ISO/IEC 27001 Process Mapping to COBIT 4.1 to Derive a Balanced Scorecard for IT Governance


The balanced scorecard (BSC) initially developed by Kaplan and Norton1, 2, 3, 4 is a performance management system that should allow enterprises to drive their strategies on measurement and follow-up.
In recent years, the BSC has been applied to IT and, currently, the first real-life IT security governance application has been developed based on mapping International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 27001 control objectives to COBIT 4.1process areas and IT governance focus areas. As a further exercise, the relationships and similarities of COBIT 4.1 and COBIT 5 can be explored to create a mapping for COBIT 5 in future publications.
This article explains how an exercise in instituting controls can be used to establish the IT BSC, which can be linked to the business BSC and, in so doing, can support the IT/business governance and alignment processes as derived from mapping ISO/IEC 27001 and COBIT 4.1 controls.

Balanced Scorecard Introduction

Kaplan and Norton introduced the BSC at the enterprise level. Their basic idea is that the evaluation of an organization should not be restricted to a traditional financial evaluation, but should be supplemented with measures concerning customer satisfaction, internal processes and the ability to innovate. These additional measures should assure future financial results and drive the organization toward its strategic goals while keeping all 4 perspectives in balance. Kaplan and Norton proposed a triple-layered structure for the 4 perspectives: mission (e.g., to become the customers’ most preferred supplier), objectives (e.g., to provide the customers with new products) and measures (e.g., percentage of turnover generated by new products).
The BSC can be applied to the IT function and its processes.5, 6, 7, 8 This article transformed previous visions into actions that can be used to correct any lapses and reduce value in the BSC results. The use of the BSC can also be applied to IT risk management.9

IT Governance Through Controls

This article illustrates how a cascade of scorecards can be instrumental in the development of IT/business governance processes and how this hierarchy of scorecards can support the alignment of business and IT strategy. The IT development BSC and the IT controls/operational BSC are introduced as enablers for the strategic BSC, which, in turn, is the enabler of the business BSC (figure 1).
Governance is established through compliance to standards and control objectives.

Figure 1—IT Balanced Scorecard as a Business Enabler

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Controls Through Compliance to Standards

IT governance is part of corporate governance and has to provide the organizational structures to enable the creation of business value through IT, the assurance that there are no IT investments in bad projects and that there are adequate IT control mechanisms established through compliance to the control objectives of COBIT and ISO/IEC 27001.
The methodology of the BSC is a measurement and management system that is suitable for supporting the IT governance process and the IT-business alignment process. Figure 2 shows sample cumulative average scores for the ISO/IEC 27001 control objectives and questions showing inputs for the security policy domain used in the exercise for mapping ISO/IEC 27001 to COBIT 4.1.

Figure 2—Sample Cumulative Average Scores for the ISO/IEC 27001 Control Objectives and Questions Showing Inputs for Security Policy Domain

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 3 shows sample cumulative domain scores for the ISO/IEC 27001 control objectives. These results are computed by domain as used in the exercise for mapping ISO/IEC 27001 to COBIT 4.1. The future state results are arbitrary figures that are being aspired to as targets for the exercise.

Figure 3—Resulting ISO/IEC 27001 Compliance Data by Domain

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 4 is the bar chart representation of the ISO/IEC 27001 results.

Figure 4—ISO/IEC 27001 Compliance Data by Domain Result in Bar Chart Format

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

The generic maturity model score was derived from the data of the assessment based on the values that are mapped to the COBIT 4.1 domains (figure 5). These scores are used to create the charts in figures 6 and 7 for maturity benchmark results by domains.

Figure 5—Compliance Output Data to Generic Future Desired State With Generic Maturity Model

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 6—ISO/IEC 27001 Compliance Data Results to Generic Future Desired State

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Figure 7—COBIT Compliance to Generic Future Desired State

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

The value inputs of 0% to 100% from the ISO control objectives, sections and control questions are mapped to COBIT 4.1 domains and processes. These are linked to the IT focus areas as shown in figure 8.

Figure 8—Sample Results Showing Mapping of ISO/IEC 27001 Data to COBIT Processes

Source: ISACA, Mapping COBIT 4.1 to ISO /IEC 27001, USA, 2005

These resultant data from the exercise are further employed as COBIT information criteria for primary and secondary grouping. The resultant values of the ISO/IEC 27001 mapping into COBIT processes are linked with the defined IT goals. Exercise results showing the values from the data mapping outputs are shown in figure 9.

Figure 9—Linking COBIT Processes Data Results to IT Goals Showing the Information Criteria for Governance Activities

Source: Christopher Oparaugo. Reprinted with permission.

Based on the data values from the COBIT process linking to IT goals, the IT goals to business goals are derived and the elements of the BSC are developed. Figure 10 shows the results of these links.

Figure 10—Data Linking IT Goals to Business Goals

Source: ISACA, COBIT 4.1: Framework for IT Governance and Control and IT Governance Institute

Information Security Governance Balanced Scorecard

The BSC is a management system (not only a measurement system) that enables organizations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate those into action. It provides feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. When fully deployed, the BSC transforms strategic planning from an academic exercise into the nerve center of an enterprise.
The BSC uses 4 perspectives, develops metrics, collects data and analyzes the data relative to each of these perspectives:

  1. Financial—To succeed financially, how should we appear to our shareholders? 52.38%
  2. Customer—To achieve our vision, how should we appear to our customers? 59.40%
  3. Internal business—To satisfy our shareholders and customers, at what business process must we excel? 61.31%
  4. Learning and growth—To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve? 55.54%


The vision and strategy driver scores are achieved from the mapping exercise of ISO/IEC 27001 to COBIT 4.1 and these can be used in determinig key permormance indicator (KPI) scores for a department and be drilled down to an individual’s contribution in the overall department success. The results from linking IT goals to business goals and reviewing with the COBIT information criteria helps form a better perspective of the BSC. The assessment results can be drilled and backward review of the mapping values used in determining the root cause of having low values from a set of mapped data in ISO/IEC 27001 control objectives and questions; this will form a basis for developing an action plan as needed by the business.
Successful enterprises understand the risk and exploit the benefits of IT, and find ways to deal with aligning IT strategy with the business strategy, cascading IT strategy and goals down into the enterprise and insisting that an IT control framework be adopted and implemented. IT governance is not an isolated discipline. It is an integral part of overall enterprise governance that drives the business in these days of the Internet of Things. The need to integrate IT governance with overall business governance is similar to the need for IT to be an integral part of the enterprise business.

Christopher Oparaugo, CISM, CGEIT, CRISC

Is the chief technology officer of KATEC Consulting Ltd. He has worked for IBM Global Business Services as an information security consultant. He has also worked in the telecommunication and banking industries in West Africa. Oparaugo has contributed to the ISACA CISM, CGEIT and CRISC Certification Project and Test Enhancement Committee since 2005, setting exam questions and reviewing the manuals.


1 Kaplan, R.; D. Norton; “The Balanced Scorecard—Measures That Drive Performance,” Harvard Business Review. January-February 1992, p. 71-79
2 Kaplan, R.; D. Norton; “Putting the Balanced Scorecard to Work,” Harvard Business Review. September-October 1993, p. 134-142
3 Kaplan, R.;D. Norton; “Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System,” Harvard Business Review. January-February 1996, p. 75-85
4 Kaplan, R.; D. Norton; The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Vision Into Action, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1996.
5 Gold, C.; “Total Quality Management in Information Services—IS Measures: A Balancing Act,” research note, Ernst & Young Center for Information Technology and Strategy, USA, 1992
6 Gold, C.; “US Measures—A Balancing Act,” Ernst &Young Center for Business Innovation, USA, 1994.
7 Willcocks, L.; Information Management, The Evaluation of Information Systems Investments, Chapman & Hall, UK, 1995
8 Van Grembergen, W.; D. Timmerman; “Monitoring the IT Process Through the Balanced Scorecard,” Proceedings of the 9th Information Resources Management (IRMA) International Conference, USA, May 1998, p. 105-116
9 Van Grembergen, W.; ”The Balanced Scorecard and IT Governance,” Information Systems Control Journal, vol.2, 2000


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