Tripwire Study: 59% of IT Professionals Say Security Metrics Are Too Complicated for Non-Technical Management

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51% Believe Metrics Don’t Accurately Communicate Risk Efforts to Executives

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Unfortunately, [CISO's] struggle with the bigger challenge of producing meaningful metrics while those they use are rarely aligned with business goals

Tripwire, Inc., a leading global provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions, today announced the results of the second installment of research on the state of risk-based security management with the Ponemon Institute©.

The survey covers risk-based security metrics and evaluates the attitudes of 1,321 respondents (749 U.S. and 571 U.K.) from IT security, IT operations, IT risk management, business operations, compliance/internal audit and enterprise risk management.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 75 percent of respondents say metrics are ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to a risk-based security program
  • 53 percent don’t believe or are unsure that the security metrics used in their organizations are properly aligned with business objectives
  • 51 percent didn’t believe or are unsure that their organizations metrics adequately convey the effectiveness of security risk management efforts to senior executives

When asked, “Why don’t you create metrics that are well understood by senior executives?”:

  • 59 percent said the information is too technical to be understood by non-technical management
  • 48 percent said pressing issues take precedence
  • 40 percent said they only communicate with executives when there is an actual security incident
  • 35 percent said it takes too much time and resources to prepare and report metrics to senior executives
  • 18 percent said senior executives are not interested in the information

Commenting on these results, Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said, “Even though most organizations rely on metrics for operational improvement in IT, more than half of IT professionals appear to be concerned about their ability to use metrics to communicate effectively with senior executives about security.”

“These results correlate with the dozens of conversations we have been having with CISO’s across the globe,” said Rekha Shenoy, vice president of marketing and corporate development at Tripwire. “CISO’s talk about the importance of leveraging metrics as a way to influence business leadership and build a risk management practice within their companies. Unfortunately, they struggle with the bigger challenge of producing meaningful metrics while those they use are rarely aligned with business goals.”

For more information about the survey please visit: http://www.tripwire.com/ponemon/2013/#metrics.

About the Ponemon Institute
The Ponemon Institute© is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors, and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.

About Tripwire
Tripwire is a leading global provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions, enabling enterprises, government agencies and service providers to effectively connect security to their business. Tripwire provides the broadest set of foundational security controls including security configuration management, vulnerability management, file integrity monitoring, log and event management. Tripwire solutions deliver unprecedented visibility, business context and security business intelligence allowing extended enterprises to protect sensitive data from breaches, vulnerabilities, and threats. Learn more at http://www.tripwire.com or follow us @TripwireInc on Twitter.

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