Cybersecurity software is a must-have for companies that want to protect sensitive data and prevent cyber attacks. Cybersecurity KPIs and metrics serve as critical performance indicators enabling cybersecurity teams to determine their measures' effectiveness and analyze their security controls' functioning.
In this article, we will establish what cybersecurity KPIs and metrics are, discuss some critical cybersecurity best practices for KPIs and metrics, and their significance in cybersecurity programs.
What are Cybersecurity KPI Metrics?
Cybersecurity KPIs or cybersecurity key performance indicators are quantitative metrics that act as a checklist to enable cybersecurity teams to ensure the safety of an organization’s data. While Cybersecurity KPIs for an enterprise depends on its functionality, level of risk-taking, and scope of regulations, we recommend choosing meaningful Cybersecurity KPIs that align with your cybersecurity management software and business goals. Read on to learn about some of the most common Cybersecurity KPIs and metrics for evaluating cybersecurity performance:
How prepared is your organization for a potential cyberattack? Conducting vulnerability scans is essential for the Cybersecurity KPI on the level of awareness and determining areas for improvement. Check if your software is regularly updated and how many devices on your network are fully patched and make sure that you're using the best OS for your cybersecurity needs.
Use of Unidentified Devices on Internal Networks
Remote work has increased the use of personal devices for work purposes and there's also been an increase in people pursuing masters degrees in cybersecurity. Using unidentified employee devices on internal networks can infect them with malware and other cyber risks. Your organization’s security needs to use network intrusion detection systems to measure this cybersecurity KPI and prevent the use of unidentified devices on internal networks.
Unauthorized Access Attempts
This cybersecurity KPI prompts you to assess the number of times that bad actors have made intrusion attempts to gain unauthorized access to your network and systems.
It is a cybersecurity KPI for quantifying the number of times an attacker has breached your corporate networks and information assets.
Mean Time to Detect (MTTD)
MTTD is a critical cybersecurity KPI for measuring the time your team takes to notice indicators of security compromise and cyber threats.
Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR)
MTTR is the cybersecurity KPI that measures your team’s response time after detecting a data security breach or network compromise.
Mean Time to Contain (MTTC)
MTTC is a vital cybersecurity KPI that quantifies the time your cybersecurity team takes to contain the identified attack across all endpoints.
First Party Security Ratings
This cybersecurity KPI has an easy-to-understand score that can be fed into your cybersecurity risk assessment process. This KPI shows which information security metrics require improvement.
The number of users that have administrative privileges? This cybersecurity KPI shows that the simplest and most cost-effective way to lower privilege escalation attacks is via access control and utilizing the principle of least privilege.
This cybersecurity KPI is regarding the implementation time that your team takes for application security patches.
What is a KPI in Cybersecurity?
Comparing the best cybersecurity systems can give you insight into what KPIs to look for as you select the best protections for your business. Cybersecurity is an increasingly popular domain of computer science that is in high demand due to a growing number of cyber threats as work models have witnessed a massive shift to remote and hybrid working.
Cybersecurity KPIs are quantitative metrics that provide valuable insights enabling security management teams to make data-driven decisions for improving the organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Cybersecurity KPI are crucial for identifying areas for improvement in an organization’s cybersecurity efforts and enabling it to achieve its objectives effectively.
A thorough analysis of KPIs provides actionable insights regarding the functioning of an organization's security team. With a data-backed understanding, companies can efficiently add or eliminate measures based on their effectiveness and strategize their security plan accordingly.
You can use the quantitative information obtained using cybersecurity KPI to show important stakeholders that you prioritize critical data and information security and integrity.
What are the Key Metrics for Measuring Cybersecurity KPI?
Though cybersecurity KPI metrics may differ with use cases, these are typically defined considering security factors like the number of reported incidents, incident identification and resolution times, implications of an attack, etc. Zero-trust cybersecurity will have another set of KPIs to consider as well, but irrespective of a company’s cybersecurity framework, the main steps for its establishment are:
- Defining the goals of the metrics program for cybersecurity monitoring
- Defining the type of metrics
- Developing methods for generating metrics
- Setting benchmarks
- Establishing mechanisms for alerting and reporting incidents
- Developing and applying the organization’s metric plan
- Setting periodic cycles for reviewing and updating the metric program
What are 5 Key Performance Indicators in Cybersecurity KPI?
Besides the metrics mentioned above, these are most important Cybersecurity KPIs:
Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Awareness training and up-to-date documentation are essential Cybersecurity KPIs to help your business stay ahead. This training should include all employees, including recent hires and top executive members.
The security rating Cybersecurity KPI is a commonly used, data-driven, easy-to-comprehend, and objective measure for evaluating the security standing of a business rated by an independent ranking authority. This rating is calculated by conducting on-site visits, penetration tests, security questionnaires, and verifiable information from external sources. It evaluates the security threats and vulnerabilities that the organization is facing to show how cybersecurity really works in the business network.
Phishing Test Success Rate
The phishing test success rate Cybersecurity KPI is mainly utilized for measuring the success rate of an organization’s cybersecurity awareness training initiatives. Cybersecurity professionals use targeted phishing tests to determine the number of the organization’s employees who understand cyber attacks and how to protect critical data and systems. Therefore, this Cybersecurity KPI is essential for assessing the effectiveness of the company’s cybersecurity efforts.
Intrusion Attempts and Responses
This cybersecurity KPI provides visibility into the preparedness levels of an organization's cybersecurity system against the existing vulnerabilities. Security teams can observe firewalls and access logs to examine the number and origin of attacks. This data enables teams to make well-informed decisions regarding security procedures.
Number of Known Vulnerabilities
This metric serves as a security guide regarding exposed targets and compromised users. It is one of the most important Cybersecurity KPIs in identifying imminent threats and vulnerabilities within an organization.
Comparing the best cybersecurity software is critical to choosing the best protections for your business, making it a great starting point for cybersecurity and the KPIs you'll need to measure how effectively your security software works.