Privacy Ref Blog

Define Maturity Then Your Metrics

Security metrics are somewhat of an enigma.  Executives want something tangible to speak to and analyze yet they are not easy to define or measure.  Most likely you will hear examples such as ‘number of laptops stolen’ or ‘number of servers with known vulnerabilities’, but what do those numbers mean? Why do we or should we care about them? Yes, they will help to indicate areas of risk or improvement, possible ROI, but before you start the never-ending process of defining security metrics, it is beneficial to understand your organization’s security level of maturity by utilizing CMMI maturity levels.

It’s like the saying you don’t know what you don’t know. You can’t produce a metric if you don’t know your starting point.

CMMI Maturity Levels provide a rigorous benchmark rating method that enables you to compare your organization’s capability to its competitors, its industry, and itself over time. CMMI provides five maturity levels that demonstrate a visible path for improvement.

What is Capability Maturity Model  Integration (CMMI)®(n.d.). Retrieved from http://cmmiinstitute.com/capability-maturity-model-integration

Although CMMI is based on software development practices the maturity levels can be curtailed to be security centric for any aspect of your program.  CMMI levels are very straightforward.  The example below is specific to a security program.

0- Non-Existent- Overall lack of a security program

1- Initial- There is no evidence to support the security program.  Security policies, processes, and procedures are unpredictable and reactive.

2- Managed- The security program itself is intuitive, documented and repeatable but at times is unpredictable and still reactive in its security approach.

3- Defined- The security program is implemented, predictable and proactive in its security approach and can be measured qualitatively.

4- Quantitatively Managed – The security program is implemented, predictable and proactive in its security approach and can be measured using statistical and other quantitative techniques.

5- Optimized- The security program is highly effective with full integration.

Once you know what your maturity level is you can determine which level you want to achieve and maintain.  From there you can create metrics that will provide you an accurate view of your environment, what metrics best address your areas of risk as well as areas for improvements.

Always remember you can’t measure something that you do not know. So, know your maturity level, that is your first metric.

 

 

 

Author Surname A (Year Published) Title. What is Capability Maturity Model  Integration (CMMI)®? Available at: http://cmmiinstitute.com/capability-maturity-model-integration (accessed 03/05/18).

Privacy Ref provides consulting and assessment services to build and improve organizational privacy programs. For more information call Privacy Ref at (888) 470-1528 or email us at info@privacyref.com

Posted on March 6, 2018 by Jen Spencer


« »

No Responses

Comments are closed.


« »

Subscribe to our mailing list

Please fill out the form below.

Required

Want to find out more?

Simply go to the contact page, fill out the form, and someone from Privacy Ref will be in touch with you. You can also send an email to info@privacyref.com or call (888) 470-1528.

News

April 16, 2018

IAPP Training Classes
Privacy Ref is proud to announce that we are an official training partner of the IAPP. You now have the opportunity to learn from one of our knowledgeable privacy professionals using the most respected training content in the industry. The robust interactive training offered, aids in the understanding of critical privacy concepts. The contents of the courses are integral to obtaining your privacy certifications and to educate your new team. Learn more here.

Latest Blog Posts

September 21, 2018

Is Your Biometric Clock Ticking?
I recently read an article published on the Society for Human Resource Management’s website on the prevalence of biometrics in the employment context. Specifically, the author referenced a Spiceworks’ survey of IT professionals from February 2018 that provided, in my mind, surprising results. Continue reading this post...

Other Recent Posts

PRIVACY REF