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Risk management is simply a way of identifying risk as it relates to enterprises and companies. When it comes to enterprise risk management (ERM), the process goes beyond just identifying risk: you have to take another step to prevent threats that could affect your company or put in place protection measures to allow resumption of normal business operations.
Considering IT is a big part of any organization, it’s one of the major areas of the risk management process. With cybercrime on the increase, hackers are continually finding new ways to penetrate your IT systems regardless of your robust security measures. For instance, Sony, a big electronic corporation, suffered a large security scandal in 2014 whereby its servers were breached and emails and personal data copied. Two years later, many big brands such as the UK’s NHS and Honda were affected in one way or another by the WannaCry ransomware.
The truth is that it’s very difficult to prevent all cybercrime incidents in your organization, but you can prevent the majority and be a step ahead by remaining prepared to fight the rest with a comprehensive enterprise risk management. The idea is identifying steps that you can follow to protect your organization’s data and systems. This is where COBIT proves to come in handy.
Information Systems Audit and Control Association, COBIT is a management framework designed to help the organization, development, and implementation of strategies linked to information management and governance. Developed by ISACA , it stands for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology.
Although the first version of COBIT was released in 1996, ISACA released version 2 in 1998, which covered the framework beyond the auditing community. In the 2000s, he developed version 3, a framework that now covered information governance techniques and IT management.
The idea of COBIT is to offer managers and organizations a supportive tool, allowing them to bridge crucial gaps between control requirements, business risks, and technical issues. It’s a recognized guideline that organizations can apply in any industry to ensure reliability, control, and quality of information systems.
Risk is inevitable. Companies of all sizes need to observe risk management process to remain ahead of the curve. The risk your organization may face doesn’t have to be limited to negative outcomes or bad consequences. Sometimes you could face risks that involve opportunities with positive effects. With a thorough risk management process, you can take into account both negative and positive outcomes. COBIT allows you to cope with these kinds of risks and their impact on your company, business plans, and IT systems easily.
COBIT was initially developed as a range of information technology control objectives with the aim of helping financial firms with their IT auditing. However, its applications were expanded to be used outside that limited scope. Currently, it covers information governance and IT management techniques, including information to comprehensively help with risk management process.
COBIT 2019 is the most recent incarnation, slotting in seamlessly with the architectural framework of companies, including ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) and TOGAF. It’s particularly useful for businesses that want to utilize it as an overall framework bringing together different processes running in their organization while focusing on risk management, governance, and security.
Many businesses have started focusing more on the cloud and cybersecurity, meaning that standards and governance for them are still in their early days. With COBIT, your organization can be able to identify specific concepts of risk management and governance, especially considering that it’s mainly designed to allow companies to be flexible when they are developing their governance techniques.
The COBIT framework is designed to link IT infrastructure with business goals by offering different maturity metrics and models that determine the achievement, while at the same time measuring business responsibilities of the IT processes. The main focus of COBIT is planning and organization, delivering and support, acquiring and implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
A Simple, Tactical Solution
If you are looking to follow particular regulations and standards or have a single strategy for your company’s IT when it comes to risk management, COBIT can prove to be a revolutionary tool. It can help simplify things by bringing together different processes within your organization to seal the missing link, especially considering that IT departments are usually treated as a different entity in business.
This kind of framework can go a long way in improving IT risk management. It recommends best practices for ideal governance and the control of technical systems processes. By doing so, the IT systems become more integrated and aligned with your business’s goals. It can be extremely hard to determine the return of investment (ROI) for IT projects generally, but one of the main benefits of COBIT is that it has a clear way to show you how your IT department can make a difference to the objectives of your business. It can help your organization achieve its goals and effectively monitor security and security compliance.
Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT.