What is COBIT? What you should know about the framework

With COBIT, ITIL, and plenty of other IT-related governance frameworks around, how do you know which will best help you reach your information security objectives?

 

We’re here to help you make sense of it all, so you can figure out which is most worthy of your time, understand if obtaining COBIT certification is worth it, and everything in between!

 

What is COBIT?

 

COBIT stands for the Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies. It is an IT management framework developed initially in 1996 by ISACA, previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

 

COBIT was created with the intention of helping financial audit organizations develop and implement processes for all their IT management and governance needs. Two years after its first debut, ISACA published the second version of the framework, in order to expand it to fit outside the auditing community. In the 2000s, they added the IT information governance techniques that are present in the current versions of the framework.

 

As ISACA continues to make revisions and release new renditions, they include more and more details about risk management and information governance.

 

What is the purpose of COBIT?

 

The purpose of the COBIT framework is to help organization’s align their business goals with their IT goals by bridging the gap between IT teams and other departments and focusing on risk management and security in particular.

 

Throughout its latest version published in 2019, ISACA emphasized that COBIT is not a framework for organizing business processes, making IT decisions, or figuring out the right IT architecture. Instead, it’s specific purpose is to serve as a framework for enterprise companies to assist with their IT governance and management throughout the whole company.

 

What are the 5 COBIT principles?

 

COBIT 5 is based on five principles that are, according to ISACA, essential in order for an organization to come up with effective IT management and governance arrangement:

 

  • Meeting stakeholders’ needs
  • Securing the organization from end-to-end
  • Applying one, integrated framework
  • Enabling a holistic approach
  • Separating governance from management

 

ISACA states that the 5 principles are based on seven enablers, which it lists as:

 

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

 

What is COBIT certification?

 

COBIT certification is achieved by taking and passing an entry-level, closed-book exam made up of 75 questions with an allocated time of two hours.

 

The exam is made up of all multiple choice questions, with each question having three possible options yet only one correct answer. In order to pass the exam and obtain COBIT certification, one must achieve a score of 65% or more on the exam.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the exam, or even registering for it, you can check out ISACA’s page all about the COBIT exam and certification.

 

What is COBIT certification used for?

 

COBIT certification can be used for several different things.
Firstly, it can prove to be incredibly useful for IT managers and personnel as a guideline on how to respond to the many different security issues that companies and organizations may face, and how to respond to these specific challenges.

 

Second, it can be used to help IT teams and organizations in general implement best practices and standards surrounding their entire IT infrastructure. Not to mention that it also provides very useful information that can aid decision-makers in their decision-making.

 

Third, and in some cases perhaps most importantly, it can help companies and IT teams pass certain regulatory, statutory, and governmental requirements.

 

As an added bonus, COBIT certification is a great thing to add to your resume or LinkedIn profile.

 

What is the difference between COBIT and ITIL?

 

Much like COBIT, ITIL is also a framework, and the acronym stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. It was first coined by the British government’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) in the 1980s.

 

You can think of ITIL as a framework that outlines best practices and tips intended to help managed service providers (MSPs) and IT personnel standardize the way that they offer the different IT-based services that they offer, and improve their support and service level.

 

As such, the difference between COBIT and ITIL is that ITIL describes and standardizes the different IT services and assets an IT provider provides and helps manage them, while COBIT is a framework that outlines how to implement processes for IT management and governance.

 

In simple terms, COBIT has a broader scope than ITIL does, as it relates to an entire organization and aligning a company’s business goals with its IT goals, while ITIL really focuses on IT service management.

 

COBIT aims to leverage an IT department’s resources to best enhance the company, while ITIL regards how to best organize an IT team and their respective workload in the most beneficial and efficient way.