Understanding IT Security Metrics

The world is getting smaller by the minute. We have Internet technology to thank for that. Every piece of information in the world is accessible through the information superhighway. But when you want to tap into superhighway, you are also exposing yourself to possible breach of security. Vital information that you possess can easily be stolen by certain individuals. Consequently, companies establish security measures that protect them. But how effective are they? This is where IT security metrics enters the picture.

Every facet of the business world is developing and applying metrics to gauge the effectiveness and performance of their operations. These metrics also guide upper management in their decision-making. Scorecards can also be applied to every aspect of our lives. In the world of information technology security, scorecards will spell the difference between secured information and a stolen one.

Many companies are investing tons of money into IT security. Quite often, client information is stored in their databases. It is the company’s duty to secure their customer’s information. Loss of this information will definitely mean loss of revenue and customers as well. Certain advances within a company should also be safeguarded to maintain profitability and its edge. To come up with a metric that is suited for your IT department, you have to examine some very important aspects of IT security and develop a metric based on them.

The first factor that you should look into is the risk. Assessing the risks a company faces will prepare them for any eventuality. The risk of breach of security, like being hacked or the intrusion of computer viruses, must be measured and taken into consideration. Security software systems should also be assessed on how well they battle these risks. The human aspect of IT should also be looked into. The IT department must understand what they are there for and the responsibility they carry.

The second factor is based on the risk management and that is contingency planning. This helps the company prepare for any eventuality in case of a breach in security. This will cover from backup systems to backup databases.

The life cycle of the security system installed is also measured. This is done to make sure that system is up to date and concurrent with the latest viruses or tools used by hackers. Information technology is always evolving so it would be best to measure your systems ability to evolve as well.

The last factor that should be looked into is personnel. Almost everyone in the company is wired into the Internet. This usually means that anyone can be a source of the breach of IT security. Some may even do it intentionally. It is vital that safeguards be implemented in all levels and departments and all personnel should be made aware of the security protocols. You should assess the security protocols enacted in order for you to know their effectiveness.

The importance of IT security metrics is beyond question. Just alike any other establishment or business, loss in security will spell disaster to the organization as a whole.

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