Security policy evaluation using balanced scorecards
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Security Policy Evaluation Using Balanced Scorecards. Mohamad El Osta MBA 737 April 29, 2008. Agenda. Performance Evaluation Methodology Limitation Balanced Scorecards Perspectives and Methodology Security Metrics Conclusion. Performance Evaluation.

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Security Policy Evaluation Using Balanced Scorecards

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Security Policy Evaluation Using Balanced Scorecards

Mohamad El Osta

MBA 737

April 29, 2008


  • Performance Evaluation

  • Methodology Limitation

  • Balanced Scorecards

  • Perspectives and Methodology

  • Security Metrics

  • Conclusion

Performance Evaluation

  • Managers and chief executives have to be proactive in tracking the operation of their business

  • Organizations used to track their performance by relying solely on financial metrics like:

    • Increase of revenue

    • Increase of profit margin

    • Return on assets (ROA) and investments (ROI)


  • Vital dimensions of the business can go unnoticed by time if financial metrics alone were used.

  • Customers might be unsatisfied with the product and are waiting for the competition to switch products.

  • Employees’ emotions due to dissatisfaction might be running high, until “crunch point” suddenly arise.


  • Balanced Scorecard (BSC): “is a strategic planning and management system that is used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals.”1

    • As defined by the Balanced Scorecard Institute

1, 04/27/2008


  • The “Balanced Scorecard” term was coined in 1992 by two authors:

    • Robert S. Kaplan – Professor at Harvard Business School

    • David P. Norton

  • Harvard Business Review article titled: “The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance.”

  • Performance measurement reporting existed before since the 50s at General Electric.


  • By 2006, 70% of organizations at least implemented partially a BSC.

  • Private sector, public sector and non-profit organizations have successfully implemented BSC.

  • French process engineers created “Tableau de Bord”– dashboard – for measuring performance in the early 1900s.

BSC Perspectives

  • BSC translates the business strategy into four perspectives:

    • Customer

    • Financial

    • Business Processes

    • Learning and Growth

  • Goal is to achieve a balance in the following:

    • Between internal and external measures

    • Between objective and subjective measures

    • Between performance and drivers of results

  • Diagram of the BSC

    Comprehensive Measures

    Planning Areas

    • There are four areas of planning for each perspective:

    • Objectives:

      • The set of results that are needed by the business to sustain its vision based on its strategy.

    • Measures:

      • Are the observable key performance indicators (KPI) that measures the progress of each objective.

    Planning Areas

    • Targets:

      • Are the set values of measures that the business wants to achieve by the objectives.

    • Initiatives:

      • A set of action items for each objective created as a plan of how to reach the objective.

    BSC Template


    Implementation Process

    • Implementing BSC is done through 4 steps:

    • Translation of Vision:

      • Create strategic objectives from the vision.

      • Setup quantifiable metrics to measure objectives.

    • Communicating Objectives:

      • Create SMART goals from the strategic objectives.

      • Communicate these goals through out the organization.

    Implementation Process

    • Setting Targets and Aligning Initiatives:

      • Create achievable targets for each perspective.

      • Align initiatives to achieve specified targets.

    • Learning and Feedback:

      • Get feedback on setup initiatives through metrics.

      • Learn continuously from success/failure of strategy.

    Benefits of BSC

    • Enhance organizational focus on results and strategy.

    • Improve business performance by tracking a comprehensive set of KPIs.

    • Align the organizational strategy with the projects and work employees do.

    • Concentrate on the drivers of future performance.

    • Enhance the communication of vision and strategy throughout the organization.

    • Prioritize the business projects based on the strategy.

    Information Security

    • Information Security (IS): “is protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction”1

    • “The truth is that security is as much an issue of people and process as it is technology.”2

    • Tracking the performance and compliance of a security policy is as important as having one!


    2, 04/27/2008

    IS Components

    • Information Security has 3 components – commonly known as the “CIA triad”:

    • Confidentiality: means that data can only be accessed by authorized personnel.

    • Integrity: means that data can not be created, changed, or deleted without authorization.

    • Availability: means that information and their systems are available and correctly functioning when needed.

    IS Triad Diagram

    IS and BSC

    • BSC have been used in every function of the business.

    • Recently organizations started to use BSC to manage the implementation of their security policy.

    • ISO-17799 is a standard of security controls that can be implemented and monitored through the use of BSC.

    Security Metrics

    • Security Metric: “For an entity (system, product, facility, asset or other) for which security is a meaningful concept, there are identifiable attributes that collectively characterize the security of that entity. A security metric, or combination of metrics, is a quantitative measure of much of that attribute the entity possesses.”1


    Example Metrics

    • Some example of security metrics used in the industry:

      • Intrusion attempts

      • Invalid logins

      • Admin violations

      • Spam detected

      • Viruses detected

      • Unauthorized access attempt

    Proposed BSC for Security

    • Dr. Lori L. DeLooze has created a BSC for computer security.1

    • She has proposed this scorecard based on 4 perspectives:

      • Users

      • System Administrators

      • System Owners

      • Auditors


    Security BSC Diagram*


    Security Strategy

    • Vision: to have a secure information system that provides the “CIA triad.”

    • Strategy has 2 components:

      • Provide cost-efficient security service

      • Reduce risk and damage from attacks

    • Each perspective will be analyzed and evaluated based on those 2 strategic criteria.

    Security BSC for S1

    Security BSC for S2


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