Do enterprise businesses really need both?
Commonly used terms and processes within cyber security, metrics and controls are effective methods used to protect any enterprise from cyber attacks.
But sometimes, what one person’s metric is, could be another’s control. It is simply a matter of perception.
So, this does beg the question – if metrics and controls are simply a matter of terminology, is it necessary to have both?
Let us dive into that because the QO view is that they have very different objectives.
In brief and broadly speaking, metrics measure the effectiveness of your cyber security programme.
Typical metrics include:
All of these are designed to monitor your performance and identify areas of improvement.
Controls are somewhat different-
Typical controls can include:
In fact, our CTO recently wrote a blog that outlined the top 5 controls you should implement in your business – find this article here.
So, reviewing this information, it is apparent that they both serve very different purposes.
You have on one hand the need for controls to ensure that your ecosystem remains as operationally resilient as possible and then, on the other, metrics to measure how effective these controls really are and report on whether you really have been as secure as you would like!
Complexity plays a part: as any cyber security professional knows, the landscape is complex and forever evolving as a result of constant emerging threats. So frankly it’s a challenge for any cyber security professional to develop metrics and controls that can accurately reflect and report. With controls that involve multiple layers of processes, tech, and throw in the human element, these can be extremely hard to measure and assess.
This then creates a challenge in the ability to standardise: so, as a result there has never been a widely accepted standard for measuring cyber security metrics or controls. Businesses have different methodologies, even different frameworks – often developing their own niche ones – and even the use of differing terminology, which makes it near impossible to compare or benchmark results across the industry.
Here comes data playing its part again: ultimately cyber security teams need to rely on data. Data is prevalent in any business and is also king in the fight against cyber-crime – and that data needs to be accurate and comprehensive. However, obtaining (knowing whether you know where all the data is), collecting and analysing that data is exceedingly challenging in many businesses. Businesses may not have complete access to that data and do not have the resources to trawl through the data to analyse it effectively.
Business objectives are so often misaligned: cyber security metrics and controls HAVE to be aligned to a businesses’ overall objectives and so often they just aren’t. So it becomes impossible to measure any effectiveness of controls or even justify any investment in cyber security.
Then there’s the same old problem of resource: many organisations have limited resources to devote to cyber security, which can make it difficult to implement and measure effective controls. This can lead to confusion about which metrics are most important and which controls should be prioritised.
Then here comes the most important point of all: Proving the value of cyber security: too many cyber security professionals still think that they have to prove value of the role they play within the business so they think they need metrics for everything – so they collect, report and alert on anything that they think proves value of security or can demonstrate compliance.
So how can metrics and controls obtain clarity for any cyber security professional?
Firstly, it starts with a Board strategy alignment to cyber. Once business objectives are aligned and a spotlight is cast on cyber, then there will be progress to clearly define metrics and controls. Security teams should work closely with other stakeholders in the organisation to establish clear goals and objectives, prioritise security initiatives, and identify the right metrics and controls to measure and monitor performance. So often this is not the case but we have certainly seen this changing though and, as focus shifts, the eyes of the board are on cyber a lot more!
In short, you need both and here’s why.
Cyber security professionals need to drive the conversation about aligning business objectives with operational resilience. So rather than creating an overwhelming amount of metrics to “prove” the value of cyber teams’ activities to the Board, drive really top of funnel metrics that prove the thresholds of business cyber security that are pertinent to the Boards desire to be operationally secure – make it meaningful to them.
Also, at operational level, the ability to have complete visibility of all your data is key in the process and this is a challenge that hasn’t really changed with time, and this links to understanding your assets. Then, being able to understand the effectiveness of your controls and metrics in real time 24/7 will also allow any business to report with complete accuracy as to whether you are as secure, compliant and reducing cyber risk as effectively as you need to.
If you don’t know what all your assets are, then it’s impossible to understand where all your data is – but this is a process that CCM can help you with.
Contact us to schedule a demo of the Quod Orbis CCM managed platform.
See it for yourself – automated Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM), with complete cyber controls visibility in a single pane of glass, continuance compliance, automated audits, our unique service wrap, and more.
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A very experienced and respected Senior Leadership Executive, with over 30 years’ experience in Information Technology, Information/CyberSecurity and Risk. Specialises in delivering business transformation, leading people through change and taking them on a journey to deliver and exceed company expectations. Highly regarded by his peers and colleagues across the globe. A very confident and effective communicator at CXO level, and valued as an expert presenter at numerous worldwide forums . Across his career been in Senior CISO and leadership positions in Banking, Telco, Network & Utilities, Several UK Government Departments,
Has extensive Cyber Security, Operational Risk, Compliance and Business Transformation expertise, gained across a broad range of industries. Former Director of Cybersecurity for CGI and CapGemini and Ex CISO for O2.
Will has spent the last 9-years embedded in Cyber Security working with global, household names and innovative start-ups.
Passionate about bringing people and technology together, Will has worked in various settings, helping build high-growth organisations across multiple sectors. During this time, he has built an extensive network with access to some of the best talent out there.
Outside of QO, his young daughter keeps him well on his toes!
Mark works with SMEs and charities to develop strategies to help them grow and access development capital. He is a NED, charity trustee and mentor to a wide range of people. His plural career started in 2017 after 16 years at pwc as a Deals partner working with large corporates and PE houses; at pwc he also ran the Retail and Consumer practice and was Chairman of the pwc UK Supervisory Board. Prior to pwc he was an executive director at Welcome Break and Iceland Group, and a partner at Bain and Company. He trained as an engineer at Imperial College and has an MBA from INSEAD.
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Eamon is a highly regarded and massively respected technology career professional as well as serial entrepreneur. He has started, grown and successfully taken to market three technology business.
Genuinely expert in technology, Eamon has enjoyed long-term working relationships with many of the world’s top companies and organisations in finance, banking, government, manufacturing, engineering, technology and the charities sector.
He draws on unparalleled contacts and experience and provides advice, solutions and recommendations, as well as helping respond to emergencies. Eamon has grown in-house and client teams and has a gift for hiring great people.
Peter has the ability to do what many fail to and that is to consistently bring together highly professional teams and build a business environment that is supportive, agile, professional and where everyone enjoys coming into the office.
Bringing a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to the role of non-exec director, Peter has already demonstrated his ability to bring an exceptional flair for dealing with complex situations with a clear, considered approach.
Personally, Peter brings humility and a strong moral compass to the team. His disarming and self-deprecating approach wins everyone over.
Anwen has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for over 20 years. From transforming end-to-end customer journeys in retail with strategic customer-centric plans to target driven focused strategies for B2B sales. With extensive experience in digital marketing including SEO, as well as Brand development, she loves to develop a cohesive approach to brand image and communications to drive and develop the business proposition and perception.
Alice has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. Starting in Procurement, she moved into Software Asset Management before transitioning into Customer Success Management. Working across a variety of roles for different industries as both a customer and a service provider has given her a great understanding of what makes a great service. She has always been passionate about building and maintaining great customer relationships and helping her customers achieve their goals.
Owain has spent nearly a decade building software solutions and products within the cyber security sphere for the likes of government entities, large telecommunication companies, banks and card transaction companies.
This level of experience allows him to swiftly identify business and security processes that can be streamlined with automation, increase the efficiency of existing processes, as well as generate insightful data visualisations and models for members of an organisation at each different level.
Ami is a finance sector career professional, with many years’ experience working in financial services, both in London and throughout the UK. In addition to financial control, she looks after HR and legal for the company.
Being a mother of two also equips her with the basic skills required to manage a senior team of management and technology consultants.
Ami’s sense of balance and perspective is an essential ingredient of the Quod Orbis culture.
Alastair has spent the last 20 years working in Cyber Security and Risk Management. He is a passionate believer that security solutions should enable a business to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital world, while not putting the organisation’s data or productivity at risk.
Alastair has developed high-performing teams in some of the industry’s most competitive markets and launched new innovative technologies to market.
Being a rugby coach, and also having four sons at home, means he has lots of experience in keeping a passionate team in order but always has time for some fun!
Gary has 15 years’ experience in senior technology roles, and has already been closely involved in starting and taking two technology companies to market.
Totally comfortable with a fast-moving, state-of-the-art technical landscape, he helps his clients maintain and improve security and compliance.
He has a reputation for delivering pragmatic and easy to maintain solutions – business owners and managers enjoy knowing that the security and compliance is well managed and automated, properly instrumented and reported at a competitive cost point.
Honest, open, unflappable and very social, Gary is trusted by many household-name organisations to protect their, and their client’s data.
Martin is an experienced technology and organisational transformation specialist and an excellent, proven leader and communicator in mission-critical operations, particularly in security technology.
Over the past 20 years, multi-billion pound commercial organisations, including global banks, utilities and major investment funds have trusted Martin to transform their operations to meet financial, operational and compliance targets.
Martin optimises operations, managing and transforming operational teams of between 50 and 500 people, to deliver the highest levels of audit compliance, risk management and financial efficiency.
Often working with other major consultancies and suppliers for new global corporate owners or management teams, Martin will help integrate and streamline operations on a global basis.
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