SIEM centralizes security data to help monitor IT infrastructure, detect anomalies, raise red flags, and maintain logs.
SIEM is a cybersecurity platform that centralizes security information from multiple endpoints, servers, applications, and other sources to help monitor IT infrastructure, check for anomalies in real-time, alert security professionals whenever there is an abnormal event, and maintain detailed data logs of all events (anomalous, adverse, or routine). This article overviews the various SIEM tools, how they work, and their importance to your organization.
SIEM is defined as a cybersecurity platform that centralizes security information from multiple endpoints, servers, applications, and other sources to help monitor IT infrastructure, check for anomalies in real-time, alert security professionals whenever there is an anomalous event, and maintain detailed data logs of all events (anomalous, adverse, or routine) – often using tools like threat intelligence databases, AI, automation, etc.
Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) is a solution that combines two older tools: SIM (Security Information Management) and SEM (Security Event Management) (Security Event Management). Modern SIEM systems also contain Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR), and User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) technologies for automating threat response and detecting threats based on aberrant activity, respectively.
Together, they expedite identifying and resolving security events and incidents inside an IT environment. It offers cybersecurity experts a complete and consolidated picture of the overall security of digital infrastructure and visibility into the actions inside their IT environment.
To defend themselves against more sophisticated cyberattacks in the digital economy, businesses must monitor and secure their data. Your organization probably has more information to gather and analyze than ever before. Before SIEM, security analysts would manually sift through millions of fragmented and siloed data bits for every app and security point. In summary, SIEM may accelerate the response and detection of cyber attacks, making security analysts’ investigations more efficient and accurate.
The centralized collection, categorization, monitoring, synchronization, and analysis features of SIEM software improve the speed and accuracy with which security events are responded to. This facilitates real-time monitoring and troubleshooting of IT infrastructure by IT teams.
SIEM frameworks vary in functionalities but often include the following essential features:
SIEM systems may reduce cyber risk via various use cases, including detecting anomalous user behavior, tracking usage patterns, restricting access attempts, and creating compliance reports.
SIEM has progressed from simple log administration systems to technologies using sophisticated UEBA. It is now an essential component of holistic cybersecurity software, geared to carry out a significant part in regulations and compliance monitoring for several enterprises.
SIEM has undergone three stages of evolution, from a primary tool to assist enterprises in maintaining and achieving compliance to a sophisticated threat intelligence system that enables Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts to react to events more rapidly and efficiently.
Five to eight years ago, compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and others were of paramount importance. A shift that is now staggeringly evident occurred three or four years back. Organizations wanted to witness security usage cases and realize how their investments may discover real-world threats. SIEM has expanded its threat detection capabilities in recent years by incorporating threat intelligence, enhancing its archival and real-time advanced analytics, etc.
Now, businesses are considering operationalizing this basic threat detection technology by constructing cohesive and consistent operations on a security analytics and management platform. Today’s SIEMs must include automation and security intelligence built-in because hackers automate everything and employ tools with pre-configured capabilities.
Future SIEM will be defined by three capabilities: cloud computing (on-demand, extensible services), collaboration (sharing of threat intelligence and analytics), and cognitive technology (artificial intelligence and automation to help in arriving at smarter, faster decision-making).
SIEM products collect event and log data generated by host systems, applications, and security equipment, like antivirus filters and firewalls, and deliver it to a centralized platform. The SIEM tools detect and categorize the information into groups such as successful and unsuccessful logins, malware activity, and other potentially harmful behavior.
When the SIEM software finds possible security concerns, it creates security alerts. Businesses may assign high or low priority to these notifications using a set of established criteria.
For example, a user account with ten unsuccessful connection attempts in 10 to 15 minutes may be labeled as suspicious but assigned a lesser priority since the access requests were likely made by the user, who had forgotten his login credentials. Nevertheless, an account that produces 500 unsuccessful login attempts within 10 to 15 minutes would be labeled as an elevated incident since it is most certainly undergoing a brute-force attack.
One may split the security information and event management procedure into the following steps:
See More: What Is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)? Definition, Architecture, Operational Process, and Best Practices
Security information and event management (SIEM) comprise a multi-billion dollar market, which is expected to be worth $6.24 Billion by 2027 as per an August 2022 report by Insight Partners. This means that there is a vast marketplace for enterprises to choose from – here are the top 8 options:
Rapid7, a prominent supplier of cloud-based SIEM, enables businesses to use flexible security technologies. The system offers a complete insight framework, rapid data harmonization, preemptive attack detection, and now even automated reactions so that you may feel more secure. Rapid7 offers a variety of powerful capabilities, including analytics for attacker activity, centralized log management, and automated ticket generation. Because everything is stored on the cloud, one can also be certain that the technology will expand with the organization.
IBM’s QRadar is a centralized SIEM system that enables rapid analysis, investigation, and detection of any cyber threat. Using User Behavior and Analytics (UBA) and artificial intelligence, QRadar can analyze security-related data from a wide range of sources and accurately identify aberrant behavior. Other features include automated log normalization and parsing, numerous deployment scenarios, correlation of exfiltration events, Internet of Things (IoT) protection, and much more.
Formerly known as Log & Event Manager, SolarWinds Security Event Manager (SEM) is a SIEM virtualized app used for monitoring and controlling network security. It includes database administration, analysis, real-time tracking and reporting, and the fundamental SIEM capabilities of log administration, business intelligence, and surveillance. SolarWinds SEM can collect information via security records, server logs, authentication records, app-centric databases, and Syslog-enabled equipment. These logs are accessible for troubleshooting, forensics, administration, and real-time analytics.
ArcSight’s open design offers many interesting features. It can absorb data from a wider range of sources than most SIEM tools. One may utilize its data model outside ArcSight, which could benefit IT teams with more expertise. Micro Focus also recently acquired security analytics software startup Interset to bolster its behavioral analysis and machine learning (ML) offerings.
Log360 is a SIEM system that may be deployed on-premise, on the cloud, or within a hybrid environment to combat threats. UEBA and machine learning provide advanced malware and other risk detection capabilities. It also assists organizations in adhering to several regulatory standards. It provides log harvesting, analysis, correlations, alerting, and archiving in real time. Active Directory, network devices, staff desktops, structured query language (SQL) systems, Exchange servers, file servers, the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, cloud services, and more may be managed and evaluated.
Microsoft released the Sentinel platform in late 2019; it is a sophisticated SIEM system that’s also relatively new on the market. It is a popular option for clients with previous Microsoft cybersecurity and IT investments who want to consolidate everything under a single level. In addition, it provides a unique “pay-as-you-go” license model that fulfills the budgetary needs of SMBs and is particularly attractive to large enterprises. Sentinel on Azure also was recognized for its streamlined data onboarding procedure.
Datadog is a cloud-first system monitoring solution incorporating security monitoring. The system’s security elements are housed in a specific module. This is a comprehensive SIEM system since it observes live events, gathers them as event log records, and operates on monitoring data and log information. The service collects local data through an agent that transfers every item onto the Datadog server. The threat detection module then evaluates and stores all incoming alerts.
Paessler PRTG provides its customers with every instrument required to monitor their overall IT infrastructure, including all devices, traffic, apps, etc. This tool will allow you to assess the bandwidth your devices and applications are using. The program uses specifically customized PRTG detectors and SQL queries to monitor particular datasets. The SIEM enables users to control and obtain comprehensive statistics for any network application from a centralized location. In addition, it excels at monitoring all server configurations in real time.
See More: Top 10 SIEM Solutions in 2022
SIEM is an essential component of any business’s cybersecurity technology stack. The significance of SIEM may be summarized by its undeniable benefits:
With a SIEM combing through massive datasets, SOC analysts may gain a speedy grasp of what is occurring. Analysis themes make it possible to rapidly examine logs and threat intelligence information, which can reduce both the time required to react to a security threat and the adverse outcomes of a cyberattack. Without a SIEM, security experts would need to manually parse several system security logs and data sources, including threat intel feeds. You may also set your SIEM solution to respond in real-time to occurrences.
Consider the variety of components that comprise your IT ecosystem, including every program, login point, database, and device. Each one may create terabytes of plaintext data every month. Collecting it all creates a difficulty on its own. However, each creates, formats, and transmits data differently. Manually attempting to make meaning of everything and identify related security events suggestive of a breach is a monumental undertaking. SIEM systems not only gather data but also standardize it. This means that they restructure the data in the form of your preference, enabling not just uniformity in the log management but also straightforward correlation.
In addition to external vulnerabilities, various internal risks that may render businesses vulnerable contribute to the increasing cyber security challenge. SIEM solutions are particularly significant because they enable organizations to efficiently monitor user activity and keep track of any data anomalies. SIEM systems also provide detailed access rights monitoring. They may quickly create warnings when suspicious activity occurs, like a user requesting information for which they do not have authorization or disabling required security software.
Without a SIEM system, it is doubtful that a business would have powerful centralized log abilities to provide detailed, tailored reports. In such a scenario, creating separate summaries for each host may be required. Alternately, one must regularly manually collect information from each host and reconstruct it at a centralized location to make a single report.
A singular SIEM server gets log data from several hosts and may provide a single incident report addressing all relevant security events reported by these hosts. Another reason SIEM products are so beneficial is that they often provide built-in support for most typical regulatory requirements.
As cyberattacks get more sophisticated, they are more prepared than ever to elude detection. By collecting and standardizing system logs from many computers, a SIEM solution can identify the various attack components seen on the various hosts inside your system. For instance, a portion of an assault may be detected by a computer’s operating system, while an intrusion detection system may detect another component. By comparing system logs from every host, the program can reconstruct the sequence of events to establish the exact nature of the assault and whether it was successful.
There is a big variation between detecting an assault as it occurs and detecting it after it has already been accomplished. By recognizing occurrences that could otherwise go undiscovered for an extended period, the SIEM process can restrict the extent of any potential harm caused by the threat.
Modern SIEM systems are coupled with robust security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) features, allowing IT teams to manage organizational security with much less time and resources. Using advanced ML that automatically adjusts to network activity, these systems can handle complicated threat intelligence and incident management protocols in substantially shorter timeframes than conventional teams.
When a security problem occurs, SIEM systems are ideal for performing digital forensic investigations. SIEM systems allow businesses to gather and analyze system logs from all digital content in a centralized location. This enables you to reconstruct historical occurrences, consider new instances, investigate suspected activities, and design more efficient security methods.
As with other cloud-based apps, SIEM that uses cloud computing may be implemented in a few hours, as opposed to the weeks or months required for the on-premise deployment of conventional SIEM systems. This often necessitates a significant amount of resources, manpower, and time. Cloud-based SIEMs may be assembled, linked to business services, and can immediately begin gathering and analyzing data for rapid detection cover. If your cloud SIEM has pre-written detection models, you can discover common threats more quickly.
Previously, an entire department was required to verify that all departments adhere to identical security best practices. SIEM may interconnect all of your teams if your organization is large. A single report on a single workstation is all that is required to swiftly keep a close eye on security spanning departments, integrating everything into a single application. Businesses that employ a large workforce and even more devices sometimes struggle to track them all. Within a centralized database, SIEM systems allow just this.
See More: 6 SIEM Myths to Avoid to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity
SIEM is now a highly mature technology that most companies use as the bedrock for their cyber security capabilities. The next step is to evolve towards SOAR, which lets you orchestrate and automate your response in addition to all the features listed here. In the future, SIEM will be an extensible and all-encompassing platform that provides almost 100% coverage for diverse digital components and visibility across the entire environment.
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