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Measuring What Matters: Security Metrics Workshop

It is critical to measure the right things in order to make informed management decisions, take the appropriate actions, and change behaviors. But how do managers figure out what those right things are? Public and private organizations today often base cyber risk management decisions on fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and the latest attack; compliance mandates such as HIPAA, FISMA, SOX, and PCI; and security risk frameworks that typically have little to do with the way the rest of the organization measures risk and prioritizes operational risk management activities. CFOs, enterprise risk management officers, internal audit directors, and CISOs need information risk management approaches that align with business objectives. A measurement approach tied to strategic business objectives will ensure that planning, budgeting, and the allocation of operational resources are focused on what matters most to the organization. In addition, a shift to such an approach will help identify metrics that are expensive to collect and may not be worth the investment. Students in this course will use real-world strategic objectives to develop specific business goals and the applicable questions, indicators, and actionable metrics that they can implement at their own organizations to improve their ability to manage operational risks, particularly cybersecurity risks.


Directors and managers of:

  • operational risk management
  • information technology (IT)
  • cybersecurity/information security
  • IT and cybersecurity compliance
  • IT and cybersecurity audit

Security professionals who support the above roles (security engineers, security architects, network engineers. security risk analysts, etc.)


This course will help participants to

  • Learn how to refine a student-provided strategic or business objective that meets that S.M.A.R.T.E.R. criteria-Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated, Reviewed-and can be used to initiate the Goal - Question - Indicator - Metric (GQIM) process.
  • Identify a core set of business goals, based on the student's business objective, to which the cybersecurity risk measurement program will be applied.
  • Formulate one or more key questions for each goal in learning objective 2. The answers to these questions help determine the extent to which the goal is being achieved.
  • Identify one or more indicators for each key question. An indicator is data and information that further inform the answer to each question.
  • Identify one or more metrics for each indicator that most directly inform the answer to one or more questions.


  • Developing S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Business Objectives
  • GQIM Overview
  • Objectives to Goals
  • Goals to Questions
  • Questions to Indicators
  • Indicators to Metrics
  • The Big Picture - Putting It All in Context


Participants will receive a downloadable copy of the course materials.


This course has no prerequisites.

Dates Offered

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Course Fees [USD]

  • U.S. Industry: $800.00
  • U.S. Govt/Academic: $650.00
  • International: $1,125.00


This one day course meets at the following times:

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

This course may be offered by special arrangement at customer sites. For details, please email or telephone at +1 412-268-1817.

Course Questions?

Phone: 412-268-7388
FAX: 412-268-7401

Training courses provided by the SEI are not academic courses for academic credit toward a degree. Any certificates provided are evidence of the completion of the courses and are not official academic credentials. For more information about SEI training courses, see Registration Terms and Conditions and Confidentiality of Course Records.