GRC Viewpoint

Risk Management and Security Compliance Automation: Creating Customer Trust for SaaS companies

With ever-growing cyber threats on the rise, implementing risk management solutions and being security compliant with SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPAA, etc., has become a must for SaaS companies. It helps them earn customer trust to consume their services. 

The risk management frameworks (RMF) by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies (COBIT) provide comprehensive guidelines on how businesses can use them to safeguard their employees, operations, and assets effectively. Almost all enterprises today must have a security compliance and risk management program in place to meet the customer requirements for cybersecurity. 

A risk management framework solution combined with a robust and scalable compliance automation platform like Akitra’s enables an enterprise to continuously monitor and mitigate information security risks rapidly and effectively. It outlines the best practices, policies, procedures, and processes that enable an enterprise to identify, assess, analyze, and determine risk levels and tolerance. It helps implement controls to secure, authorize, and manage information technology (IT) systems.

Key Elements of a Risk Management Solution:

Here are the five elements of a comprehensive risk management solution based on NIST guidelines:

  • Risk Detection: Identify and list all risks that could potentially affect all of your systems and then rank them per five criteria as follows: 
    • Threats: List all the events that can cause intrusion, destruction, or disclosure;
    • Vulnerabilities: Check for weaknesses, internal and external vulnerabilities in the IT systems, security, protocols, and controls;
    • Impact: Calculate the impact and probable damage due to a specific vulnerability;
    • Likelihood: Gauge the likelihood of an attack on a particular vulnerability;
    • Predisposing Factors: Look for any predisposing conditions that either boost or lower the impact;
  • Risk Assessment: Calculate and rank the risks for your organization
  • Risk Reduction: Reduce the risk by ranking from high to low and addressing them proactively
  • Risk Monitoring: List all known risks and monitor them
  • Risk Management: Create a risk governance and management plan 


Key Steps for a Robust Risk Management Solution:

The risk management solutions using NIST RMF comprise of seven steps as follows:

  • Prepare to manage security and privacy risk levels
  • Categorize using impact analysis
  • Select NIST SP 800-53 controls
  • Implement security controls
  • Assess the effectiveness of these controls
  • Authorize risk-based decisions
  • Monitor Security Controls

By following these seven steps, an organization can minimize the likelihood of cyberattacks and potential legal risks. By using software automation solutions for key steps, decision-making can be done rapidly and effectively.

Key Benefits of a Risk Management Solution:

Here are some of the key benefits of a robust risk management solution:

  • Asset Protection: assists an organization to take appropriate precautions for safeguarding the assets.
  • Reputation Management: helps manage reputation and brand risks.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Protection and Security: helps prevent potential losses from IP thefts etc.
  • Competitor Research: helps react quickly to the competitive threat landscape
  • Supply Chain Risk: helps monitor and mitigate the risks from today’s highly complex worldwide supply chain attacks
  • Privacy Controls: helps the organization understand and define privacy control risk levels to comply with the local government’s laws and regulations.

Key Reasons for using Risk Management and Security Compliance Automation:

Growing compliance requirements are becoming necessary for SaaS companies to do business these days and can consume more than 40% or more of security budgets in IT organizations. An enterprise can save time and costs by automating their repetitive manual tasks while monitoring the company’s internal systems and controls. Not only does a compliance automation software platform provides flexibility, customizability, and broad integrations for monitoring controls and collecting evidence from various services but also, it streamlines the arduous process of complying and maintaining compliance with standards and regulations and instantly notifies stakeholders of any non-compliance.

With an integrated compliance and risk management platform and solution such as Akitra, organizations can now document, manage their risks and controls and streamline most of their manual processes, and provide predictable outcomes rapidly. The enterprises can also map their controls from standards like HIPAA, ISO 27001, and NIST Cybersecurity frameworks to the solution and further reduce time and costs.

In summary, establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator for SaaS companies in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers want bullet-proof assurances that the vendors can prevent disclosing sensitive data and avoid putting them at risk. By automating compliance programs, risk management solutions, and processes from the get-go, organizations can create a high level of trust with their customers using a proactive risk management approach. Remember, a robust security program is a journey, not a destination.

About the Author:

By Naveen Bisht, Founder and CEO of AKITRA INC, an AI-powered, Cloud-based Cybersecurity, and Compliance Automation company. A serial entrepreneur who has founded and led numerous companies in the security and network infrastructure industries. He was the founder and CEO of Straks, SecurAct, Nayna Networks, and Ukiah Software (acquired by Novell). He is the past Chair of Programs and a Board Member of TiE Silicon Valley (SV).

He started TiE SV My Story Program in 2011 to inspire budding entrepreneurs and hosts a monthly Interactive CISO Roundtable of cybersecurity professionals to discuss issues facing the industry. He pursued Ph.D. studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara; he holds an MS from Texas Tech and; an MS/BS degree from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science. He holds eight patents in artificial intelligence, security, and networking and has published several papers and articles on entrepreneurship and industry trends.

Related Articles

Latest Articles