Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) are metrics for Risk. Most of the metrics discussed today focus on either pure business aspects or, with IT and Identity Risk Management, on technical aspects. How long does it take to provision accounts in different systems? How many orphaned accounts do you have in different directories? ...

But: There is another layer of KRIs which has to be monitored. For example: How long does it take until an organizational change is known to the provisioning system? The provisioning process might be extremly fast - if it isn't started, it is still far too slow.

Thus, I propose to define four layers of KRIs:

  • Business KRIs
  • Business-IT KRIs which measure the interaction of Business and IT
  • High level IT KRIs like the orphaned accounts or the performance of provisioning processes
  • System level IT KRIs for specific aspects of the single systems
That maps perfectly to my three layer view of Identity Management, with the GRC layer (Business to IT), the provisioning layer (High level IT), and the system level. KRIs on different levels can be combined for a complete view on risks. That is inevitable because, like mentioned above, there might be a low risk on one level but the overall risk might be still high.

In general, using KRIs is an interesting approach not only to know about risks but to measure and improve your organization - and not only IT.