Overview

Skill Level: Intermediate

This post covers details about managing security information and event management in the cloud.

Ingredients

More and more businesses and organizations are moving their operations over the web, and therefore, the importance of robust cybersecurity tools have become more pronounced.  Many cyber attackers, for instance, are actively searching for vulnerable systems against which to launch their attacks. As a result, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) products are now a fundamental part of identifying and guarding against cyber attacks.

 

 

Step-by-step

  1. Understanding SIEM Better

    The simple way to understand SIEM is as an umbrella term used for security software packages from Log Management Systems to Security Log or Event Management to Security Information Management as well as Security Event correlation.

    SIEM’s fundamental capabilities include –

    1. Alerts and Notifications
    2. Log Collection
    3. Normalizing Logs into a standard format
    4. Security Incident Detection
    5. Threat Response workflow

    SIEM records a set of data from a user’s internal network and identifies potential threats. It then recalls the data from the network, servers, devices, and firewalls. This information is sent to a management console to be analyzed for any emerging threats.

  2. Why SIEM Is Important?

    Even though a SIEM system may not be completely foolproof, it remains one of the leading indicators for an organization that has a well thought out policy around cybersecurity. About 90% of the time, cyber attacks are hard to detect at the surface level. Threats are identified more effectively using log files. SIEM’s advanced log management capabilities make it a central hub for network transparency.

    Advanced SIEM systems actively make use of automated responses, behavior analytics, and security orchestration. At the management console, the information is reviewed by a data analyst to provide feedback and further educate the SIEM system in terms of Machine Learning.

    If a threat is detected, the system communicates this to other security systems on the

    network to put a stop to any malicious activity. This makes it a go-to scalable enterprise solution.

    That said, adopting SIEM can be cost-heavy. Besides the sizable cost of the system, the organization would also need to allocate a couple of staff to manage the process. This is one of the reasons smaller organizations hesitate when it comes to adopting SIEM.

  3. Essential SIEM Tools

    Since SIEM systems are not meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution. A SIEM system for one organization may prove to be insufficient for another. However, there are a few common core features across SIEM systems

    Log Data Management

    Log data needs to be collected from different sources, each with their method of categorizing and recording data. A SIEM system needs to be able to normalize data efficiently. This data is then compared to data recorded earlier.

    The SIEM system is then able to identify patterns of unwanted behavior and raise alerts for timely action. Analysts can also look through the data in a bid to identify criterion for future alerts.

    Compliance Reporting

    Adopting a SIEM with exhaustive compliance reporting capabilities is essential. In most cases, a SIEM system comes with a built-in reporting system that can help in ensuring your organization is compliant with the different requirements.

    Your choice of SIEM will be guided by the different requirements of standards your organization needs to comply with.

    Threat Intelligence

    In the event of a security breach, a detailed report can be generated outlining how the attack took place. This information can be used to refine different internal security protocols and network infrastructure to ensure a similar breach is not repeated.

    Fine Tuning Alert Conditions

    An efficient SIEM solution can set a criterion for security alerts for future events. Updating and refining alerts are the primary way to keep an organization’s SIEM system alert to new threats.

    It is equally important that your SIEM system that can effectively filter security alerts to ensure that your security team is not flooded with warnings. This might lead to them not being able to take timely action against serious threats. If your alerts are not fine-tuned, your team will end up having to sift through stacks of intrusion and firewall logs.

    Dashboard

    However good your SIEM solution might be, if it has a below-par panel, it will be of little help. A panel with an intuitive UI allows for easier identification of threats. A dashboard with effective visualization is ideal.

  4. Top SIEM Tools

    IBM QRadar

    QRadar is IBM’s answer to SIEM and offers a host of log management, data collection, analytics and intrusion detection features that assist in keeping your organization’s network infrastructure alert to possible threats. Regarding analytics, QRadar has proven to be an almost complete solution.

    QRadar’s risk modeling analytics can simulate possible attacks and can be utilized to monitor many virtual and physical environments on an organization’s network. If you’re in the market for a versatile SIEM system, QRadar is your go-to choice.

    Exabeam Cloud

    Exambeam is a cloud-based vendor that offers SIEM solutions for enterprises and businesses. This Enterprise Threat and Risk Management (ETRM) platform is loaded with features that users have come to expect from a top SIEM system. Apart from that, they offer advanced analytics, and incident responders.

    In addition to the fundamental features of a SIEM system, Exabeam also has built-in identity tracking and threat detection to identify unauthorized users on the network.

    Splunk Enterprise Security

    Splunk Security is among the more popular SIEM solutions available today. Its defining aspect is that it has analytics built into the heart of its SIEM system. Machine and Network data is monitored in real-time. The Enterprise Security’s Notables function calls out alerts that can be reviewed and refined by users.

    The UI is very simple making it easy to respond to threats. During an incident review, users being with an overview and then click through to detailed annotations for past events. Splunk’s Asset Investigator is great at flagging threats and possible future repercussions.

    LogRhythm Security Intelligence Platform

    A pioneer in the SIEM solution field, LogRhythm provides log correlation, behavioral analysis, and AI. The platform is compatible with many log types and devices. Settings can be easily modified using the Deployment Management.

    The UI does need a bit of getting used to during the initial stages. However, the instruction manual is detailed and includes links to different features that prove quite helpful.

  5. Summary

    Irrespective of the SIEM system you choose to deploy for your organization, the key is to adopt the solution gradually. It is best to incorporate your SIEM solution into your IT infrastructure piece-by-piece.

    The gradual incorporation of SIEM allows you to understand the needs of your IT infrastructure and fine-tune the process accordingly. It will also help you identify any areas of your support you may have left open for malicious attacks. A clear understanding of your organization’s goals when it comes to adopting SIEM is imperative for successful adoption.

     

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