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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Author Archive - Norman D. Marks, CPA, CRMA

Norman D. Marks is an Author, Evangelist and Mentor for Better Run Business, as well as an OCEG Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management. Mr. Marks has been a practitioner and thought leader in internal audit, risk management, and governance for a long time. He has led large and small internal audit departments, been a Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, and managed IT Security and governance functions. Read more

Talking about risk and opportunity

Some talk about opportunity as “the other side of the coin” from risk. COSO views the two words, risk and opportunity, as one is good and the other is bad. ISO seems them differently, defining risk as the effect on objectives. That effect could be positive or harmful.

 

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SEC investigates cyber-related frauds

On October 16th, the US Securities and Exchange Commission published Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Regarding Certain Cyber-Related Frauds Perpetrated Against Public Companies and Related Internal Accounting Controls Requirements.

 

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Treating cyber as a business problem

Cyber risk can only be communicated to leadership in a way that is meaningful and actionable, enabling them to make informed and intelligent decisions, if it is done using business language.

 

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Deloitte Internal Audit 3.0 has major flaws

Earlier this year, Deloitte published Internal Audit 3.0, The future of Internal Audit is now. It’s great that they are encouraging internal audit departments to change so they can meet modern demands, but their presentation that they are offering something novel and disruptive is way off the mark.

 

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Uniting risk management with strategic planning

Who can argue that the consideration of what might happen (what some refer to as risk) should be part of the strategic planning process? Objectives and strategies should be set only after thinking carefully about where you are, what is happening around you, and what may happen in the future.

 

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Emerging risks: who is watching?

Who should be alert and watching for emerging risks: things that might happen (a better expression than the ‘R’ word, ‘risk’, because of its negative impression) that might affect the achievement of enterprise objectives?

 

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Good decisions take time and more

Do risk, governance, and audit practitioners consider the problem of decisions where insufficient time was taken to obtain the necessary information, consult with all affected parties, and THINK about the options?

 

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Why are SOX compliance costs increasing so much?

From a recent survey by Protiviti, the information on how many organizations had to issue a cyber-security disclosure is interesting. Apparently, this generally resulted in an increase on SOX compliance hours – although the reason for a significant increase is not clear.

 

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Talking about inherent and residual risk

Are organizations unnecessarily risk averse? That can be crippling in many ways, including slowing agility and decision-making as well as failing to take advantage of opportunities.

 

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New information about cyber risk is alarming

According to the 2018 Sentinel One Global Ransomware Report, it appears that the frequency of attacks are surprisingly high, but the extent of damage is surprisingly low.

 

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The most important question is WHY

Too often, people do things without asking themselves why they are doing them. It may be because that is what they have always done, what somebody told them to do, or because they read about it in a book or standard.

 

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Is there an ROI for investing in cyber or information security?

IS ROI on cyber really as high as it may seem at first glance? At some point, it may be better to consider cyber risk as a “cost of doing business”. If you can’t actually reduce the likelihood of a breach, can you at least increase the likelihood of prompt detection and response?

 

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The role of internal audit in risk management

If we are stressing that risk management is really all about effective, informed and intelligent decision-making, shouldn’t internal audit start focusing on the quality of decision-making processes?

 

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So what if the risk is high?

Most organizations cannot afford to reduce every single risk to what some practitioners would deem acceptable. Providing actionable information about all the things that might happen, not by using terms like High, Medium, or Low, but in specific business terms will help evaluate which risks to take.

 

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New COSO ERM Guidance for ESG

It is essential to provide leaders with actionable information. Simply rating a risk as high or valuing it at $250,000 is meaningless. Leaders need to be able to make decisions between addressing one risk vs another, and going forward with a project given all the uncertainties related to its success. For that they need clear, detailed information, not a simple risk rating.

 

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