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Cloud Security Alliance Offers Metrics for Cyber Resiliency

As cyberattacks grow in scale and complexity, businesses need metrics and processes to measure threats and restore functionality.

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) today published "Improving Metrics in Cyber Resiliency," a whitepaper designed to help businesses develop metrics to measure security threats before they escalate, and recover after attacks hit.

CSA's report introduces two key metrics: Elapsed Time to Identify Failure (ETIF) and Elapsed Time to Identify Threat (ETIT). It says measuring these metrics, and implementing processes to lower their value, improves resiliency for an information system. The report also argues that publishing ETIF and ETIT would drive innovation for intrusion detection systems (IDS).

The resiliency model starts at the time when failure, and corresponding loss of function, are identified. ETIF, which measures a system's loss of resiliency, is the period of time between when the problem begins and when it's discovered. For example, the Sony attack started as early as Nov. 2013 but wasn't identified until Nov. 24, 2014, making the ETIF about one year.

CSA claims IDS companies should calculate and report ETIF instead of the organizations hit with attacks, saying this would standardize the forensic process and lead to the development of tools to define and measure the start of an attack. It may also drive competition in the IDS space as more companies try to develop algorithms for identifying problems.

ETIT is the time between when a threat appears, and when it's identified. If a component experiences failure and can tell other entities, the failure can be analyzed and recovery can take place before it spreads throughout an organization.

Read more details in the full report here (registration required).

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