Gartner Research

Security Key Performance Indicators

Published: 18 November 2009

ID: G00203815

Analyst(s): Ramon Krikken


Security metrics is a contentious topic--there is no agreed-upon method to measure security. In this overview, Analyst Ramon Krikken examines how risk and performance measurements differ and how contextualized security performance measurements can provide the security team and managers with actionable information. This overview provides guidelines for how to achieve program-level key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as secondary indicators and measurements for assessing and improving security programs and activities.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Creating Security Performance Context
    • Security Program Performance Goals
  • Measuring Security Program Performance
    • Incident Metrics
    • Audit Metrics
    • Exceptions Tracking Metrics
    • Risk Metrics
    • Additional Metrics and Measurements
  • Improving Security Program Performance
    • The Importance of Testing and Simulation
  • Recommendations

The Details

  • Performance Measurement vs. Risk Measurement
  • Different Strokes for Different Folks
  • Security Performance Measurement Challenges
    • Performance Indicators and Organizational Context



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