Peter Drucker, aka the founder of modern management, is credited with writing, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Over time, that has been broadened to, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” a statement that is taken as holy writ for most modern executives.
Indeed, business in the 21st century is all about metrics. Cybersecurity has plenty, measuring everything from port probes to login attempts. It’s expected that cybersecurity managers will have a good handle on all of these metrics and know what they’re saying about their organizations. But in today’s business organization, these security metrics aren’t enough.
In order to protect the business, security has to speak the language of business. The last decade has seen a growing, if sometimes grudging, acknowledgment of this by security professionals. The question for many security pros is, “Which business metrics should I know?”
Each organization may have its own unique key performance indicators (KPIs) to take into consideration. But certain metrics matter regardless of the particular business. To cover all of them is the subject of an MBA, but we’ve put together a list that includes some basics, some that might escape first notice, and some that have a particular interest from a security perspective.
In each case, these are metrics that cybersecurity pros should understand and pay attention to. Do you use them in your security practice? What other metrics do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.
Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and … View Full Bio