What are the Key Metrics for Measuring Cybersecurity?

With cyber-attacks constantly evolving, it only makes sense that cybersecurity measures are constantly assessed and enforced as well. To measure these threats, here are some of the most important cybersecurity metrics to ensure your company's safety.

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What are Metrics in Cyber Security?

Cyber security is everybody's concern now. Individuals and people around the globe are taking interest in improving their organisation's security.

To assess these risks, a benchmark or guideline is required. How else can anyone quantify a company's current strength against these attacks? For this purpose, performance indicators and carefully defined metrics are required.

These cyber security metrics help companies and cyber security experts to make informed decisions. One thumb rule for deciding which metric to include is its complexity, if a non-technical person can’t understand these metrics then it is necessary to pick digestible metrics which can be easily implemented and studied.

How do You Measure Cybersecurity Effectiveness?

Cyber security metrics are tailored to meet the requirements of particular companies and come with several advantages. These metrics not only prepare a company for risks but also helps security professional understand and tackle these cyber security threats. Take a look at some of the most important metrics for measuring cyber security:

  1. Level of Preparedness

    This is the first metric to consider. The starting point of any risk assessment and elimination is to check how prepared your organisation is. For this, regular vulnerability scans and management are necessary. These will let common vulnerabilities and exposures be identified so that the company is aware of its preparedness against such threats.

  2. Mean Time to Detect (MTTD)

    In case of an attack, how long will it take your security team to detect it? Many times security threats don't get noticed immediately which is enough to increase the damage. By calculating MTTD or mean time to detect, you can know how long will a threat take to get noticed. If it is high, you can take appropriate steps.

  3. Mean Time to Contain (MTTC)

    What is the average time taken to fix a threat? Companies need to be aware of the mean time to resolve (MTTR) a cyber-attack so that issues like system downtime or others don't cause tremendous loss. This will also let you work towards a swift strategy to resolve the aftermath of a cyber attack.

  4. Time Taken to Fix a Patch

    Companies need to improve their patching cadence to mitigate high-risk vulnerabilities. It is thus important to know the time your team takes in implementing security patches that may be exploited by cybercriminals. Often, these criminals use threat intelligence tools to manipulate these lags.

    Patch cadence also includes determining any third-party risks that your vendor may be subject to. It is equally important to determine the risks your vendor may be exposed to so that these vulnerabilities can be remediated.

    It is also important to know how long will it take your vendor to recognize and respond to these threats. If the time taken by vendors during incident response is high, then you're likely to suffer serious third-party data breaches.

  5. First Party Security Ratings

    For non-technical employees or colleagues, the security rating is one of the best ways to communicate cyber security metrics. These security ratings are determined by a company's requirement and are based on different criteria like network security, DMARC, email spoofing, phishing attack, data leaks, risk of man in the middle threats and other vulnerabilities. These security ratings can be easily used to assess risks and can help you spot the security metric that requires attention.

  6. Risk of Unidentified Devices

    It is easy for employees to accidentally introduce malware or other viruses while using their own devices. this is very common in companies with BYOD or bring your own device policy. Since often these IoT (Internet of Things) devices are poorly configured, it's crucial to have a network intrusion detection program. Your organisation's security will surely benefit from an intrusion detected system.

  7. Frequency of Security Incidents

    While you may calculate the time taken to detect or mitigate the threat, it is very important to track the number of times these incidents take place. If your organisation is facing frequent attacks, it is time to consider tightening your security as well as buy appropriate cybersecurity insurance to tackle any financial losses that it may incur.

  8. Intrusion

    Another common risk to an organisation's security is an intrusion attempt. Companies should know the number of times bad actors have tried to gain unauthorised access. This can be best assessed by analyzing your security system's firewall.

  9. Access Management

    Administrative privileges come with certain responsibilities, most of them open to risk if not used wisely. Do you know how many employees in your company have administrative privileges? If used carelessly, these can lead to a gap wide enough to invite cyber attacks. One of the best ways to deal with this risk is by providing least access or least privilege which is cost effective, simple and can drastically reduce privilege escalation attacks.

  10. Performance Comparison

    Market research is among the best applicable strategies to tackle various problems. When it comes to cyber security, it helps to compare your organisation's cybersecurity performance with your industry peers.

    Especially during board presentations, this can be easily done to throw light on the company's vulnerabilities and steps taken to prevent or deal with them. Companies can easily benchmark their security performances against their peers in the industry over a given timeframe to assess their company's cyber security.

Wrapping it Up,

Selecting KPIs and KRIs for any company must be done as per the company's needs, regulations, the industry and appetite for risk. However, ensure that these metrics are clear to everyone so that these metrics are not too complex to be studied. These metrics are also useful in the cost estimates and can lead the organisation to allocate resources accordingly. Another very good way to save your company significant costs is by investing in good cybersecurity insurance so that in case of a worst-case scenario, the organisation has the necessary backup.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 14 June 2022

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Out of 5 million people globally, 6 lakhs Indians have had their sensitive data stolen and sold on the bot market making India, the worst affected country.
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The average cost of the digital identity of one person was Rs.490, revealed NordVPN, the world's largest VPN service provider. The stolen data include user logins, screenshots, digital fingerprints, cookies, and other sensitive information. All these data are sold in packets in the bot markets, which refer to places where hackers sell stolen data from victims' devices with bot malware. The study majorly looked into three-bot markets the Genesis market, 2Easy and the Russian Market. Out of 26.6 million stolen logins found on the bot markets, 7,20,000 were Google logins, 6,47,000 were Facebook and 6,54,000 were Microsoft logins. Moreover, 667 million cookies, 5,38,000 auto-fill forms, 81,000 digital fingerprints, multiple device screenshots, and webcam snapshots were also found by the researchers. The bot markets are distinct from other dark markets as bot markets are able to get huge amounts of information related to one person in one place. The hackers also guarantee that once the bot is sold, the data of the victim will be updated till their device is affected by that bot, stated Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer at NordVPN. Security researchers also said that not all bots come with a good purpose, many can be malicious as well. These bots operate in multiple fields like customer service, SEO and entertainment and are becoming increasingly common recently. Vidar, RedLine, Taurus, AZORult and Racoon are some of the most popular malware used to collect and steal information out of which RedLine is the most common, stated the report.
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All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India reported a cyberattack on November 23, 2022. Later, the statement released by AIIMS said that e-hospital system
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has gone down and it has affected the digital hospital services, e-billing, smart lab, appointment system and report generation. AIIMS currently manages around 2,500 beds. It is said that the data of around 2 to 3 Crore patients might have been compromised. After the incident, AIIMS shifted to manual operations to cater the patients. Also, All India Institute of Medical Sciences sought National Informatics Centre (NIC) and I-CERT to restore the digital services. The incident has been reported to Delhi Police whereas CBI and NIA have joined the investigation. AIIMS issued a new Standard operation procedure where the admission, discharge and transfer of patients will be done manually.  As per a source told Press Trust of India, “Hackers have demanded a ransom of Rs 200 Crore in crypto currency on November 28, 2022”. Later, Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations unit have registered the case under cyber terrorism and extortion on November 25.  Meanwhile, National Information Centre e-hospital database and application servers restored the data for e-hospital. Also, the team of NIC is cleaning and scanning infections from other e-hospital servers that are located at AIIMS hospital. These servers are required to deliver the service of the hospital. Also, four physical servers have been arranged to restore the e-hospital services and have been scanned and prepared for the applications and database. As per the source, “Sanitisation of AIIMS network is in progress. Antivirus has been installed on 1200 out of 5000 computers and 20 out of 50 servers have been scanned. This activity is going on 24*7”.
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and other details registered with their account. This new phishing link attack is tricking users to enter their username, password and contact details such as phone number on an unverified website that is claimed to be a help site by Twitter.
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Cert-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) reported several vulnerabilities in AppleIOS and iPadOS that allows a remote tracker to gain access to private data,
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run random codes or cause service denial on targeted user’s device. Cert-In states that the vulnerability can be exploited and the iphone and ipad users should update their software properly.

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