Mean time to respond (MTTR) is an essential security metric to track when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of your security operations program. MTTR measures how quickly organizations detect and respond to threats, providing valuable insight into the overall state of security. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why MTTR is such a critical security metric and how you can use it to improve the security of your organization.

What Is MTTR in Cybersecurity?

MTTR is a cybersecurity metric that measures how long it takes for an organization to respond to and remediate a security incident or threat. It is a measure of the total time from when an incident is identified until it is resolved. MTTR metrics provide valuable insight into an organization’s security operations and can be used to identify potential issues or vulnerabilities in a network.

How to Calculate MTTR

The MTTR calculation is fairly simple: Divide the total time it took to resolve all incidents by the number of incidents that occurred during that time period. For example, if you had 10 incidents in a month and the total response time was 100 hours, then the MTTR would be 10 hours (100/10 = 10).

MTTR = (Total Incident Detection Time + Total Incident Investigation Time + Total Incident Resolution Time) / Total Number of Incidents

What MTTR Can Tell You

MTTR is an essential security operations metric to monitor and optimize. Time is of the essence in cybersecurity, and you want to be confident that your team is as efficient as possible when responding to threats and that you are limiting the amount of time attackers can spend in your environment.

If your MTTR is increasing, it could indicate that there are issues with your team’s training, education, and/or incident response plans. It could also mean that the automation processes you had in place may no longer be effective. To reduce your MTTR and ensure that investigations are still done thoroughly, you may need to update these elements and make sure they are working as intended.

On the other hand, if your MTTR is decreasing, it means that your team is doing a great job of responding quickly to alerts—however, it’s important to note that this should not come at the expense of investigation quality. Monitor your false positive and false negative rates alongside MTTR to make sure they stay within acceptable ranges as your MTTR decreases.

How to Reduce MTTR with GreyMatter

A long MTTR can mean that your security operations program is understaffed, underfunded, or using inefficient tools and processes. Reducing your MTTR requires improving your security operations program in these key areas.

ReliaQuest GreyMatter can help you reduce your MTTR by streamlining analysis. GreyMatter’s Intelligent Analysis (GMIA) automatically collects related artifacts and data from multiple platforms, providing recommended actions to help analysts quickly identify and remediate incidents. This reduces pivots between tools, saving time and allowing analysts to focus on higher-value activities.

By leveraging GMIA, teams can shorten their response times significantly. GreyMatter combines data from multiple sources into a single, intuitive platform, eliminating the need to manually search for data and reducing the time it takes to investigate and respond to incidents. This allows teams to get ahead of threats quickly, resulting in a better overall security posture. By automating the low-brain, high-time activities, they can save time while ensuring that their resources are being used where they are most valuable.

GreyMatter also provides pre-built playbooks that can automate processes for alert enrichment, threat containment, and remediation, further speeding your team’s response time. Organizations can also build their own custom playbooks specific to their needs. The playbooks can be run automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention and drastically decreasing your MTTR. With ReliaQuest GreyMatter, teams can monitor, investigate, and respond to threats faster than ever before.

Track Your MTTR with GreyMatter

Measuring and analyzing the right metrics is critical to improving an organization’s security posture. GreyMatter provides key, business-ready metrics in its Security Model Index to give leaders real-time views into critical areas of security operations and practices, including MTTR.

The Model Index delivers trendlineshowing how a company’s MTTR improves over time and automatically suggests improvements based on the company’ss environment, technology, and industry.

These insights help organizations figure out where they can make changes to reduce their MTTR and improve their security posture.


Mean time to respond is an important metric to measure the efficiency of your security operations program. By tracking MTTR, you can respond to threats faster and learn how to help your team spend their time more effectively. With the help of ReliaQuest GreyMatter, you can reduce your MTTR and monitor it closely. Ultimately, by understanding what MTTR is and how to reduce it, you can ensure that your security operations program is running at its optimal level.