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Like the finer things in life, quality trumps quantity.

Apr 2, 2015

Management without metrics - how?

The SEC (Security Executive Council - not the Securities and Exchange Commission!) boldly describes itself as "the leading research and advisory firm that specializes in security risk mitigation."  Their primary interest appears to be physical security, although they also make the odd nod towards IT security, business continuity and 'convergence'.

The SEC conducted an unscientific online poll, asking respondents to self-assess and report the capability maturity of their security programs using the classic 5 point SEI-CMM scale.  Unsurprisingly, the results show a vaguely normal distribution about the middle value ('defined'), skewed towards the low end of the maturity scale.

It appears they may have asked a separate question about metrics:
"When participants were asked about metrics (a higher level of maturity), 64% said they did not use business value metrics (metrics that are beyond initial "counting" of activities such as number of background checks performed or number of badges issued)."
So only about a third of their respondents have security metrics other than the absolute basics - a pathetically low proportion that begs the obvious question "How are they managing security without metrics?"

Answers on a postcard please.  Or comment below.