COBIT vs TOGAF: Which is Better For Cybersecurity?

COBIT vs TOGAF - Invensis Learning

Around 95% of organizations use at least one framework to manage their IT governance. Companies will always benefit from adding structure in their business and IT processes and protecting their assets. This is why many frameworks come with blueprints so that organizations can achieve their key objectives, such as governance, compliance, and security. Two popular models for doing so are COBIT and TOGAF, both widely used by enterprises in cybersecurity and digital resilience. In this article on COBIT vs TOGAF, let us explore how these popular IT governance frameworks are different in terms of cybersecurity.

COBIT: An Overview 

COBIT is one of the most widely used IT management frameworks developed by ISACA, and released first in 1996. Organizations are employed to help them develop, organize, and implement the best-suited strategies to their company when it comes to managing information and IT governance for cybersecurity.

COBIT 5 was released by ISACA to include many risk management practices for organizations and companies and managing governance. The COBIT 2019 update was designed to evolve with the times and give more frequent updates to companies. The strategies made are more flexible and more tailored to the needs of individual companies. These strategies take a more collaborative approach to new and constantly changing technology.

TOGAF: An Overview

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) was created to help companies create a systematic approach for organizing their development processes. TOGAF helps organizations to reduce their errors and maintain all their deadlines while sticking with their budget at the same time to deliver quality results. It was found that in 2016, nearly 80% of Global 50 companies used TOGAF as a framework for their cybersecurity. When it comes to using the framework internally, TOGAF is free for organizations, but not when it comes to using it commercially. 

TOGAF also helps companies to align both business and IT goals. It also helps organizations manage their IT efforts across all departments. With the help of TOGAF, companies can easily organize all their requirements before the beginning of any project. This helps create a more secure approach to any project because all the threats and factors of risks are already understood and managed before the project begins, making the process move quickly with very few errors.

TOGAF was created so that everyone in the company can ‘speak the same language’, save resources, and use them more efficiently. It helps in standardizing open means to create an enterprise architecture. This leads to a more structured and organized way of implementation of software technology. TOGAF is focused more on governance, which includes cybersecurity and meeting business objectives. TOGAF also helps solve any issues that come within the IT department or outside, keeping all the stakeholders on the same page.

Components of COBIT

COBIT 2019 can work alongside ITIL, TOGAF, and CMMI. This makes COBIT 2019 an excellent option for creating an umbrella framework so that all the company processes can get unified. It addresses all the new trends in technology and security needs. All in all, COBIT 2019 was designed in a way that businesses have more flexibility when it comes to tailoring their IT governance strategy to suit their needs.

COBIT also helps with aligning business goals, and IT goals like TOGAF does. It establishes various links between the IT section and the rest of the enterprise to bridge the gap. What sets COBIT apart is that it is more focused on cybersecurity than other frameworks and states security, risk management, and governance of information to its main priority. COBIT is more than just a tool to organize all business processes and manage technology like TOGAF, even though it does integrate them. COBIT was explicitly designed to manage IT risks that could affect the entire organization so that all business processes can go on in a smooth manner.

The COBIT 2019 framework comes with a guide to introduce all the main principles of COBIT and the overall structure. IT also includes all the 40 governance and management objectives that COBIT helps companies accomplish. COBIT 2019 also comes with a design guide for giving organizations a deep insight into developing an IT governance system that is uniquely tailored to their needs and a guide for implementing the strategies once they are developed.

Components of TOGAF

TOGAF was created to offer four main domains for IT architecture and overall business operations for organizations. It gives organizations information on how to create better business strategies, especially when it comes to governance and how to implement all existing processes. TOGAF also has a blueprint for structuring and deploying various systems to align with the organization’s business goals. TOGAF gives companies a way to define the entire organization’s data storage and manage and maintain it. 

The TOGAF framework has a content metamodel that guides companies to create and manage all the enterprise architecture in place in the organization. It creates a more streamlined approach to managing the infrastructure. A partitioning component in TOGAF 9 gives guidance when separating specific architectures in a company. TOGAF also has an architecture repository with different details that come with an enterprise-wide architecture to all relevant projects, including various ideas, designs, processes, and frameworks to help the project reach completion more smoothly. TOGAF 9 also comes with various guidelines and techniques to help with applying the framework within the organization and manage some security concerns.

Certifications for COBIT and TOGAF

Both these certifications belong to the IT Security and Governance category and they come in handy for employees in any organization to help implement the frameworks in a more effective manner. 

COBIT 5 and COBIT 2019 certifications complement each other, and in case the organization implements COBIT 2019, the COBIT 5 certification will come in handy. The COBIT 2019 certifications include a COBIT Bridge Workshop, a day-long course covering various concepts and models, focusing on the differences between COBIT 5 and COBTI 2019. There is a two-day foundation course with an exam, and also a Design and Implementation certification.

There are two levels to the TOGAF certification. Level 1 covers the foundation aspect of TOGAF, and level 2 covers all the working knowledge that employees may need to implement the framework successfully. 

COBIT vs TOGAF: Final Thoughts

COBIT is a framework that is focused more on creating an enterprise-wide IT governance system that implements various controls for security. In contrast, TOGAF is used to create an information architecture for the company to incorporate business and IT goals in a streamlined fashion. They can be used together as a hybrid model as well to create a strong governance framework.

Some of the popular IT Security and Governance certification courses that individuals and enterprise teams can take up are:

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Ingrid Horvath is an IT Security professional with more than five years of experience in risk management, compliance and privacy, crisis management, threats, and vendor vulnerability assessments. She possesses a solid technical knowledge and is gaining expertise in the IT Security and Governance domain. Ingrid focuses on emerging technological problems and privacy concerns at the enterprise level. Ultimately, she provides the best solutions by combining various aspects of IT security, risk management, and compliance privacy. Being a prolific writer, she has a passion for guiding people on security and privacy through her articles.


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