Why Security Metrics Miss the Mark

Why Security Metrics Miss the Mark

Why Security Metrics Miss the MarkWhy Security Metrics Miss the Mark

IT security pros need to consider metrics such as dwell time, or reducing the time a threat is in a network, which helps strengthen overall security posture.

Executives Are Tentative About Security PostureExecutives Are Tentative About Security Posture

31% of respondents are still very confident about their security posture, but 65% are only somewhat confident.

Communication Over Security PostureCommunication Over Security Posture

28% of respondents said the security metrics they use to communicate are effective whereas 65% said the metrics are only somewhat effective.

Where Is the Disconnect?Where Is the Disconnect?

Executives rely on quantitative metrics while breaches occur.

Number of Breaches ExperiencedNumber of Breaches Experienced

63% of respondents said they have experienced breaches that resulted in the lost or compromised data this past year.

Why Executives Are Not Confident About SecurityWhy Executives Are Not Confident About Security

Executives are not confident about their security posture because of the way they measure it; most count alerts and incidents, which does not shed light on the real security posture.

Quantitative Metrics Won't HelpQuantitative Metrics Won’t Help

“Using quantitative metrics—like counting breaches, totaling response times, and calculating downtime—does not help when breaches are a constant,” the report states.

Metrics UsedMetrics Used

Rather than measure dwell time, more organizations measure cost of incidents (39%) and reduction in vulnerabilities (39%). These are not as important as how long the threat, attacker or attack vector exists inside an organization and actions taken once past defenses.

The Importance of Dwell TimeThe Importance of Dwell Time

Only 33% of those surveyed measure dwell time, the elapsed time from initial breach to containment. If you limit the time a threat exists, damage to the enterprise will be minimized.

Time Spent in Network Before DiscoveryTime Spent in Network Before Discovery

Attackers spend an average of 229 days inside a network before they are discovered. The cost of the average breach: $5.85 million in the United States.


Reduce the time a malicious threat acts from within. This will greatly reduce potential damage, speed of mitigation and contain exposure.

Karen A. Frenkel
Karen A. Frenkel
Karen A. Frenkel is a contributor to CIO Insight. She covers cybersecurity topics such as digital transformation, vulnerabilities, phishing, malware, and information governance.

Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Daily Tech Insider for top news, trends, and analysis.

Latest Articles