Feeds

Better metrics needed for security, says expert

Awash in bad data

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

BOSTON — The security industry has done a poor job of finding ways for companies to measure their security, but that does not mean that collecting data is not valuable, the former head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's cyber group told attendees at the SOURCE Boston conference on Thursday.

Amit Yoran, CEO of security firm NetWitness and the former director of the National Cyber Security Directorate at the DHS, criticized today's risk management practices. The security industry is awash in bad data, and companies that attempt to use the metrics could take the wrong actions, he said.

"When you are trying to boil a very complex topic into ... a discrete number to management, you end up driving organizational behavior toward bad metrics," Yoran said.

Yet, foregoing data collection is not the right path, either.

"Rather than say, 'Don't measure any data, because it will backfire,' we need to measure everything," he said. "Once you have the metrics, you can analyze the data in different ways," and find those that actually help the company minimize risk.

The process requires that executives work with their security group to find the right way to measure security for that specific company, he said.

"The security culture has to be set by the executives," Yoran said. "Set the expectations that a lack of due care is not going to be tolerated."

This article originally appeared in SecurityFocus.

Copyright © 2009, SecurityFocus

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.