What is Cybersecurity Metrics & 14 Cybersecurity Metrics KPIs to Track

Cybersecurity Metrics

To track your efforts in protecting sensitive data and detecting cyberattacks, you should use a cybersecurity metrics checklist.

Key performance indicators (KPIs), which are a way to assess the success of your cybersecurity program, can be used to aid in decision-making.

PwC shows that only 22 percent of chief executive officers believe their risk exposure data are sufficient to make informed decisions. Alarmingly, this is a figure that hasn’t changed in 10 years.

This is supported by the EY Global Information Security Survey which shows that only 15% of organizations say their Information Security (InfoSec), reporting meets their expectations.

This post will discuss 14 cybersecurity metrics that can be used to take control of your risk identification efforts and remediation.

Why is Cybersecurity Metrics Important?

Peter Drucker once said that what is measured gets managed. cybersecurity follows this principle. You won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your security measures if you don’t have the ability to track them.

Cybersecurity isn’t a one-time event. Cyber threats change constantly and new technology and processes are needed to combat them. It is important to regularly assess the effectiveness and efficiency of any safeguards that you have put in place.

This is crucial for two reasons:

  1. Analyzing KPIs, key risks indicators (KRIs) and security postures give you a snapshot of the performance of your security team over time. This will help you to better understand what is going well and what is not, which will improve your decision-making for future projects.
  2. Metrics are quantitative information that can be used to show management and board members that you value the integrity and protection of sensitive information as well as information technology assets.

Many Chief Information Security Officers and Chief Information Officers are required to report on and provide context about cybersecurity metrics. This is due to increasing interest in reporting at regulatory, shareholder, and board levels.

Many board members from financial services have a fiduciary duty or regulatory obligation to manage cybersecurity risks and protect personally identifiable data (PII).

New regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and NYDFS Cybersecurity Regulation have accelerated this trend. PIPEDA and CSS 234 are also contributing to it. This is combined with additional data protection laws such as CCPA and LGPPD makes security management a central focus for all organizations.

Also read: Top 10 Open Source Network Security Tools for Web Apps

IT security professionals who are the best use metrics to tell stories, especially when presenting reports to non-technical colleagues.

14 Cybersecurity KPIs to Track

Here are some examples of clear metrics that you can track and show your stakeholders.

1. Level of Preparedness

Are all devices in your company’s network up-to-date and patched? Vulnerability scanning and vulnerability management are two of the 20 CIS Controls that can help reduce the vulnerability to exploits.

2. Unidentified Devices in Internal Networks

Employees could introduce malware or other cyber risks to their devices. This is why a network intrusion detection system is an important part of your company’s security.

3. Intrusion attempts

How many times has unauthorized access been attempted by bad actors? This intelligence may be needed to refer to firewall logs.

3. Intrusion Attempts

How many times has unauthorized access been attempted by bad actors? This intelligence may be needed to refer to firewall logs.

4. Security Incidents

How many times have you had your networks or information stolen by an attacker?

5. Mean Time to Detect (MTTD)

How long does it take for security threats to be noticed? MTTD is the time it takes for your team to notice indicators of compromise and other security threats.

6. Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR)

How long does it take for your team to respond to a cyber attack? This is a great indicator of the quality and effectiveness of your incident management plan.

7. Mean Time to Contain (MTTC)

What is the time it takes to identify attack vectors across all ends?

8. First Party Security Ratings

Security Ratings are often the best way to communicate metrics with non-technical coworkers through an easy-to-understand score.

the organization assigns your company a simple letter grade of A-F to evaluate cybersecurity posture based upon 50+ criteria in real-time, including email spoofing and DMARC, network security, DNSSEC, email phishing, DNSSEC, email spoofing, and risk of man-in-the-middle attacks, data breaches, vulnerabilities, and risk.

Security ratings can be used to inform your cybersecurity risk assessment and which information security metrics require attention.

9. Average Vendor Security Rating

Your organization is at risk from outside threats. You must consider your security performance metrics.

This is why vendor-risk management and a robust, third-party risk management platform are essential requirements for security operations. Security Executive Summary Report gives you instant access to your vendor rating for the past twelve months and your distribution of vendor ratings. Traditional vendor management methods only allowed you to see a snapshot of vendor security ratings at one time. Continuously monitoring vendor risks can help you greatly reduce your third-party and 4th-party risk.

10. Patching Cadence

What time does it take for your team to implement security patches and mitigate high-risk CVE listed vulnerabilities?

Cybercriminals exploit the delay between patch releases and their implementation to steal threat intelligence tools. This is evident in the success of WannaCry. It’s a ransomware computer virus. WannaCry exploited a zero-day vulnerability called EternalBlue. It was quickly fixed but many organizations were still affected by poor patching.

11. Access Management

What percentage of users have administrative privileges. Access control, The principle of least privilege can be used to reduce privilege escalation attacks.

Also read: Top 10 Cloud Security Companies And Service Providers

12. Company vs Peer Performance

Today’s topic metric for board reporting is how your cybersecurity performance compares with peers in the industry. This information is easy to understand, visually appealing, and compelling. It’s a popular choice for board presentations. Security Executive Summary Report lets you easily compare your security performance to four industry peers over the past twelve months.

13. Vendor Patching Cadence

This measure measures how many third-party vendors are at risk and how many critical vulnerabilities need to be addressed.

14. Mean Time For Vendors Incident Response

An incident can be more than a cyber attack. Intrusion attempts at vendors can also indicate that your organization is a target. You are at greater risk of third-party data breaches if vendors take longer to respond to incidents. Poor vendor management is responsible for some of the largest data breaches.

How to Choose the Right Cybersecurity Metrics

There is no set of rules for selecting cybersecurity KPIs or KRIs. These cybersecurity metrics will be determined by your industry and organization’s needs, regulations, and best practices, and, ultimately, your and your customers’ appetite for risk.

Regardless, it is important to pick metrics that are easily understood by all stakeholders, even non-technical ones. It is a good rule of thumb to make sure that your stakeholders, even non-technical ones, understand the metrics.

It is easy to understand even complicated metrics by using industry comparisons and benchmarks.

Remember that cost is one of the most important metrics. The goal of presenting to the board and executive team is to present a concise point about how cybersecurity is saving money or creating additional revenue.

It shouldn’t be difficult to see why considering that an average data breach costs organizations $3.92million globally and $8.19million in the United States.

The CIS Controls are a cost-effective and prioritized list of security measures that go beyond the above cybersecurity metrics.

Written by
Aiden Nathan

Aiden Nathan is vice growth manager of The Tech Trend. He is passionate about the applying cutting edge technology to operate the built environment more sustainably.

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