Gartner Research

Developing Operational Security Metrics

Published: 13 October 2017

ID: G00332619

Analyst(s): Mike Wonham


Security metrics and performance targets should provide critical insight to security organizations, but are often poorly understood, subjective and not standardized. This guidance provides technical professionals with an approach to building and maintaining appropriate security metrics and targets.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

  • Metrics and Maturity
  • Caution — What Is a Metric?
  • Scope and Targets

The Guidance Framework

  • The Toolkit
  • Prework
    • What Is Currently Being Measured?
    • Who Needs the Metrics, and Why?
  • Define In-Scope Activities and Controls
    • What Should Be Measured?
    • What Should Be Targeted?
    • Stakeholders
    • Technology
    • People and Process
  • Define and Review Measurements and Targets
    • Measures
    • Targets
  • Implement Measures and Targets
  • Review Performance and Adjust
    • Targets
    • Measurements
    • Changing Operations and Technologies to Reflect the Metric
  • Risks and Pitfalls
    • Measurement Costs Money
    • Measuring the Wrong Thing
    • Targeting the Wrong Thing
    • Inappropriate Targeting
    • Is There More to SecOps Than Metrics and Targets?
    • Communication Is Key
  • Follow-Up
  • Related Guidance

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