Could your team benefit from a centralized security platform that gives you a chance to reduce risk and simplify compliance demands?
As cyber threats continue to evolve, your business is vulnerable to emerging threats. Unfortunately, some of the more traditional security methods no longer provide an adequate level of information and awareness to ensure proper defense. Your best approach to detecting, and remediating risks and issues faster may be a robust Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool.
What is a SIEM?
SIEM software offers a mix of threat detection technology and response solutions to provide a 360-degree view of your information security. As a single, unified platform for all your data, it offers the utmost visibility into the health of your environment.
Through the collection and correlation of log data from multiple sources, you can detect deviations from the norm and take action to correct any issues or threats. SIEM systems allow you to generate alerts for investigation based on your business operations. (No two environments are alike, so your SIEM should be customized to make sense for you). The software continuously gathers logs and activities data from your firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, network, servers and connected devices. By combining event monitoring, and correlation and notification capabilities with advanced analytics and reporting functions, SIEM gives you the tools to normalize the large volumes of data generated by individual systems and rapidly detect network threats, identify breaches, prioritize actions, and make informed security decisions.
How does SIEM improve data security?
Originally, SIEM platforms were created to solve compliance challenges relating to log management. As the tool evolved, SIEM platforms became powerful data aggregators that not only allow you to check the boxes for compliance, but also support your entire information security program and improve your risk management.
When threats occur, your ability to quickly respond and contain issues is critical in protecting your business and your customers as an extension. SIEM allows for near-immediate response by detecting potential threats in real-time and identifying on-going breaches. Upon identifying potential threats and breaches, the SIEM sends an alert immediately, giving you ample time to solve the crisis before it becomes severe. Real-time monitoring, combined with user monitoring and behavior profiling allows your security team to analyze thousands of logs per day—something that is next to impossible without SIEM software.
Use cases for SIEM
Although far from extensive, here are some real-world applications for SIEM platforms so you can better understand its risk management capabilities:
- Meeting Compliance Mandates: Some industries, like healthcare and financial services, are legally required to conduct business with certain compliance controls in place regarding log management and review. Using a SIEM, you can check the compliance status of your processes in one place and automate compliance reports. Your compliance mandates may also require that you store data logs for a designated period of time, which this platform supports.
- Detection of Brute Force Attacks: With more password cracking tools on the market than ever before, brute force attacks are on the rise. You can configure your SIEM to track security events and activities such as too many login attempts and modification to system files.
- Detection of Insider Threats: According to “Insider Threats and Their Impact on Data Security,” almost 75% of all security breach incidents are caused by human error and insider threats. Acceptable use monitoring covers the basics, where users are limited to what they can access and the system monitors user activity to ensure they comply.
- Application Defense Check: In addition to network and end-point security, you should develop security measures to protect applications. SQL injection attacks are among the most common, posing a threat to websites and databases. While data encryption mitigates this type of attack, log correlations can detect attempts and help you take further action.
SIEMs produce many different alerts and notifications each day, and your team has to separate the true threats from your standard activities. If you have a smaller IT team, or if they are not fully up to speed on security threats and trends, this could be cause for concern. Like any technology, SIEM software that is not enacted or managed properly can turn into much more than an organization can handle, slowing down response time when a true threat emerges.
If you’ll be using a managed SIEM provider, consider how you will work together and make sure your responsibilities are clear. The platform delivers alerts, but anyone outside of your organization will have a hard time understanding the alert in the context of your business and operations to identify what is expected and “normal.” You are in the best position to identify which alerts represent a real incident and which are expected behavior. This process should be a collaborative effort.
SIEM Best Practices
To get the most out of your SIEM, there are a number of best practices to follow for implementation and use including:
- Prioritize alerts. As stated earlier, SIEM software can generate loads of alerts each day, making them difficult to sift through. User behavior analytics can help pinpoint issues by comparing suspicious activity with typical user activity. This will help you prioritize threat from false alarm.
- Stay compliant. Choose an SIEM that is compliant with GDPR, PCI, HIPAA and other important standards that are applicable to you. This means all tools, including log management for SIEM should have a wide platform and source support for compliance.
- Monitor Access control. User permissions and access control is often dismissed as an insignificant part of the security puzzle, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Monitor violations and access to critical resources by using your SIEM.
- Respond to Intrusion. Use SIEM software to monitor and respond to notifications received from non-permitted use and intrusion. This includes insider threats and potential breaches from outside sources.
This is only the beginning of what SIEM software can do for security and risk management. These best practices and more can help your business identify unusual and malicious activity and rapidly mitigate the issues.
Is a Managed SIEM Right For You?
When protecting your business from security threats, you need real-time insights. SIEM software helps improve your security posture by identifying critical threats and attempted breaches before they become an issue. But just like any other technology investment, you need the right staff to manage and fine-tune your system.
“Most organizations struggle with finding qualified tech staff, says Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA on CIO.com. Training them up on the clock feels equally daunting.” And Meerah Rajavel, CIO of cybersecurity firm Forcepoint adds, “We see too many companies are unprepared to deal with new cybersecurity threats like ransomware or industrial espionage.”
Like many organizations, you may need the help of security experts who understand the SIEM technology to get the most out of your investment. Outsourcing a SIEM to a managed security provider can help you customize and configure your system to an optimal level from the get-go. Oftentimes, managed service providers offer SIEM systems at a fraction of the cost of an in-house investment.
Acting as an extension of your team, OnRamp’s security experts collaborate with you on the onboarding process, including developing use cases, adding users and their respective permissions, and configuring correlation rules. We also help keep your organization compliant while managing your SIEM to provide optimum security. Reach out and speak with one of our experts today to discuss your security goals.