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What Questions Should I Keep in Mind to Improve My Security Metrics?

If you can answer these six questions, you'll be off to a great start.

Question: What questions should I keep in mind to improve my security metrics?

Joshua Goldfarb, independent consultantSecurity metrics is an area most organizations understand the importance of, but few do well in. While improving security metrics is a complex problem that requires a significant time investment, here are six questions to consider when looking to do so:

• Who is your audience? Before you can design and implement meaningful metrics, you need to know who they're for.

• So what? Measure what matters. If your audience is not interested in what you're measuring, it's of no value.

• Do you need all of that detail? Less is more. Report what answers the questions your audience wants you to answer. Anything beyond that reduces clarity and introduces confusion.

• Have you mapped to controls? Mapping metrics to controls allows us to more accurately measure risk within the organization.

• Are you reporting metrics regularly? Metrics are most valuable when they are living and dynamic, rather than snapshotted and static.

• Do you refine metrics? As metrics begin to lose their value or become less relevant, they must be adjusted or removed.

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