Today and in the evolving digital world, cyber-attacks are becoming more common and the amount of data organizations generate is too much to handle manually; therefore, organizations need a solution to monitor the systems and report suspicious activities. Among the array of security solutions available today, SIEM solutions are the most comprehensive choice for building threat intelligence capabilities.
According to Gartner, a small SIEM deployment has up to 300 event sources, with events being generated at the rate of up to 1,500 events per second (EPS) and a data store of up to 800 GB. Mid-sized deployments have up to 800 event sources, with the event rate of up to 7,000 EPS, and up to 8 TB of storage. And finally, large deployments have thousands of event sources and may generate more than 25,000 EPS, with a back store of over 50 TB.
A SIEM helps make security more manageable by filtering through all the data and compile the most critical security issues for analysis by your IT security team. It provides analysis and workflow, correlation, normalization, aggregation and reporting, and log management.
What is a SIEM and how does it work?
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a software solution that aggregates and analyzes activity from different resources across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. SIEM is a combination of security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) that uses rules and statistical correlations to help organizations detect threats and turn log entries, and events from security systems, into actionable information.
SIEM collects security data from network devices, servers, domain controllers, and more. It then stores, normalizes, aggregates, and applies analytics to that data, which can help security teams detect threats, manage incident response and perform a forensic investigation.
Why is SIEM important?
Spending on SIEM technology is estimated to rise to nearly $3.4 billion in 2021, which is only a small portion of the total dollars spent on enterprise security worldwide. SIEM software is mostly used by large organizations and public companies, but with the advance in cyberattacks, organizations of all sizes need to have a SIEM solution to manage their cybersecurity issues. The level of security deployed by businesses cannot lag behind the level of attacks coming at them. Understanding current data usage and trends over time allows organizations to manage growth and avoid large capital expenditures.
Today’s cyberattacks are more advanced than ever before, and the old preventative tactics of simply using firewalls and antivirus software are outdated; furthermore, attacks can come from inside your network; therefore, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS) alone won’t be able to detect or prevent all attacks. SIEM solutions can aggregate data from across your entire network, and analyze this data together to assist SOCs in detecting known and unknown threats and respond to incidents quickly and effectively.
Organizations need a SIEM solution for advanced threat detection, forensics and incident response, and compliance.
Advanced Threat Detection: Malware has evolved in a way that eludes detection by traditional antivirus solutions, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and other security solutions. Many organizations have implemented a defense in depth strategy around their network security solutions, hence generating a huge amount of data, which is difficult to monitor. As a result, a new type of security solution called advanced threat detection has emerged. SIEMs are capable of continuous real-time monitoring and correlation across the breadth and depth of the enterprise; therefore can help detect, mitigate, and prevent advanced threats such as malicious insiders, Data exfiltration, and outside entities.
Forensics and Incident Response: A forensics investigation can be a long process because a forensics analyst must interpret log data to determine what happened and also preserve the data in a way that makes it admissible in a court of law. SIEMs can help organizations in a forensics investigation by storing and protecting historical logs and providing tools to quickly navigate and correlate the data. SIEMs can help security analysts realize that a security incident is taking place and set immediate steps for remediation.
Compliance Reporting and Auditing: Primarily, SIEM is implemented in response to governmental compliance requirements. Every business is bound by some sort of regulation such as HIPAA, PCI/DSS, SOX, FERPA, and HITECH. SIEMs can help organizations prove auditors and regulators that certain requirements are being met. SIEM aggregates log data from across the organization and presents it in an audit-ready format.
Other reasons why businesses need SIEM include: data storage, gaining and maintaining certifications (such as ISO 27000, ISO 27001, ISO 27002 and ISO 27003), Log management and retention, Case management or ticketing systems, and policy enforcement validation and policy violations.
Who is SIEM for?
SIEM could be helpful to security teams – to give them all the information, alerts and automation necessary to be two steps ahead of online threats, operations teams (SRE, DevOps and your operations team) – to get the company operations back online and back to business as usual. It gives them access to logs, events, security incidents to figure out the root cause and resolve issues as quickly as possible, and compliance teams – to handle the rules from industry and government regulations.
SIEM tools and vendors
Some of the dominant vendors in the SIEM space include IBM, Splunk, Alert Logic, LogRhythm, ManageEngine, RSA, and Trustwave. Companies need to evaluate products based on their objectives to determine which would best meet their needs.
The term originated in 2005 when Mark Nicolett and Amrit Williams of Gartner introduced the first generation of SIEMs. They defined a SIEM as “a technology that supports threat detection and security incident response, through the real-time collection and historical analysis of security events from a wide variety of event and contextual data sources.”
Next-gen SIEM is developed to collect a wider variety of data ((both security events and non-security events), and correlating them in a timely fashion; consequently, giving vendors the opportunity to apply more modern methodologies of more relevance to today’s computerized world.
The next generation of SIEMs combines SIEM with User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) and Security orchestration and automation (SOAR) while offering more value and less implementation and operation costs.
User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)
Next-generation SIEM systems come with UEBA capabilities built-in. UEBA can be hugely valuable to help organizations identity compromised accounts, as well as insider threats. It focuses on monitoring and analyzing the behavior of an organization’s users and spotting anomalies, rather than tracking security events or monitoring devices.
Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR)
Another important feature of Next Gen SIEMs is the security orchestration automation and response (SOAR). SOAR is designed to help security teams manage and respond to endless alarms at machine speeds. It has two fundamental aspects: It enables more data to be brought into a SIEM for analysis, and it helps automate response to incidents.
Implementing a SIEM can be a lengthy and expensive process. It is best to understand your data and how it can be useful to you prior to deployment. Furthermore you need to determine the system architecture, choose appropriate hardware based on your necessities, and establish applicable standards and regulations.
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