external auditor will be able to quickly evaluate all of the control process data, containing testing results with the times and dates associated with the records, in one convenient location. This aids in reducing the number of inquiries that often arise during an audit, speeding up the procedure and lowering costs.
  • Enhancing an organization’s reputation: A firm’s image improves when it can show that it has reduced risk, protected critical resources, and is capable of meeting its legal commitments keeping in mind the clients, auditors, and authorities. A stellar reputation may be a company’s lifesaver in marketplaces that are very competitive. We’ll outline how to adopt Continuous Controls Monitoring in your company in just a few simple steps.

In some scenarios, enforcing Continuous Controls Monitoring can be as simple as modifying certain settings in the operating system for utilizing the built-in reports for monitoring. However, an organisation has to have a single archive that records and administers its controls and accumulates proof of the control’s effectiveness if it wants to have a complete Continuous Controls Monitoring system in operation that analyzes a wide variety of controls throughout business areas. A compliance operations system is the term used to describe a system that is designed to evaluate and keep track of controls on a large scale.

Continuous controls monitoring benefitsA compliance operations framework that has connections to commonly used company applications covering IT, Development, Administration, HR, Sales, and Finance may automatically pull essential information about various control types into its infrastructure for accelerated controls assessment and verification. A compliance specialist can then create tests with pass/fail parameters and schedule them to perform at timed intervals. Systems for compliance operations make it easier to build up automation for managing alerts, communicating, looking into, and fixing control flaws.

The 5 steps to successfully implement iRM’s Continuous Controls Monitoring

Whilst creating your custom Continuous Controls Monitoring System entirely from scratch is a possibility, a third-party compliance solution that has already been included with CCM may be used very easily. Whatever solution you select, the procedures for establishing a Continuous Controls Monitoring platform are frequently similar. These five steps fall into five categories:

  1. DETERMINE CURRENT CONTROLS: You must locate the current controls in your organisation and import those into a centralised compliance operations system in order to set up a test. A CSV file containing information regarding your controls may be uploaded to certain compliance systems, where you can group the controls by characteristics like severity, domain, authority, crew, and much more.
  2. CHOOSE CONTROLS TO CONTINUALLY CHECK AND TRACK: Organizations already possess a number of controls that must be constantly checked as part of these programme criteria whether you’re adhering to a security model like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework or ISO 27001. We’ve included a few typical measures that are crucial to safeguard an organization’s network, resources, and/or product safety and must be regularly evaluated and managed.
  3. FOR EVERY CONTROL, FIRST CONDUCT  A TEST:  Every control, or a collection of connected controls, organizations should have a test system. If you decide to employ third-party applications for automated control testing, pick a system that provides a wide range of tests and is simple enough for non-developers for using.
  4. PLAN WHAT SHOULD TAKE PLACE IF A FAILURE HAPPENS: After you’ve written a test, decide what action to do when it fails or the outcome is unexpected. Whenever the control error appears, for example, you may decide to set up an automated notice and deliver it directly to the control operator.
  5. CREATE REPORTS FOR SIMPLE AUTOMATED CONTROL MONITORING: You may simply verify that control tests and test-driven notifications are operating as intended by utilising a report that can be updated at any moment. To ensure that other stakeholders are confident that crucial controls are being actively monitored, these reports can also be distributed to them.

Overall, CCM is a crucial component of GRC that may assist all types of businesses in reducing their compliance expenses and time commitments while also enhancing their risk management capabilities. Even smaller firms only with one compliance specialist on board may use CCM to advance their compliance operations as the GRC technology industry has developed to the level where extremely intuitive solutions are available. Schedule a demo to see how a platform like iRM can assist you to launch Continuous Controls Monitoring.