Cyber Risk Assessment – Key Metrics to Track and Measure

Cyber Risk Assessment

Performing a cyber risk assessment is essential to ensure that you can mitigate security threats and prevent data breaches. To do this, it is necessary to track and measure key metrics.

Choosing which metrics to track depends on your needs, objectives, and industry. However, some should be a priority.

Risk Rating

Cyber risk assessments are a crucial part of a cyber security strategy. These assessments are a vital component of compliance and regulatory standards and an essential tool for managing cybersecurity in the face of ever-increasing threats.

The first step in a cyber risk assessment is identifying the assets your business uses and considers essential. This includes servers, databases, employees, electronic data, trade secrets, and other critical information assets.

Identifying assets is a critical step in the cyber risk assessment process because it allows you to prioritize which risks are most important and require the most resources to mitigate. The next step is to assess those risks about their likelihood and impact. This assessment results in a cyber risk score that can be used to determine how effective your organization’s defenses are against potential attacks.

Impact Rating

Cyber risk assessments can be vital to your organization’s information risk management and broader risk management strategy. They will help you identify vulnerabilities and gaps in your cybersecurity controls, which can be fixed.

The assessment process can also lead to a more risk-aware culture within your business. This will help prevent security incidents, data breaches, regulatory fines, and reputational damage.

Risks are categorized based on likelihood and impact. Chance refers to the probability that a threat will exploit an existing vulnerability, while the effect is the amount of harm caused by an attack.


Costs are a crucial metric to track and measure in cyber risk assessment. These costs may be lost productivity, data recovery expenses, business income disruption, reputational damage, legal and compliance fees, etc.

Considering these costs during cyber risk assessments can help explain your cybersecurity program’s value to executives and stakeholders. This can also help to reduce the amount of complexity in completing a cost-benefit analysis (CBA).

Recovery Time

Recovery time is an important metric to track and measure in cyber risk assessment. It determines how long it takes to restore business systems and data following an outage or disaster.

In the case of a disaster or ransomware attack, every minute of downtime costs the company money in terms of both short-term and long-term impact. So, developing backup and recovery plans is crucial to ensure your organization can withstand disruptions.

RTO and RPO calculations are vital to determining these goals and ensuring that the backups your organization chooses meet them. However, calculating them can be tricky, as different applications and data have different values.

Business Impact

Cybersecurity metrics help businesses understand their cybersecurity strategy’s success, communicate effectively to business stakeholders, and help respond to risks cost-effectively and efficiently.

One key metric to track and measure in cyber risk assessment is business impact. This metric counts the potential damage a data breach could have on an organization’s revenue and operations.

Translating cyber risk into monetary terms like dollars, euros, or francs helps organizations understand how their chances affect the bottom line and allow decision-makers to easily trace financial risks to underlying assets and vulnerabilities for quick remediation. It also supports security executives to demonstrate that their efforts to lower risk throughout the organization are paying off and provides an easy-to-understand ROI for future security investments.