Gartner Research

Toolkit Best Practices: Selecting Security Metrics

Published: 26 September 2007

ID: G00151310

Analyst(s): Jeffrey Wheatman


Enterprise security requires sound metrics and reporting of successes and failures. Appropriate metrics, presented effectively, can demonstrate the strategic business value of your security organization's efforts.

Table Of Contents
  • Overview
  • Basic Principles of Effective Metrics
  • The Three Categories of Security Metrics
    • Security operations/administration status
    • Perimeter security statistics (for example, firewall efficiency/dropped packets and IDS/IPS incidents)
    • User productivity statistics (for example, spam caught, viruses/spyware/adware caught, security-related support tickets)
    • System-level security (for example, vulnerability testing results correlated by criticality and risk)
  • Data Sources for Security Operations/Administration Status Metrics
  • Security Project Status
    • Audit and risk assessment response (for example, audit findings and response times in addressing findings, sorted by criticality of finding)
    • Budgetary factors (for example, security project status, budget tracking and resource tracking)
    • Baseline compliance (for example, compliance against International Standards Organization [ISO], Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology [CobiT], Information Security Forum [ISF], IT Infrastructure Library [ITIL] or National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] baselines)
  • Data Sources for Security Project Metrics
  • Security Program Status
    • Process catalog (for example, process maturity statistics, including current state and stated goals)
  • Data Sources for Security Program Status

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