Gartner Research

Developing Metrics for Security Operational Performance

Published: 09 August 2019

ID: G00432923

Analyst(s): Michael Kranawetter , Mike Wonham


Security metrics and performance targets should provide critical insight, but are often poorly devised, subjective and ineffective. Security and risk management technical professionals should use this guidance to build and maintain security metrics that support continuous improvement.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

  • Metrics and Maturity
  • What Is a Metric?
  • Targets
    • Outsourced Security

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
    • Measure Technology
    • Measure People and Process
  • Define and Review Measurements and Targets
    • Measurements
  • Targets
  • Implement Measures and Targets
  • Review Performance and Adjust Operations
    • 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 Target Levels and Scope
    • There Is More to SecOps Than Metrics and Targets
    • Communication Is Key
  • Follow-Up
  • Related Guidance

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