According to KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer report, 81% of executives admit that their businesses have come under a cybersecurity attack and their data has been compromised in the last two years. What’s even worse is that almost half of these executives also admits that they have not invested in information security last year. These are alarming numbers and reflect the gravity of the situation.
If you are not one of those businesses and have a cybersecurity program in place that you want to scale according to your emerging business needs but could not justify the expenses to your team then, you should track cybersecurity KPIs. With so many of them around, it is hard to choose the best ones to track, especially if you don’t know much about them.
In this article, you will learn about essential cybersecurity KPIs your business should keep an eye on to justify your cybersecurity investments.
1. Total Number of Security Incidents
Measure the total number of cybersecurity attacks targeting your business. It might seem like a superficial number, but it can give you a clear picture of how effective your cybersecurity systems are at coping up with this cyberattack. Dig a little deeper and you can unearth useful insights regarding what type of cyberattacks are targeting your business. Most enterprises might have their bases covered when it comes to protecting against phishing and man in the middle attacks or securing their best dedicated server but struggles greatly when it comes to cloud security and security of web applications.
2. Fluctuations in the number of Reported Incidents
Yes, the total number of incidents might be a useful KPI to track but it is even more important for businesses to monitor sudden rise and fall in a number of attacks. That is where this KPI comes into play. As you deploy better detection tools, you might see a sudden rise in a number of security attacks. Third-party tools allow you to visualize areas where the number of attacks has surged and where it had dipped. This allows you to allocate resources where needed. Combine these third-party tools with automation and it will help you identify loopholes and fix them quickly.
3. Cost Per Incident
Cyberattacks can have some huge financial consequences and this KPIs shows you exactly that. Unfortunately, it is a bit tricky to measure as you will have an account for all the resources both human and technical to accurately measure this KPI. If measured correctly, it is one of the most important KPI that will help you justify your extra cybersecurity expenditure.
There are many factors you need to consider such as the type of data accessed and the size of the data breach to accurately measure the cost of each incident. Moreover, the cost can be divided into three different categories:
- Direct cost (Tangible)
- Indirect cost (Non-Tangible)
- Cost of lost opportunity (Reputation Damage)
Measuring direct costs are easier as they are tangible while measuring indirect cost is difficult because it involves response and recovery time and cost associated with assigning new credentials and setting up new accounts. Cost of lost opportunity metric covers the reputation damage, cost of attracting new business and negative press. This makes it the hardest to keep track of. You can use specialized formulas to calculate the total cost of a data breach or a cybersecurity attack.
4. Time to Identify
Meantime to identify is a highly critical metric that shows how much time you take to identify suspicious activity or cybersecurity attacks. The higher the number, the worst it is and the lower the number the better. The faster you identify a cyberattack or data breach, the lesser the damage will be. Hackers won’t need a lot of time to fulfill their malicious designs, therefore, it is important to have efficient threat detection systems in place that raises the red flag as soon as they find something suspicious.
5. Time to Resolve
Once you have identified an incident, now it is time to respond to it. How much time do you take to respond to a cyberattack? Just like time to identify, the lesser the number the better. Your cybersecurity team should plug in all the vulnerabilities in your system so that hackers can not exploit it. Your team should be ready to respond to any type of threat. Here are some of the steps your team needs to take to ensure a faster resolution to security issues.
- Form an incident response team and plan
- Identify the source and extent of the cyberattack
- Restrict the cyberattack and recover
- Assess the damage
- Send notifications to all affected
- Create a strategy to prevent such incidents in the future
6. Customer Impact
How does the cyberattack impact customers? This should be the most important question businesses should be asking. This KPI can provide you the answer but unfortunately, it is not easy to track this KPI. The reason is that the impact of cyberattacks is spread across different channels, departments and can be in different forms.
The easiest way to overcome this issue is to design this KPI in coordination with the staff which faces your customers and management. This will help you measure the impact of data breaches and cyber-attacks in a better way. By designing this KPI with all key stakeholders on board, you can get far more accurate results.
The worst part of some cyberattacks is that it can put you out of business both temporarily and permanently. For instance, a DDoS attack can make your website inaccessible. You end up losing a lot of business until your website is back to normal. That is why measuring the uptime of your website is important. Yes, most web hosting providers make tall claims of keeping your website up and running but only a few back them up. Measure the uptime of your website and if it is below 99%, you should look at the reasons behind it and fix the issues that are causing the downtime.
Which cybersecurity key performance indicators do your business track? Let us know in the comments section below.