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Cybersecurity KPIs to React Cyber Incidents Faster

Published on Mar 02 2023

Given the intricacy of modern technological systems,
C-level executives often struggle to understand cybersecurity comprehensively. However, by enhancing their comprehension of the company's cybersecurity posture, they can proactively respond to security incidents and enhance their defenses against cyber threats. Cybersecurity KPIs are a powerful tool that presents information in a clear manner, providing valuable insights to aid in this endeavour. 

This article details the most important cybersecurity KPIs to monitor for timely incident responses. 

Why is Cybersecurity KPIs Important?

Cybersecurity monitoring is an ongoing process. Thus, organizations must evaluate their cybersecurity measures' efficacy regularly, and that makes cybersecurity KPIs important for the following reasons: 

1. Seeing the whole picture to make informed decisions 

Keeping track of key performance indicators (KPIs) and conducting regular assessments of the cybersecurity posture can shed light on whether the security measures are working. With KPIs, cybersecurity experts make informed decisions with such reliable historical data at their disposal. 

2. Facilitating communication with management 

KPIs represent quantifiable information that can be presented during the reporting to the board members, allowing experts to make a case for their cybersecurity efforts or planning the cybersecurity budget. 

Critical Cybersecurity KPIs to Track to React Cyber Incidents Faster 

Below are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that help businesses speed up their response times while measuring the efficiency of their cyber incident response. 

1. Unidentified Devices on the Network  

While the company's infrastructure is well-identified, some employees may bring in their own devices, which may be vulnerable to malware and other cyber threats. Because of this, the organization must be able to monitor such devices and enforce a method for identifying them. 

2. . Mean Time to Acknowledge (MTTA) 

How fast and effectively the expert addresses and responds to new system alerts is measured by the meantime to acknowledge (MTTA) the event and begin working on fixing it. 

3. Mean Time to Detection (MTTD) 

The average time it takes for the cybersecurity team to discover a cyber-attack is known as the Mean Time to Detection (MTTD), and it should be as close to zero as possible. Further investigation is warranted if this key performance indicator (KPI) undergoes a dramatic shift or is consistently underperforming. 

4. Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR) 

The longer it takes to fix cybersecurity problems (measured in Mean Time to Repair or MTTR), the more money, customer loss, and reputation damage a company will suffer. The goal of measuring MTTR is to determine how rapidly experts can respond to and fix problems as they develop. 

5. Listing Incidents by Category 

The nature of actual cyberattacks can tell cybersecurity departments what they must protect against. The intended use of this KPI is to catalogue the many types of cyber-attacks, including but not limited to malware, phishing, and distributed denial of service attacks. 

Also Read: Key Cyber Security KPIs And 10 Metrics For Small & Medium Sized Businesses

6. Incidents Over Time 

The average number of incidents detected by monitoring tools over a certain period is known as the “incident over time.” The goal is to monitor trends in cybercrime rates and determine if they are rising or falling. If the rate starts to rise or stays higher than normal, teams might start looking into the cause. 

7. Cost Per Incident 

This indicator shows how much time and money are spent on issue resolution. The goal is to achieve the lowest possible value for this indicator. 

8. Downtime 

After verifying a cyber assault, most cybersecurity experts immediately shut down the system to prevent the attack from spreading further and making the entire system inaccessible, leaving employees unable to do their jobs, customers unable to contact the company, and orders unfilled. The purpose of this key performance indicator is to measure and consequently minimize the downtime after a cyberattack. 

9. Uptime 

Uptime refers to the time a company's systems are available and operational without interruption due to cyber-attacks. This measure demonstrates the company's service reliability. Maintaining satisfied customers requires reaching 100% uptime. There is, of course, no such thing as a 100% uptime guarantee; nonetheless, 99.9% uptime is considered particularly good, and 99.99% uptime is considered exceptional in the IT industry. 


Cybersecurity incidents can happen anytime; therefore, the company needs to be ready to measure and respond quickly. Cybersecurity key performance indicators (KPIs) are special measures that helps company's management and cybersecurity experts to make educated decisions to keep the business safe and operational. 


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