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
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

10 Ways To Measure IT Security Program Effectiveness

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

Mean Time To Fix Software Vulnerabilities
Whether for web, mobile, cloud-based, or internal applications, organizations that build custom software should be measuring how long it takes to remediate software vulnerabilities from the time they're identified, says John Dickson, principal at Denim Group.  
'This measurement helps organizations understand the window of vulnerability in production software,' Dickson says. 'Unfortunately, most organizations do not publish this metric internally and as a result, the most serious application vulnerabilities, like SQL injections, remain in production far too long.' 
Realistically, this number may be skewed by fixes that don't ever occur, particularly during the development process. Which is why organizations should also be tracking the number of critical defects fixed against those reported, which will show how effective static analysis is for the organization, says Caroline Wong, director of security initiatives for Cigital. 
 
'To obtain this metric, the software security group must be performing static analysis, counting the number of defects initially found -- by classification, during first scan -- and counting the number of (critical) defects which are actually fixed by developers,' Wong says. 'The quality of the code will not actually increase until the developer performs triage on the findings and fixes the actual software defects. The desired trend for this metric is to increase towards 100 percent.'  
 
(Image: Pixabay)

Mean Time To Fix Software Vulnerabilities

Whether for web, mobile, cloud-based, or internal applications, organizations that build custom software should be measuring how long it takes to remediate software vulnerabilities from the time they're identified, says John Dickson, principal at Denim Group.

"This measurement helps organizations understand the window of vulnerability in production software," Dickson says. "Unfortunately, most organizations do not publish this metric internally and as a result, the most serious application vulnerabilities, like SQL injections, remain in production far too long.

Realistically, this number may be skewed by fixes that don't ever occur, particularly during the development process. Which is why organizations should also be tracking the number of critical defects fixed against those reported, which will show how effective static analysis is for the organization, says Caroline Wong, director of security initiatives for Cigital.

"To obtain this metric, the software security group must be performing static analysis, counting the number of defects initially found -- by classification, during first scan -- and counting the number of (critical) defects which are actually fixed by developers," Wong says. "The quality of the code will not actually increase until the developer performs triage on the findings and fixes the actual software defects. The desired trend for this metric is to increase towards 100 percent."

(Image: Pixabay)

3 of 10
Comment  | 
Print  | 
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.
97% of Americans Can't Ace a Basic Security Test
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  5/20/2019
TeamViewer Admits Breach from 2016
Dark Reading Staff 5/20/2019
How a Manufacturing Firm Recovered from a Devastating Ransomware Attack
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  5/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5798
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Lack of correct bounds checking in Skia in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform an out of bounds memory read via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5799
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect inheritance of a new document's policy in Content Security Policy in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5800
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Insufficient policy enforcement in Blink in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5801
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect eliding of URLs in Omnibox in Google Chrome on iOS prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5802
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect handling of download origins in Navigation in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.