A cyberattack is expected to occur every 11 seconds and this slaught of threats are coming from all directions and the task of sifting through the security event logs of all of your systems can be time-consuming. Today’s data security ecosystems span across host systems, network devices, servers, domain controllers, firewalls, antivirus filters, intrusion prevention systems, and so on. The average organization will receive more than 10,000 alerts per day, and the biggest enterprises seeing over 150,000, most enterprises do not have security teams large enough to keep up with the overwhelming number of alerts. Of these alerts, there can be only a handful that needs investigation. A security information and event management system delivers a more efficient solution for triaging and investigating these alerts. With SIEM technology, teams can keep up with the deluge of security data and make it easier to identify only the alerts that need investigation. In this article, we’ll guide you through what you need to know about Security Information and Event Management systems.
What is SIEM?
Security information and event management (SIEM) is a set of tools and software platforms that aggregate event log data across multiple systems and applications, to enable analysts to review log and event data, understand and prepare for threats, and retrieve and report on log data. The historical log data and real-time events can be combined with contextual information about users, assets, threats and vulnerabilities as well. The data is correlated and analyzed using rules that help identify threats like malware activity, failed login attempts or escalation of privileges. When the SIEM identifies potential security issues, it prioritises the alerts and can alert the relevant teams to action the high priority issues.
There is no standard or methodology that you should follow within a SEIM system, but most SIEM systems will comprise most if not all of the elements described in this section.
Aggregation – The collection of logs such as firewall logs, server logs, database logs or any other type of relevant logs being generated in your environment. This collection process is usually performed by agents or applications, deployed on the monitored system and configured to forward the data to the SIEM system’s central data store.
Processing and Normalization – The data collected by a SIEM comes from a number of different systems and can be in a variety of different formats. To make it possible to perform comparison and analysis, a SIEM will perform normalization to enable efficient interpretation of the data across the different sources. This normalization process involves processing the logs into a readable and structured format, extracting important data from them, and mapping the different fields they contain.
Correlation – Once collected, parsed and stored, the next step in SIEM systems is in charge of connecting the dots and correlating events from the different data sources. With a single, consistent dataset, the SIEM solution can start looking for indications of cybersecurity threats in the data. This correlation work is based on rules that are either provided by various SIEM tools, predefined for different attack scenarios, or created and fine-tuned by the analyst.
Presentation – The ability to visualize data and events is another key component in SIEM systems as it allows analysts to easily view data. Dashboards containing multiple visualizations or views help identify trends, anomalies and monitor the general health or security status of an environment. Some SIEM tools will come with pre-made dashboards while others will allow users to create and fine-tune their own.
Mitigation and Remediation – Most SIEM systems support mechanisms to automatically contain and mitigate security events. For example, based on correlation rules, a SIEM system can be configured to automatically begin an internal escalation process — executing scripts that begin the process of containment and passing the ball to the correct resource in the organization by triggering an alert, opening a ticket, and so forth.
Alert Generation – If a SIEM solution detects a cybersecurity threat, it notifies an organization’s security team. This can be accomplished by generating a SIEM alert and may take advantage of integrations with ticketing and bug reporting systems or messaging applications.
Benefits of SIEM
- SIEM substantially cuts down on the time it takes to identify threats to nothing. As soon as there is an anomaly, the 24/7 monitoring SIEM offers will flag the threat and generate a report.
- It consolidates the entire view of an organisation’s security environment to a single, holistic view. With IT environments becoming ever more sophisticated, this prevents anything from being missed.
- It achieves the regulatory and compliance requirements that many organisations are subject to.
- If there is a breach, SIEM can be used to perform detailed forensic analysis and understand the full scope and impact of the breach.
In a world of escalating cyber threats — as well as escalating regulatory environments and consequences for security breaches — security teams increasingly rely on SIEM technology for event correlation, threat intelligence, security data aggregation and more. Enterprise security depends on quickly identifying and remediating security issues, and any security team would be well advised to study the capabilities of various SIEM systems to identify the one that best serves its needs.
List of SIEM solutions you can check out.
- Spunk is a software platform widely used to monitor, search, analyze, and visualize the machine-generated data. It is one of the best Security Information Management Tools that captures, indexes and connects real-time data in a searchable container, and produces graphs, dashboard, alerts, and visualizations.
- Paessler security vulnerability assessment tool has an advanced infrastructure management capability. The tool monitors IT infrastructure using technologies like WMI, SNMP, Sniffing, REST APIs, SQL, etc.
- Datadog Security Monitoring EDITOR’S CHOICE A cloud-native network monitoring and management system that includes real-time security monitoring and log management. Comes with over 450 vendor integrations out-of-the-box.
- SolarWinds Security Event Manager is a tool that helps you to improve your computer security. This application can automatically detect threats, monitor security policies, and protect your network. SolarWinds allow you to keep track of your log files with ease and receive instant alerts if anything suspicious happens.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer (FREE TRIAL) A SIEM tool that manages, protects, and mines log files. This system installs on Windows, Windows Server, and Linux.
- Splunk Enterprise Security This tool for Windows and Linux is a world leader because it combines network analysis with log management together with an excellent analysis tool.
- OSSEC The Open-source HIDS Security system that is free to use and acts as a Security Information Management service.
- Exabeam Data Lake is a big data platform. This SIEM tool is combined with an interface designed for security analysts to make it easy to maintain. It has advanced analytics that uses session data models and machine learning.
- LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform Cutting-edge AI-based technology underpins this traffic and log analysis tool for Windows and Linux.
- AT&T Cybersecurity AlienVault Unified Security Management Great value SIEM that runs on Mac OS as well as Windows.
- RSA NetWitness Extremely comprehensive and tailored towards large organizations but a bit too much for small and medium-sized enterprises. Runs on Windows.
- IBM QRadar Market-leading SIEM tool that runs on Windows environments.
- McAfee Enterprise Security Manager Popular SIEM tool that runs through your Active Directory records to confirm system security. Runs on Mac OS as well as Windows.