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

10/23/2015
09:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Passing the Sniff Test: Security Metrics and Measures

Cigital dishes dirt on top security metrics that don't work well, why they're ineffective and which measurable to consider instead.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

Image: Adobe Stock

Image: Adobe Stock

 

Security metrics are one of the key pillars of establishing a mature cybersecurity program. We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink over the years at Dark Reading discussing some of the top security metrics that organizations should consider collecting and analyzing. But are all security metrics good ones? According to Caroline Wong, security initiative director at Cigital, the short answer is, ‘Nope!’ She’s seen organizations waste resources on measuring things that don’t really matter to the business and do nothing to help drive improvement.

“I've really been doing security metrics for about ten years, so I've had more time to think about stuff,” she says. “And one of the things that I've realized is that there are some metrics which organizations track that I really just don't think are useful.”

Caroline gave us the lowdown on metrics effectiveness. She started by offering some key sniff tests for determining if your metric is a stinker. Then she offered up some examples of ineffective metrics, as well as alternatives that will better help move the needle for security.   

 

 

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
 

Recommended Reading:

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
10/26/2015 | 8:01:43 AM
Displaying Value
Whenever you are trying to devise important metrics of either a tool you own or a process think of the metric by the value it provides. Does it delineate cost savings, does it help to point out a broken business process, etc.
copleydt
50%
50%
copleydt,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2015 | 10:39:51 AM
Practical Advise
Your article was right on the spot; very pragmatic and useful. I've been in security a long time and am currently a CISO for a large healthcare provider and I've seen some metrics which I consider to be of no value.  I speak on security fairly often and I was just contemplating assembling a presentation on this same topic -  what security metrics NOT to use and what you SHOULD be measuring.
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Google's new See No Evil policy......
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-31664
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 44741ff99f7a71df45420635b238b9c22093647a contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33185
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS contains a buffer overflow in the set_range test in TestBitmap which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-33186
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS in test-crypto.cpp contains a stack buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.
CVE-2021-31272
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
SerenityOS before commit 3844e8569689dd476064a0759d704bc64fb3ca2c contains a directory traversal vulnerability in tar/unzip that may lead to command execution or privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-31660
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-18
RIOT-OS 2021.01 before commit 85da504d2dc30188b89f44c3276fc5a25b31251f contains a buffer overflow which could allow attackers to obtain sensitive information.