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PRAGMATIC Security Metrics

Applying Metametrics to Information Security

W. Krag Brotby, CISM (Enterprise Security Architect, Thousand Oaks, California, USA) Gary Hinson



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Auerbach Publishers Inc.
08 January 2013
Other books on information security metrics discuss number theory and statistics in academic terms. Light on mathematics and heavy on utility, PRAGMATIC Security Metrics: Applying Metametrics to Information Security breaks the mold. This is the ultimate how-to-do-it guide for security metrics.

Packed with time-saving tips, the book offers easy-to-follow guidance for those struggling with security metrics. Step by step, it clearly explains how to specify, develop, use, and maintain an information security measurement system (a comprehensive suite of metrics) to help:

Security professionals systematically improve information security, demonstrate the value they are adding, and gain management support for the things that need to be done Management address previously unsolvable problems rationally, making critical decisions such as resource allocation and prioritization of security relative to other business activities Stakeholders, both within and outside the organization, be assured that information security is being competently managed The PRAGMATIC approach lets you hone in on your problem areas and identify the few metrics that will generate real business value. The book:

Helps you figure out exactly what needs to be measured, how to measure it, and most importantly, why it needs to be measured Scores and ranks more than 150 candidate security metrics to demonstrate the value of the PRAGMATIC method Highlights security metrics that are widely used and recommended, yet turn out to be rather poor in practice Describes innovative and flexible measurement approaches such as capability maturity metrics with continuous scales Explains how to minimize both measurement and security risks using complementary metrics for greater assurance in critical areas such as governance and compliance In addition to its obvious utility in the information security realm, the PRAGMATIC approach, introduced for the first time in this book, has broader application across diverse fields of management including finance, human resources, engineering, and production-in fact any area that suffers a surplus of data but a deficit of useful information.

Visit Security Metametrics. Security Metametrics supports the global community of professionals adopting the innovative techniques laid out in PRAGMATIC Security Metrics. If you, too, are struggling to make much sense of security metrics, or searching for better metrics to manage and improve information security, Security Metametrics is the place.
By:   W. Krag Brotby CISM (Enterprise Security Architect Thousand Oaks California USA), Gary Hinson
Imprint:   Auerbach Publishers Inc.
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   816g
ISBN:   9781439881521
ISBN 10:   1439881529
Pages:   512
Publication Date:   08 January 2013
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction Why Have We Written This Book? What's Different about This Metrics Book? Who Are We Writing This For? Who Are We? Krag Brotby Gary Hinson What We'll Be Talking About Defining Our Terminology What We Expect of You, the Reader Summary Why Measure Information Security? To Answer Awkward Management Questions To Improve Information Security, Systematically For Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Reasons For Compliance and Assurance Purposes To Fill the Vacuum Caused by Our Inability to Measure Security To Support the Information Security Manager For Profit! For Various Other Reasons Summary The Art and Science of Security Metrics Metrology, the Science of Measurement Governance and Management Metrics Information Security Metrics Financial Metrics (for Information Security) (Information Security) Risk Management Metrics Software Quality (and Security) Metrics Information Security Metrics Reference Sources Douglas Hubbard How to Measure Anything (Hubbard 2010) Andrew Jaquith: Security Metrics (Jaquith 2007) NIST SP 800-55: Performance Measurement Guide for Information Security (NIST 2008) Debra Herrmann: Complete Guide to Security and Privacy Metrics (Herrmann 2007) Krag Brotby: Information Security Management Metrics (Brotby 2009a) Lance Hayden: IT Security Metrics (Hayden 2010) Caroline Wong Security Metrics: A Beginner's Guide (Wong 2012) ISO/IEC 27004: Information Security Management-Measurement (ISO/IEC 27004 2009) 3.7.9 CIS Security Metrics (CIS 2010) ISACA Specifying Metrics Metrics Catalogs and a Serious Warning About SMD Other (Information Security) Metrics Resources Summary Audiences for Security Metrics Metrics Audiences Within the Organization Senior Management Middle and Junior Management Security Operations Others with Interest in Information Security Metrics Audiences From Without the Organization Summary Finding Candidate Metrics Preexisting/Current Information Security Metrics Other Corporate Metrics Metrics Used in Other Fields and Organizations Information Security Metrics Reference Sources Other Sources of Inspiration for Security Metrics Security Surveys Vendor Reports and White Papers Security Software Roll-Your-Own Metrics Metrics Supply and Demand Summary Metametrics and the PRAGMATIC Approach Metametrics Selecting Information Security Metrics PRAGMATIC Criteria 6.3.1 P = Predictive 6.3.2 R = Relevant 6.3.3 A = Actionable 6.3.4 G = Genuine 6.3.5 M = Meaningful 6.3.6 A = Accurate 6.3.7 T = Timely 6.3.8 I = Independent 6.3.9 C = Cost Scoring Information Security Metrics against the PRAGMATIC Criteria Other Uses for PRAGMATIC Metametrics Classifying Information Security Metrics 6.6.1 Strategic/Managerial/Operational (SMO)Metrics Classification 6.6.2 Risk/Control Metrics Classification 6.6.3 Input-Process-Output (Outcome) Metrics Classification 6.6.4 Effectiveness and Efficiency Metrics Classification 6.6.5 Maturity Metrics Classification 6.6.6 Directness Metrics Classification 6.6.7 Robustness Metrics Classification 6.6.8 Readiness Metrics Classification 6.6.9 Policy/Practice Metrics Classification Summary 150+ Example Security Metrics Information Security Risk Management Example Metrics Information Security Policy Example Metrics Security Governance, Management, and Organization Example Metrics Information Security Financial Management Metrics Information Security Control-Related Metrics Metrics for Business Alignment and Relevance of Controls Control Monitoring and Testing Metrics Financial Information Security Metrics Information Asset Management Example Metrics Human Resources Security Example Metrics Physical Security Examples IT Security Metric Examples Access Control Example Metrics Software Security Example Metrics Incident Management Example Metrics Business Continuity Management Examples Compliance and Assurance Metrics Examples Summary Designing PRAGMATIC Security Measurement System Brief History of Information Security Metrics Taking Systems Approach to Metrics Information Security Measurement System Lifecycle Summary Advanced Information Security Metrics High-Reliability Metrics Indicators and Proxies Key Indicators Key Goal Indicators (KGIs) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) Critical Success Factors (CSFs) Targets, Hurdles, Yardsticks, Goals, Objectives, Benchmarks, and Triggers Summary Downsides of Metrics Numbers Don't Always Tell the Whole Story Scoring Political Points through Metrics Implausible Deniability Metrics Gaps On Being Good Enough What Not to Measure Summary Using PRAGMATIC Metrics in Practice Gathering Raw Data Sampling Automated Data Sources Observations, Surveys, and Interviews Online or In-Person Surveys Scoring Scales Audits, Reviews, and Studies Data Analysis and Statistics Data Presentation General Considerations Analytical Tools and Techniques Reporting Tools and Techniques Presentational Tools and Techniques Graphs, Figures, Diagrams, and Illustrations Drawing Attention to Specific Issues Using, Reacting to, and Responding to Metrics Periodic versus Event-Driven Reporting Summary Case Study The Context: Acme Enterprises, Inc. Information Security Metrics for C-Suite Information Security Metrics for the CEO Information Security Metrics for the CIO Information Security Metrics for the CISO Information Security Metrics for the CFO Information Security Metrics for the VP of Production Information Security Metrics for the VP of Marketing Information Security Metrics for Management and Operations Information Security Metrics for External Stakeholders Acme's Information Security Measurement System Summary Conclusions Take-Home Lessons from This Book On Pragmatism and Being PRAGMATIC On Giving You the Confidence and Skills to Have a Go On Improving the Quality of Your Management Information through Metametrics On Improving Metrics of All Sorts Your Chance to Advance the Profession and the Practice of Metrics An Action Plan to Take Away Summary Appendix A: PRAGMATIC Criteria Appendix B: Business Model of Information Security (BMIS) Appendix C: Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Level 1-Initial Level 2-Repeatable Level 3-Defined Level 4-Managed Level 5-Optimizing Appendix D: Example Opinion Survey Form Security Awareness Survey on Malware Appendix E: SABSA Security Attributes Table Appendix F: Prototype Metrics Catalog Appendix G: Effect of Weighting the PRAGMATIC Criteria Appendix H: ISO27k Maturity Scale Metrics Appendix I: Sample Management Survey Appendix J: Observer Bias Appendix K: Observer Calibration Appendix L: Bibliography

Krag Brotby has 30 years of experience in the area of enterprise computer security architecture, governance, risk, and metrics and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and Certified in the Governance of Enterprise Information Technology qualifications. Krag is a CISM trainer and has developed a number of related courses in governance, metrics, governance-risk-compliance (GRC), and risk and trained thousands on five continents during the past decade. Krag's experience includes intensive involvement in current and emerging security architectures, IT and information security metrics, and governance. He holds a foundation patent for digital rights management and has published a variety of technical and IT security-related articles and books. Brotby has served as principal author and editor of the Certified Information Security Manager Review Manual (ISACA 2012) since 2005, and is the researcher and author of the widely circulated Information Security Governance: Guidance for Boards of Directors and Executive Management (ITGI 2006), and Information Security Governance: Guidance for Information Security Managers (ITGI 2008a) as well as a new approach to Information Security Management Metrics (Brotby 2009a) and Information Security Governance; A Practical Development and Implementation Approach (Brotby 2009b). Krag has served on ISACA's Security Practice Development Committee. He was appointed to the Test Enhancement Committee, responsible for testing development, and to the committee developing a systems approach to information security called the Business Model for Information Security (BMIS). He received the 2009 ISACA John W. Lainhart IV Common Body of Knowledge Award for noteworthy contributions to the information security body of knowledge for the benefit of the global information security community. Krag is a member of the California High Tech Task Force Steering Committee, an advisory board for law enforcement. He is a frequent workshop presenter and speaker at conferences globally and lectures on information security governance; metrics; information security management; and GRC and CISM preparation throughout Oceania, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. As a practitioner in the security industry for three decades, Krag was the principal Xerox BASIA enterprise security architect and managed the proof-of-concept project, pilot, and global PKI implementation plan. He was a principal architect of the SWIFT Next Gen PKI security architecture; served as technical director at RAND Corporation for the cyber assurance initiative; as chief security strategist, was the PKI architect for TransactPlus, a J.P. Morgan spinoff; and developed policies and standards for a number of organizations, including the Australian Post Office and several U.S. banks. Recent consulting engagements include security governance projects for the Australia Post, New Zealand Inland Revenue, and Singapore Infocom Development Agency. Clients have included Microsoft, Unisys, AT&T, BP Alyeska, Countrywide Financial, Informix, Visa, VeriSign, Digital Signature Trust, Zantaz, Bank Al-Bilad, J.P. Morgan Chase, KeyBank, Certicom, and Paycom, among others. He has served on the board of advisors for Signet Assurance and has been involved in significant trade secret theft cases in the Silicon Valley. Gary Hinson-Despite his largely technical background, Dr. Gary Hinson, PhD, MBA, CISSP, has an abiding interest in human factors-the people side as opposed to the purely technical aspects of information security and governance. Gary's professional career stretches back to the mid-1980s as both a practitioner and manager in the fields of IT system and network administration, information security, and IT auditing. He has worked for some well-known multinationals in the pharmaceuticals/life sciences, utilities, IT, engineering, defense, and financial services industries, mostly in the United Kingdom and Europe. He emigrated to New Zealand in 2005 and now lives on a lifestyle block surrounded by more sheep than people. In the course of his work, Gary has developed or picked up and used a variety of information security metrics. Admittedly, they didn't all work out, but such is the nature of this developing field (Hinson 2006). In relation to programs to implement information security management systems, for example, Gary had some success using conventional project management metrics to guide the implementation activities and discuss progress with senior managers. However, management seemed curiously disinterested in measuring the business benefits achieved by their security investments despite Gary having laid out the basis for measurement in the original business cases. And so started his search for a better way. Since 2000, Gary has been consulting in information security, originally for a specialist security consultancy in London and then for IsecT Ltd., his own firm. Gary designed, developed, and, in 2003, launched NoticeBored (, an innovative information security awareness subscription service. NoticeBored has kept him busy ever since, researching and writing awareness materials for subscribers covering a different information security topic each month. One of the regular monthly awareness deliverables from NoticeBored is a management-level awareness briefing proposing and discussing potential metrics associated with each month's information security topic-for example, a suite of metrics concerning the management of incidents was delivered with a host of other awareness materials about incident management. Gary has been a passionate fan of the ISO/IEC 27000-series ISO27k information security management standards since shortly before BS 7799 was first released nearly two decades ago. He contributes to the continued development of ISO27k through New Zealand's membership of SC27, the ISO/IEC committee responsible for them, although he arrived in NZ too late to influence ISO/IEC 27004:2009 on information security measurements, unfortunately (we have more to say on '27004 below!). To find out what ISO27k can do for your organization, visit to explore the standards, find out about new developments, and join ISO27k Forum, the email reflector for a global user group. Before all that, Gary was a scientist researching bacterial genetics at the universities of York and Leicester in the United Kingdom. He has long since lost touch with the cut and thrust of gene cloning, DNA fingerprinting, and all that, but despite recently discovering his creative streak through NoticeBored, the rational scientist and metrician still lurks deep within him. So seven years of university study was not a total waste after all.

Reviews for PRAGMATIC Security Metrics: Applying Metametrics to Information Security

Like all books on metrics, PRAGMATIC Security Metrics: Applying Metametrics to Information Security makes the statement that you can't manage what you can't measure . The authors claim that other books on information security metrics discuss number theory and statistics in academic terms. This title promises to be light on mathematics and heavy on utility and is meant as a how-to-do-it guide for security metrics. As to the title, PRAGMATIC is an acronym for the basis of the method of the book, in using metrics that are predictive, relevant, actionable, genuine, meaningful, timely, independent and cost. After reading the first chapter, PRAGMATIC Security Metrics: Applying Metametrics to Information Security looks like it may live up to its promise of being able to use metrics not only to track and report performance but to identify problem areas and opportunities, and drive information security improvements. If so, this could be the metrics book a lot of information security professionals have been waiting for. -Ben Rothke, CISSP, CISM, Information Security Manager, Wyndham Worldwide; and author of Computer Security: 20 Things Every Employee Should Know, writing on the RSA Conference Blog,

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