Feeds

Better metrics needed for security, says expert

Awash in bad data

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.