Chapter 5 Risk Matrices, Lie Factors, Misconceptions, and Other Obstacles to Measuring Risk

We are ultimately trying to move cybersecurity in the direction of more quantitative risk assessment methods. The previous chapters showed that there are several methods that are both practical (the authors have used these methods in actual cybersecurity environments) and have evidence of measurably improving risk assessments. We offered an extremely simple method based on a one-for-one substitution of the components of a risk matrix. Anyone who has the technical skills to work in cybersecurity certainly has the skills to implement that solution. Once an analyst becomes familiar with the basics, he or she can build on the foundation we’ve provided with our methods in later chapters.

But regardless of the evidence shown so far, we expect to see resistance to many of the concepts shown. There will be sacred cows, red herrings, black swans, and a few other zoologically-themed metaphors related to arguments against the use of quantitative methods. In this chapter we will address each of these issues. We have to warn you in advance: This case will be tedious. This chapter is long and it will often feel like we are belaboring a point beyond what it deserves. But we need to systematically address each of these arguments and thoroughly make our case in a manner as airtight as the evidence allows.

Scanning the Landscape: A Survey of Cybersecurity Professionals

In preparation for making this ...

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