Justifying your Data and Document Security Programs based on Crucial Metrics


Most businesses view data security and document security as a cost centre. And although every company must invest in its people, methodologies, and technology to ensure smooth running, it is often seen that data and document security solutions are not viewed as profitable. On the contrary, if implemented well, data and document security solutions save businesses a considerable amount of money and more.

Additionally, with a robust document security solution such as digital rights management, revenue can be protected and expanded by displaying compliance practices and security credentials that can allow companies to retain their loyal customers while winning new ones.

This is why IT security teams must develop a set of metrics that can allow them to observe and demonstrate return on investment to management. Displaying these metrics can help them secure the budget needed to protect company documents and data and ensure the continued success of the overall data and document security solution.

Besides, it is in the best interest of every IT security team in an organization to apply the principle of constant enhancement to their work.

By choosing accurate metrics and tracking them dutifully over time, IT teams will be able to recognize how they can improve while focusing their efforts on them.

This can further ensure that the document security solution gets more efficient over time, which can also assist in justifying the budgets for it.

Here we look into insider threat metrics particularly: The need to track them, and the value they can add to the organization. Further, we look into the type of metrics to track

Data leaks can be incredibly expensive for any organization. According to a study by Ponemon on the cost of insider threats, the average price of accidental insider threats on an annual basis is over $3.5 million.

In contrast, the cost to the business of malicious insiders is approximately $2.8 million. The total average price of data leaks due to insider threats annually usually hits around $8.8 million. No organization can comfortably confront such kinds of losses.

There are commonalities in insider threat metrics that can be combined with other data and document security metrics, while some could overlay. But specific aspects of these metrics can be unique because of the nature of data leaks from the inside.

For instance, a low-end data security program could help in making a report on the number of data breaches or phishing attacks. But a robust document security solution such as digital rights management can prevent such incidents from occurring in the first place.

Since the majority of data leaks from the inside are due to carelessness or accidents, these can be dramatically reduced by implementing robust digital rights management to protect documents from unauthorized access and misuse.

Also, security awareness programs, employee user training, and real-time staff education can further enhance and prevent any kind of cyber attack.

It can be a telling experience on how data leaks can reduce overtime by understanding exact tactics to prevent and mitigate data leaks that can work best for your organization, and thus understand how to focus your data and document security budget.

Let’s look into the metrics your company must track. These include:

Human resources: The number of employees, dedicated insider threat teams; budgets; the amount of time spent on training; user education; data security awareness and more, the effectiveness of training regarding data leaks.


Incidents: The number of warnings or signals corresponding to an actual data leak in comparison to false positives; the number and kind of data leak attacks including purposeful and negligent incidents; the number of real incidents; categorization of events depending on your company; the amount of time taken to detect the incident; the number and kind of cases reviewed by the data security solution; the number of times an individual has gained access to a particular document inappropriately; the number of records that have moved outside the secure environment; the number of files that have been prevented from moving outside a safe environment.

Response: The time is taken to react to a detected occurrence; the number and kind of cases escalated within the company; the number and types of referrals to law agencies; the number and kinds of risk-mitigating activities; legal fees spent on counsel; number and kinds of completed investigations; the average time taken to complete an inquiry; investigative timelines; fees paid on third-party forensic teams.

Expenses: The overall cost per data breach including discovering, investigating, and responding to the incident; the cost of funds and charges; the extent of data loss; the extent of customer loss; damage to reputation, and more.

As these metrics are developed, it can be helpful to benchmark your organization against industry averages when needed. To begin with, you can use The Ponemon Cost of an Insider Threat: Global Study to know more about the metrics in detail and understand where your organization stands in the maturity curve as compared to other businesses when it comes to data and document security solutions.

It is essential to incorporate an iterative learning capacity into the solution. Your organization can achieve this by measuring it with the help of the above metrics. The key to success in securing your documents can be periodic assessment and introspection.

With a robust document security solution such as digital rights management built into your data security program, it can be the natural next step to your company’s success against document leaks and data breaches. Arranging a quarterly or annual briefing for the management of the Board of Directors, on the success of your data security program, and its ROIs can help you communicate to the leadership on the capabilities of the program. Provide evidence that shows how the organization can withstand data threats and ultimately assure them of the solution’s relevance for continuous document protection.


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