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Senior management do not understand security metrics as it is too technical

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Half of IT professionals do not believe that their metrics adequately convey the effectiveness of security risk management efforts to senior executives.

According to a survey of 1,321 professionals by Tripwire and the Ponemon Institute, 49 per cent did not believe or were unsure that their organisations' metrics could convey security risk management efforts to senior executives.

When they were asked why metrics were not created that could be understood by non-technical management, 53 per cent said the information is too technical to be understood by non-technical management; 42 per cent blamed pressing issues; and 43 per cent said that they only communicate with executives when there is an actual security incident.

A third (35 per cent) said it takes too much time and resources to prepare and report metrics to senior executives, while 13 per cent said that senior executives are not interested in the information.

Rekha Shenoy, vice president of marketing and corporate development at Tripwire, said: “These results correlate with the dozens of conversations we have been having with CISOs across the globe.

“CISOs talk about the importance of leveraging metrics as a way to influence business leadership and build a risk management practice within their companies. Unfortunately, they struggle with the bigger challenge of producing meaningful metrics, while those they use are rarely aligned with business goals.”

Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said, “Even though most organisations rely on metrics for operational improvement in IT, more than half of IT professionals appear to be concerned about their ability to use metrics to communicate effectively with senior executives about security.”

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