What is COBIT 5?

COBIT is an IT management framework created by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), which helps organizations achieve their goals for governance and management of enterprise information and technology resources (IT). COBIT 5’s most recent version, was released in 2012.

Simply put, COBIT 5 enables organizations to get the most out of their IT investments by forming a balance, realizing benefits and minimizing risk and resource consumption. COBIT 5 ensures that IT is regulated and handled holistically for the entire organization, encompassing all business and IT functional areas of responsibility, as well as internal and external enterprise IT concerns.

COBIT 5 incorporates ISACA’s IT Risk structures, in addition to tools from the Information Technology Infrastructure Library and guiding principles from the International Organization for Standardization.

COBIT 5 is not only applicable to IT companies; it is also applicable to the following entities: Multinational corporations, global businesses, charities, and non-profit organizations, national and local governments, clubs and associations, and small and medium-sized businesses.

What are the requirements for COBIT 5?

COBIT 5 is based on five principles that are critical for successful enterprise IT management and governance:

  • Meeting the needs of stakeholders
  • End-to-end coverage for user enterprises
  • Using a singular, comprehensive framework
  • Providing a forum for a holistic approach
  • Differentiating management from governance

When these principles are combined, organizations can create frameworks that are absolutely holistic. These frameworks will be built on the foundation of seven “enablers”:

  • Principles, policies and frameworks
  • Processes
  • Organizational structures
  • Culture, ethics and behavior
  • Information
  • Services, infrastructure and applications
  • People, skills and competencies

The principles and enablers, when combined, enable an organization to align their IT investments with their objectives and understand the quality of those investments.
Furthermore, COBIT 5 outlines five maturity models to assist your organization to determine your stance on the path to achieve compliance. You can assess the work you’ve completed in contrast to the work you still need to do by measuring the cybersecurity protections in the COBIT 5 maturity models.

Why should you be COBIT 5 compliant?

The COBIT 5 system will assist organizations of all sizes to achieve the following goals:

  • Enhance and retain high-quality knowledge to support business decisions
  • Use IT efficiently to accomplish business objectives
  • Utilize technologies to improve operating efficiency
  • Ensure that IT risk is effectively managed
  • Ensure that organizations get the most out of their IT expenditures
  • Ensure that organizations comply with regulations, contractual agreements and laws

Organizations that do not use a governance and management system for information and technology, such as COBIT 5, will face significant challenges.

To begin with, there is a possibility of noncompliance with applicable regulation or legislation, which is imposed by external bodies such as regulators, or corporate policies and standards, which are usually established internally and enforced by the company. Noncompliance with the above results in costly fines and the possible loss of revenue.

In addition, IT governance procedures are likely to be inefficient or non-existent. These governance procedures include policy management, evaluation, and service set management, as well as related management processes such as evaluate, lead, and track. These are essential for the IT department to meet business needs.

Finally, on many occasions there is a good chance that the IT governance structure is inefficient or non-existent. This can mean that IT receives little to no executive support, and that failures in IT programs are not held accountable. Misaligned IT and corporate strategy pose a serious threat. This often contributes to foolish and ill-informed IT decisions, as well as uncontrolled or misdirected IT spending. Furthermore, misalignment also leads to IT programs failing to innovate or offer the desired market benefits.

Without the governance and management practices offered by COBIT 5, companies face a dramatically increased risk of poor management of IT, assets and costs, a lack of proper transparency, and IT failing to meet business requirements.

How to achieve compliance?

COBIT 5 was designed with the goal of integration in mind. It is compatible with a variety of best-practice frameworks and standards, including ISO 27001, ISO 20000, ITIL, and NIST CSF. When putting together an IT governance plan, it’s a good idea to adapt and combine frameworks.

For example, the Centraleyes integrated risk management platform, determined that combining and integrating COBIT 5 and the NIST CSF framework is the best option:

The COBIT framework offers a process method to enforce principles of good governance, whereas the NIST Cybersecurity framework focuses primarily on cyber security-related strategies. When used together, they provide a more complete picture of a cyber security program as part of a broader initiative. 

Centraleyes enables implementation of COBIT 5 through NIST CSF, providing a combined built-in questionnaire, as well as full mapping to all other frameworks in the platform, creating time savings, accuracy and peace of mind when collecting and analyzing data.

Centraleyes delivers streamlined, automated data collection and analysis, prioritized remediation guidance and real-time customized scoring to ease COBIT 5 compliance for IT and security leaders. The Centraleyes platform also provides an exceptional ability to see, understand, and react to cyber risks in a dynamic and effective way. Organizations that deploy Centraleyes save time and resources, and increase their cyber resilience in a world of ever-evolving risks. It is truly cyber risk management reimagined.

If you are trying to meet the COBIT 5 requirement to develop, implement, monitor, and improve IT governance and information management while enhancing cyber security risks, Centraleyes is a perfect fit for you.

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