Which Cybersecurity Metric is Particularly Useful for Measuring Security Effectiveness?

    Authored By


    Which Cybersecurity Metric is Particularly Useful for Measuring Security Effectiveness?

    In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, it's crucial to know which metrics offer the most insight into security effectiveness. We've gathered the perspectives of top industry professionals, including a Chief Information Security Officer and CEOs, to bring you six key cybersecurity metrics. From tracking data submit rates to assessing dwell time efficiency, discover the metrics these experts rely on to gauge their security posture.

    • Track Data Submit Rate
    • Monitor IoT Device Discrepancies
    • Count Phishing Email Attempts
    • Measure MTTD and MTTR
    • Observe User Behavior Analytics
    • Assess Dwell Time Efficiency

    Track Data Submit Rate

    As a cybersecurity company that focuses on strengthening the human aspect of our customers' cybersecurity, one of the metrics we provide is the "data submit rate." This metric measures the percentage of employees who click on our links in the simulated phishing emails we send out during our phishing simulations. Here's why that metric is useful: It reflects human vulnerability. Phishing attacks often target human behavior, exploiting curiosity, fear, or urgency to trick individuals into clicking on malicious links or providing sensitive information. Tracking the data submit rate also provides insight into how susceptible employees are to phishing attacks, indicating the effectiveness of your security awareness training in mitigating this risk.

    Søren Jensen
    Søren JensenJunior Digital Marketer, CyberPilot

    Monitor IoT Device Discrepancies

    Besides the common best KPIs, such as risk assessments/security incident tracking, I find there's a lot of value in comparing tracked and authorized IoT devices on the network against network scanners to determine your 'unknown unknowns.'

    It is very human to defend what we know and can see. It's imperative as industry experts to bring to light the things we don't know or don't see.

    Richard LyChief Information Security Officer, Plus Company Americas

    Count Phishing Email Attempts

    The number of phishing emails my employees receive can be an indicator of our general security system's effectiveness.

    Hackers are known to target weak links, and they can be quite persistent about it, hitting the same user multiple times with varying strategies. Often, these are people who've fallen prey to a scam in their work or personal online life before, letting others know they're vulnerable.

    That's why I have all my employees forward me any phishing attempts or fake emails, no matter how obvious. I like to keep a record of who is getting what, and if necessary, take steps to bolster the awareness of their prime targets.

    If the overall number of attempts goes up, I know it's time to change my general approach.

    Linn Atiyeh
    Linn AtiyehCEO, Bemana

    Measure MTTD and MTTR

    An important metric I monitor for cybersecurity performance is the Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR) to the detection of cybersecurity incidents. These metrics allow us to understand how long it took us to detect an incident, as well as how quickly we made a response.

    With lowered MTTD and MTTR, the potential for breach-related damage has been significantly diminished. Determining how quickly you can recover or contain can be instructive about the resilience of your cyber defenses.

    Zoe Miller
    Zoe MillerStrategic Business Leader & Market Analyst, Tea Time Facts

    Observe User Behavior Analytics

    One valuable cybersecurity metric we diligently track at our firm is 'User Behavior Analytics' (UBA). UBA is about observing and understanding patterns of employee behavior in the digital sphere. Spotting deviations from these patterns alerts us to potential insider threats or breaches. It's the silent guardian—staying unseen, doing the vigilant work behind the scenes. We firmly believe that understanding your team's behavior within your network is a fundamental step to strengthen cybersecurity, as a risk avoided is a cyber-attack defeated.

    Abid Salahi
    Abid SalahiCo-founder & CEO, FinlyWealth

    Assess Dwell Time Efficiency

    As the CEO of Startup House, one cybersecurity metric we find particularly useful for measuring security effectiveness is the "dwell time" metric. Dwell time refers to the amount of time it takes for a security team to detect and respond to a cyber threat. By tracking dwell time, we can assess how quickly we are able to identify and mitigate potential security breaches, allowing us to continuously improve our security measures and protect our company's sensitive data. Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, time is of the essence!

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House