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Mean time to contain

Mean time to contain

(also MTTC)

Mean time to contain definition

Mean time to contain (MTTC) is the average time it takes for an organization to deal with a security breach or incident after it’s detected. It’s an important cybersecurity metric and helps assess the efficiency of the incident response process.

See also: mean time to failure, mean time to repair, mean time to recovery, mean time to respond, recovery time objective, cyber incident response plan, cyber incident, response time

How mean time to contain works

  1. The process starts when an automated system or an employee spots a security issue or breach.
  2. The response team starts working to deal with the incident. It could cut off the affected computer systems, block malicious data traffic, or fix security gaps.
  3. MTTC measures the time from detecting the problem to getting it under control. This time is recorded for each incident and then averaged to find the MTTC. For example, if a system faced three incidents, and they took 2 hours, 4 hours, and 6 hours to contain, the MTTC is (2+4+6)/3 = 4 hours.

Applications of mean time to contain

  • Improving incident response. By tracking MTTC, organizations can understand how effective their incident response strategies are. A shorter MTTC means a more efficient response.
  • Resource allocation. MTTC helps identify areas that need more resources or training, such as types of issues that take longer to contain.
  • Benchmarking and compliance. Companies can compare their MTTC with others to see if they’re meeting industry standards or compliance rules.
  • Risk management. By analyzing MTTC data, companies can find weak spots and prepare better for future problems.
  • Performance improvement. Keeping an eye on MTTC helps improve security protocols, staff training, and response technologies.

Further reading

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