Security metrics are too complicated for senior executives
Posted on 11 July 2013.
Tripwire announced the results of research on the state of risk-based security management with the Ponemon Institute.

Key findings include:
  • 75% of respondents say metrics are “important” or “very important” to a risk-based security program
  • 53% don’t believe or are unsure that the security metrics used in their organizations are properly aligned with business objectives
  • 51% didn’t believe or were unsure that their organizations’ metrics adequately convey the effectiveness of security risk management efforts to senior executives.
When asked, “Why don’t you create metrics that are well understood by senior executives?”
  • 59% said the information is too technical to be understood by non-technical management
  • 48% said pressing issues take precedent
  • 40% said they only communicate with executives when there is an actual security incident
  • 35% said it takes too much time and resources to prepare and report metrics to senior executives
  • 18% said senior executives are not interested in the information.
Commenting on these results, Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said, “Even though most organizations rely on metrics for operational improvement in IT, more than half of IT professionals appear to be concerned about their ability to use metrics to communicate effectively with senior executives about security.”

The survey covers risk-based security metrics and evaluates the attitudes of 1321 respondents (749 U.S. and 571 U.K.) from IT security, IT operations, IT risk management, business operations, compliance/internal audit and enterprise risk management.


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