Book Image

How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk

By : Douglas W. Hubbard, Richard Seiersen
Book Image

How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk

By: Douglas W. Hubbard, Richard Seiersen

Overview of this book

How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk exposes the shortcomings of current “risk management” practices, and offers a series of improvement techniques that help you fill the holes and ramp up security. In his bestselling book How to Measure Anything, author Douglas W. Hubbard opened the business world’s eyes to the critical need for better measurement. This book expands upon that premise and draws from The Failure of Risk Management to sound the alarm in the cybersecurity realm. Some of the field’s premier risk management approaches actually create more risk than they mitigate, and questionable methods have been duplicated across industries and embedded in the products accepted as gospel. This book sheds light on these blatant risks and provides alternate techniques that can help improve your current situation. You’ll also learn which approaches are too risky to save and are actually more damaging than a total lack of any security. Dangerous risk management methods abound; there is no industry more critically in need of solutions than cybersecurity. This book provides solutions where they exist and advises when to change tracks entirely.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)
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About the Authors

Financial Impact of Breaches

We now turn from the expected frequency to the financial impact of cyber breaches. The expense of a breach stems from the at-risk value of the breached assets, and that value may have a number of cost components: notification and remediation; forensic, legal, and liability; and reputation and long-term business impact. Studies of breach cost are available from a variety of sources, such as the Ponemon Institute.6 We have found, however, that care is required in deploying this data in actuarial forecasting.

Estimating at-risk value of data assets is beyond the scope of this essay, but a simple example shows some of the challenges. Consider a database of custodial data (e.g., customer, employee, or patient data) containing sensitive personal, financial, or health information. It is tempting simply to count records and quote breach cost on a per-record basis. But this assumes that cost per record is constant, which turns out not to be the case.

Figure B.4 shows...