SIEM: why should your organisation deploy a SIEM solution?

Why should your organisation deploy a SIEM solution?

A SIEM – standing for Security Information and Event Management – is a major IT tool with the objective of managing security events generated by information systems.

A SIEM solution allows your organization to finally make sense out of logs from different equipments in the information system. SIEM are meant to detect cyberattacks and IT threats by exploiting and filtering different logs coming from several information sources (that could be internal or external). It is a centralized and powerful supervision system that traditionally included two parts:

  • A SIM (Security Incident Management) dealing with post analysis, storage, archival, compliance, reporting but also with internal threats linked to log management delivering reports and detailed analysis.
  • A SEM (Security Event Management) collecting and handling real time data in order to analyze logs coming from IT systems, networks and applications. It allows IT event management, event correlation and it is positioned as the ultimate tool to counterattack incidents and internal or external threats.

Today’s SIEM solutions also include network traffic analysis, sometimes on the 7 layers, input from vulnerability management solutions and data enrichment like information about malware and on-going threat. Going beyond the logs is critical to meet the needs of today’s IT security: collection, correlation, management, alerting, prevention and improvement. A SIEM is a major security tool that contributes to detect cyber threats, especially APT (Advanced Persistant Threats).

In order to be 100% efficient, organizational, human and legal aspects have to be taken into consideration when deploying SIEM software. And that often goes overlooked. As every organization is different in terms of security maturity, security threat, and internal operational capabilities, a SIEM needs the adequate processes behind it to gives all its potential.

Features of a SIEM solution

  • Active or passive event collection: implementing agents directly on equipment or monitoring it via remote controls.
  • Event standardization: storing raw data logs for legal purposes and saving them in a proper format that can be easily exploitable.
  • Event storage and archival according to the nature of an event.
  • The correlation of data processed: correlation rules have to be implemented in order to detect an incident in progress and allowing identifying the causes of intrusion after it.
  • Reporting and analysis: generating dashboards and reports in order to have a full visibility on IT security and IS compliance.

The objectives of a SIEM deployment

  • Detect cyberattacks by maintaining a permanent surveillance on organizational IS.
  • Compliance management.
  • Counterattack incidents and generate forensisc type analysis (digital investigation).
  • Improve storage and archival systems.
  • Detect abnormal or suspicious users’ behaviors, website servers, applications and networks.
  • Generate operational security dashboards for IT managers and central management.

Choosing the right SIEM

SIEM can handle a very high number of data but sometimes it does not have to be like that. There is a misconception that event sources should send everything to the SIEM and it will take care of it. Without a well-balanced log level or if the monitored traffic is to wide, the SIEM and the operational processes behind it will quickly show their limits. Thus, choosing an appropriate SIEM solution starts from the threats, attack scenarios and compliance environment. They will tell which data is interesting to collect, how it should be processed and how long it should be kept. At this point, a SIEM solution can be chosen.

As an expert in SIEM solutions, Nellsoft recommends several tools available here. Among them, IBM Security QRadar, AlienVault, or RSA Security Analytics are the top ones on the market.

To know more about SIEM software, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts.


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