Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

3/16/2015
06:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

10 Ways To Measure IT Security Program Effectiveness

The right metrics can make or break a security program (or a budget meeting).
Previous
1 of 10
Next

As CISOs try to find ways to prove ROI to higher ups and improve the overall effectiveness of security operations, the right metrics can make or break their efforts. Fortunately, infosec as an industry has matured to the point where many enterprising security leaders have found innovative and concrete measures to track performance and drive toward continual improvement. Dark Reading recently surveyed security practitioners and pundits to find out the best time-tested metrics to prove security effectiveness, ask for greater investment, and push security staff to improve their day-to-day work.

Average Time To Detect And Respond

Also referred to as mean time to know (MTTK), the average time to detect (ATD) measures the delta between an issue occurring—be it a compromise or a configuration gone wonky—and the security team figuring out there's a problem. 

"By reducing ATD, Security Operations Center (SOC) personnel give themselves more time to assess the situation and decide upon the best course of action that will enable the enterprise to accomplish its mission while preventing damage to enterprise assets," says Greg Boison, director of cyber and homeland security at Lockheed Martin.

Meanwhile, the mean time to resolution or average time to respond, will measure how long it takes for the security team to appropriately respond to an issue and mitigate its risk.

"Average Time to Respond (ATTR) is a metric that tells SOC management and personnel whether or not they are meeting objectives to quickly and correctly respond to identified violations of the security policy," Boison says. "By reducing ATR, SOC personnel reduce the impact (including the cost) of security violations."

Tracking these two metrics continuously over time can show how well a security program is improving or deteriorating. Ideally they should be growing smaller over time.

(Image: Freeimages.com)

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 10
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
RyanSepe
100%
0%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
3/17/2015 | 8:44:18 AM
Vulnerability Assessment
Many of these ways focus around and IRT(reactive) and Vulnerability Assessment Process(both proactive and reactive). These are two reactive measures that if handled effectively can increase an organization's security posture expontentially. However, many organizations do not employ these effectively. The reasons for this vary, bandwidth, personnel, expertise, etc. This is why sometimes outsourcing to an MSSP is beneficial. This argument can be made using the statistic aggregation denoted by this article.
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
Breaches Are Inevitable, So Embrace the Chaos
Ariel Zeitlin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Guardicore,  11/13/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-2916
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
qtnx 0.9 stores non-custom SSH keys in a world-readable configuration file. If a user has a world-readable or world-executable home directory, another local system user could obtain the private key used to connect to remote NX sessions.
CVE-2019-12757
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), prior to 14.2 RU2 & 12.1 RU6 MP10 and Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE) prior to 12.1 RU6 MP10d (12.1.7510.7002), may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt t...
CVE-2019-12758
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection, prior to 14.2 RU2, may be susceptible to an unsigned code execution vulnerability, which may allow an individual to execute code without a resident proper digital signature.
CVE-2019-12759
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (SEPM) and Symantec Mail Security for MS Exchange (SMSMSE), prior to versions 14.2 RU2 and 7.5.x respectively, may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt to compromise the software applicat...
CVE-2019-18372
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection, prior to 14.2 RU2, may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt to compromise the software application to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user.