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Establishing a Metrics Management System

Written by Gerald L. Kovacich; Published by Butterworth-Heinemann

The following excerpt is from chapter 9, Establishing a Metrics Management System, of The Information Systems Security Officer's Guide: Establishing and Managing an Information Protection Program, written by Gerald L. Kovacich and published by Butterworth-Heinemann.


Some of the most common complaints ISSOs make are that management doesn't support them, and -— as the famous comedian Rodney Dangerfield is known for saying -- "I get no respect." Another complaint is that the cost and benefits of infosec cannot be measured.

As for the first two, you get support because you are being paid -- and these days, more often than not, quite handsomely -- and you have a budget that could have been part of corporate profits. Furthermore, respect is earned. Besides, if you want to be popular, you are definitely in the wrong profession.

One often hears management ask:

  • "What is all this security costing me?"
  • "Is it working?"
  • "Can it be done at less cost?"
  • "Why isn't it working?"

    That last question often comes right after a successful denial-of-service attack or some other attacks on the corporate systems or Web sites. Of course, many ISSOs respond by saying that it can't be measured. That is often said out of the ISSO's ignorance of processes to measure costs or because the ISSO is too lazy to track costs.

    The more difficult question to answer is, "What are the measurable benefits of a CIAPP and infosec functions that

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