Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Security Metrics Guide for Information Technology Systems



Marianne M. Swanson, N Bartol, J Sabato, Joan Hash, L Graffo


[Superseded by SP 800-55 Rev. 1 (July 2008):] This document provides guidance on how an organization, through the use of metrics, identifies the adequacy of in-place security controls, policies, and procedures. It provides an approach to help management decide where to invest in additional security protection resources or when to research the causes of nonproductive controls. It explains the metric development and implementation process and how it can also be used to adequately justify security control investments. The results of an effective metric program can provide useful data for directing the allocation of information security resources and should simplify the preparation of performance-related reports.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 800-55
Report Number


metrics, performance measures, security controls


Swanson, M. , Bartol, N. , Sabato, J. , Hash, J. and Graffo, L. (2003), Security Metrics Guide for Information Technology Systems, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed June 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created August 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017