Category: Advisory

Securance & Kiwa: Cybersecurity Solutions

Securance and Kiwa join forces on Cybersecurity and Risk Management solutions

Securance, a leader in integrated risk management and cybersecurity solutions in Europe, is excited to announce a new partnership with Kiwa, an esteemed provider of certification and compliance services. This collaboration will focus on ISO certifications and Assurance services, enhancing our offerings while maintaining our distinct expertise in our respective fields.

At Securance, our approach combines comprehensive assurance and advisory services with advanced cybersecurity measures to protect and empower businesses. By aligning with Kiwa, we aim to leverage our joint capabilities to provide more robust, industry-leading solutions tailored to the specific needs of our clients. This partnership will enable us to enhance our service delivery, particularly in areas demanding rigorous standards compliance and operational excellence.

Together, Securance and Kiwa are committed to setting new benchmarks in security, compliance, and risk management. Our collaboration will deliver scalable solutions that ensure business continuity and resilience, fostering growth and innovation in an ever-evolving digital world.

Koen van der Aa, COO of Securance, said, “We are very pleased to announce our partnership with Kiwa. This collaboration marks an important step forward for both companies as we join forces to enhance our services in risk management and cybersecurity. Together, we are committed to delivering substantial value to our clients, leveraging our combined expertise to meet the evolving needs of the market. I look forward to the opportunities and successes that lie ahead for both Kiwa and Securance.”

Marjolein Veenstra, team leader cybersecurity at Kiwa, expressed her enthusiasm for the strategic partnership, saying, “With this step, we can better serve our clients with complex certification and assurance issues. We relieve our clients in the process, allowing for a greater focus on substantive assessment. We are keen to explore opportunities to strengthen both our market position and that of our clients.”

DORA: Making the Financial Sector Stronger

DORA: Making the Financial Sector Stronger

As financial institutions increasingly rely on digital systems, the need for robust operational resilience has never been more critical. The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is a pioneering regulation aimed at fortifying the financial sector against digital disruptions. This blog explores how DORA enhances the sector’s resilience.

Understanding DORA's role

DORA is a regulatory framework introduced by the European Union to ensure the financial sector can withstand, respond to, and recover from IT-related disruptions and threats. Recognising the interconnectivity and interdependencies within the financial system, DORA aims to standardise and strengthen the sector’s digital resilience across the EU.

DORA’s importance lies in its comprehensive approach. It mandates financial entities to implement robust IT risk management processes, conduct regular threat-led penetration testing, and ensure continuous monitoring and reporting of their IT systems. By establishing a unified regulatory environment, DORA helps mitigate the fragmented approach to cybersecurity previously seen across different EU member states.

Boosting Operational Strength with DORA

Operational resilience is the ability of an organisation to deliver critical operations through disruption. DORA significantly enhances operational resilience by enforcing comprehensive IT risk management frameworks. Financial institutions must identify, assess, and mitigate IT risks, ensuring they can continue operations even under adverse conditions. Additionally, DORA mandates timely incident reporting, facilitating rapid response and coordination at both national and EU levels.

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans are central to DORA’s requirements. These plans must be regularly tested to ensure their effectiveness in real-world scenarios. Moreover, DORA sets stringent requirements for managing third-party risks, ensuring that dependencies on external service providers do not compromise operational resilience. By enforcing these practices, DORA ensures financial institutions are prepared to handle IT-related disruptions while maintaining essential services.

Better Data Handling under DORA

Data governance is a critical aspect of DORA’s framework, emphasising the need for effective strategies to manage data securely and efficiently. DORA aligns with existing data protection regulations like GDPR, ensuring that financial institutions handle customer data with utmost care and confidentiality. This involves implementing strong encryption and data masking techniques to protect sensitive information.

Ensuring data integrity and availability is paramount under DORA. Financial institutions are required to adopt robust data backup and recovery solutions, with regular testing to guarantee quick and accurate data restoration in case of disruptions. Additionally, DORA advocates for comprehensive data governance frameworks, outlining policies, procedures, and responsibilities for data management. These frameworks help maintain data quality, ensure compliance, and support informed decision-making.

Effective data handling under DORA also involves a clear incident response and reporting mechanism. Financial institutions must have protocols in place to quickly identify, contain, and report data breaches, minimising potential damage.

DORA’s strategic advantages can position financial institutions for sustained success and resilience in the future.

DORA and other Financial Laws

DORA is designed to work in harmony with other financial regulations, creating a cohesive regulatory environment. It complements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by ensuring robust cybersecurity measures are in place, safeguarding data against breaches and cyber-attacks. DORA also enhances the Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) by reinforcing the security of ICT systems involved in payment services, ensuring uninterrupted and secure payment processing.

Furthermore, DORA supports the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) by ensuring the ICT infrastructure underpinning financial markets remains resilient and secure. It also builds on the Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS Directive) by focusing specifically on the financial sector, ensuring tailored and stringent measures for financial institutions. By aligning with these regulations, DORA ensures a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and operational resilience, covering various aspects of financial operations and data management.

Planning for the future with DORA

DORA is not just about compliance; it is a strategic tool that offers long-term benefits. Financial institutions adhering to DORA’s stringent requirements can demonstrate their commitment to operational resilience and cybersecurity, building trust with customers and stakeholders. This enhances the institution’s reputation as a secure and reliable entity, attracting more customers and business partners.

Implementing DORA’s frameworks can also lead to improved operational efficiency. Streamlined processes, regular testing, and continuous monitoring help in identifying and addressing issues proactively, reducing downtime and operational costs. Moreover, DORA’s emphasis on continuous improvement and adaptation ensures that financial institutions are prepared for future challenges. By staying ahead of emerging threats and regulatory changes, institutions can maintain their resilience and relevance in a rapidly evolving landscape.

Conclusion: DORA represents a significant step forward

In conclusion, DORA represents a significant step forward in strengthening the financial sector’s operational resilience. By integrating comprehensive IT risk management, data governance, and alignment with other regulations, DORA provides a robust framework for financial institutions to thrive amidst digital challenges. Leveraging DORA’s strategic advantages can position financial institutions for sustained success and resilience in the future.

Get started with Securance's Advisory Services

Are you ready to enhance your organisation’s resilience under DORA? Securance offers comprehensive advisory services to help you navigate this regulatory landscape. We can conduct a thorough gap analysis to identify your current standing concerning DORA and assist you in implementing necessary measures. Contact us today to secure your future.

Operational Risk Management: Avoiding Pitfalls

Operational Risk Management: Avoiding common pitfalls and building resilience

Operational Risk Management involves the myriad uncertainties and inefficiencies inherent in the day-to-day activities of a company. These can stem from various sources—system failures, process inefficiencies, human error, or external events. Addressing these risks is pivotal, not merely for compliance or protecting assets, but as an essential strategy for organisational resilience and competitive advantage

The common pitfalls

The journey of operational risk management is fraught with potential missteps that can undermine an organisation’s objectives. Here are some nuanced issues often overlooked in traditional risk management approaches:

Compartmentalised risk functions: When risk management is confined to specific departments rather than integrated throughout the organisation, critical insights can be missed.

Dependency on outdated systems: Continued reliance on legacy systems without embracing digital advancements can slow response times and hinder risk detection.

Static risk models: Many organisations stick to risk models that don’t account for the dynamic nature of business, missing out on identifying evolving threats

A deeper understanding of these challenges is the first step towards crafting a more effective Risk Management strategy.

Best practices from our Advisory experts

Transforming an organisation’s approach to operational risk management involves strategic adjustments and not just tactical fixes. Here are some advanced practices that can fortify your risk management framework:

Cultivate a dialogue-driven culture: Foster an environment where discussing risks is encouraged at all levels, enhancing transparency and collective understanding.

Regularly update risk frameworks: It’s vital to ensure that your risk management frameworks keep pace with changes both within and outside the organisation. This involves regular reviews and updates of your risk policies and procedures to reflect new developments in your industry, changes in the regulatory landscape, or shifts in your operational environment.

Streamline reporting mechanisms: Implementing streamlined and efficient reporting mechanisms is crucial. These should be designed to provide clear, concise, and timely information to decision-makers. Effective reporting systems help in identifying potential risks early and provide actionable insights to mitigate them before they escalate.

Image that tries to show operational risk management. Text: fortify your risk management framework. In the right corner you see the Securance logo

It requires a forward-thinking approach that not only addresses current risks but also anticipates future challenges.

Advancing Operational Risk Management through tooling

In the realm of operational risk management, technology is not just a tool but a strategic ally. At Securance, our partnerships with leading technology providers equip us with sophisticated Risk Management tools that deliver:

Proactive risk detection: We utilize advanced predictive analytics to anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions before they impact our business operations. This proactive approach helps maintain continuity and integrity throughout our processes, ensuring that risks are managed efficiently.

Integrated risk solutions: Our Risk Management tooling partners provide comprehensive platforms that offer a holistic view of risks across the organisation. This integration allows for better-informed decision-making, as risk data from various departments is centralised, ensuring that all potential risks are visible and managed effectively.

Advanced Cybersecurity protocols: Through these partnerships, we implement the latest in Cybersecurity measures to protect against emerging digital threats. These protocols are continuously updated, responding to new cyber risks as they develop, and safeguarding our sensitive data and systems against breaches.

Conclusion: Embracing continuous evolution

Effective risk management is about perpetual evolution and adaptation. It requires a forward-thinking approach that not only addresses current risks but also anticipates future challenges. Organizations committed to continuously refining their risk management practices are better positioned to thrive in an unpredictable business environment.

By understanding the common pitfalls and integrating cutting-edge technology through Risk management tooling, companies can secure a robust operational framework that drives sustained success.

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Importance of ISAE 3402 in Real Estate

The importance of ISAE 3402 in Real Estate Operation

In the complex realm of real estate, where precision in transactional integrity and the assurance of operational controls are paramount, ISAE 3402 emerges as a pivotal standard. This framework is not merely about meeting compliance requirements but is a decisive tool for real estate companies aiming to showcase their commitment to robust governance and transparent financial practices. By integrating ISAE 3402, firms not only adhere to international norms but also strategically position themselves to enhance investor confidence and stakeholder trust in an increasingly scrutinized market environment.

Exploring ISAE 3402: A deep dive into its significance

ISAE 3402, the International Standard on Assurance Engagements, serves as a critical tool for service organizations to demonstrate robust internal controls over their operations, particularly those related to financial reporting. For real estate businesses, which are inherently complex due to their significant transaction values and regulatory scrutiny, ISAE 3402 provides a structured approach to documenting and validating the controls in place, thus enhancing the reliability of the information provided to investors and stakeholders.

The role of ISAE 3402 in robust Risk Management practices

Effective risk management is vital in real estate, where the stakes are inherently high. Adopting ISAE 3402 helps companies establish a clear and accountable method for managing operational risks, offering reassurance to investors and clients about the integrity of the firm’s processes. For instance, real estate companies like Spring Real Estate have successfully leveraged ISAE 3402 to professionalize their internal procedures, ensuring that property valuations are conducted at the highest standards​.

Operational benefits of implementing ISAE 3402

Implementing ISAE 3402 offers substantial operational benefits that extend beyond compliance, fundamentally enhancing the efficiency and reliability of real estate companies’ internal systems. This standard compels organizations to critically assess and document their control processes, which can lead to significant improvements in how these systems operate daily.

Firstly, the structured approach required by ISAE 3402 encourages organizations to establish well-defined procedures for managing both routine and exceptional transactions. This clarity and standardization of processes reduce the likelihood of errors and inefficiencies, streamlining operations and potentially reducing operational costs. By mandating regular reviews and audits of these controls, ISAE 3402 also ensures that these processes remain effective and are continuously improved over time, aligning with best practices and evolving industry standards.

Secondly, ISAE 3402 facilitates greater transparency within the organization. It requires that the details of control activities be clearly documented and readily available for audit. This transparency is crucial not only for internal assessments but also enhances the credibility of the organization with external stakeholders, including regulators, investors, and partners. By demonstrating a commitment to rigorous governance through ISAE 3402 compliance, companies can build trust and strengthen their reputation in the market.

Furthermore, the risk management aspect of ISAE 3402 cannot be overstated. By identifying and addressing potential risks in operations and financial reporting, companies can avoid significant pitfalls that might otherwise impact their financial health and operational stability. This proactive risk assessment helps safeguard the company from potential financial discrepancies and operational disruptions, which in turn supports sustainable business growth.

Moreover, the implementation of ISAE 3402 often leads to a cultural shift within the organization towards greater control consciousness among employees. When staff members are aware that processes are regularly reviewed and audited, it fosters a culture of accountability and precision. This cultural shift is beneficial not just for compliance purposes but also enhances the overall operational discipline of the organization, leading to better decision-making and increased organizational agility.

ISAE 3402 as a catalyst for market differentation and growth

ISAE 3402 provides real estate companies with a powerful framework for highlighting their adherence to rigorous governance and operational excellence, which is crucial for differentiation in a competitive market. This compliance reassures investors and clients about the company’s commitment to maintaining high standards in process management and risk control. By meeting the ISAE 3402 standards, firms not only enhance their credibility but also improve operational workflows, which can lead to increased efficiency and reduced overhead costs. Furthermore, the requirement for regular audits under ISAE 3402 promotes a culture of continuous improvement within firms, ensuring that their processes remain aligned with best practices and adapt to new regulatory demands. This proactive stance on transparency and accountability makes a real estate company more attractive to potential partners and investors, solidifying its reputation as a trustworthy and forward-thinking market leader.

ISAE 3402 stands as a pivotal standard within the real estate sector, crucial for ensuring transactional integrity and establishing robust operational controls.

Future directions: Adapting ISAE 3402 to emerging market needs

As technology continues to reshape the landscape of real estate, ISAE 3402 is poised for necessary adaptations to address the challenges of digital transformation. The standard is expected to increasingly focus on IT risks, cybersecurity measures, and data protection to ensure that real estate companies can effectively manage and safeguard sensitive information in a digital-first world. This shift is crucial as the reliance on digital platforms and data analytics grows, demanding robust security and privacy controls to maintain stakeholder trust and comply with stringent data regulations.

Furthermore, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors become more integral to business operations and investor decision-making, ISAE 3402 may expand to include these aspects. Aligning the standard with ESG considerations will not only meet the growing demands for sustainability and ethical governance but also enhance transparency and accountability in these critical areas. Such developments will necessitate ongoing updates to internal practices and processes among real estate firms, ensuring they remain compliant and continue to lead in governance and risk management amidst evolving market expectations.

Conclusion: The enduring relevance of ISAE 3402 in Real Estate

ISAE 3402 stands as a pivotal standard within the real estate sector, crucial for ensuring transactional integrity and establishing robust operational controls. This framework transcends mere regulatory compliance, serving as an indispensable tool for real estate companies striving to demonstrate their dedication to sound governance and transparent financial practices. By implementing ISAE 3402, firms not only align with international norms but also strategically enhance their position to boost investor confidence and trust in a highly scrutinized market.

The significance of ISAE 3402 extends through every layer of a real estate organization, from streamlining operations to fortifying risk management frameworks. It enforces a discipline of continuous improvement and accountability, leading to operational enhancements that reduce inefficiencies and safeguard the firm’s financial health. Moreover, the standard’s evolving nature—especially its potential expansion to cover IT risks and ESG factors—suggests its growing alignment with contemporary business practices and stakeholder expectations. As real estate companies navigate the complexities of a digital and environmentally conscious market, ISAE 3402 provides a clear pathway to maintaining competitive advantage and upholding a reputation for excellence and reliability in an ever-evolving industry landscape