Today, a growing number of smart enterprises are going on the offensive when countering advanced cybersecurity threats. Many small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) now employ Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technology to proactively respond and mitigate cyber breaches before they inflict irreparable damage.
SIEMs aggregate relevant data logs from multiple sources and identify anomalies, enabling IT Staff or Security Operations Center (SOC) personnel to take appropriate and immediate action. For example, a law firm may receive requests for sensitive data originating from an IP address in a country where the firm does not do business. Such an event would trigger an SIEM alert, notifying IT personnel or, better yet, an Incident Management Team to shut down the data transfer.
SIEM technology provides real-time alerts and protection for critical business infrastructure and data. However, many SMBs retain common misconceptions about SIEM, making them reluctant to deploy this potentially game-changing tool in their organizations. Let’s review and debunk these myths:
Myth #1 – Small businesses don’t need to worry about compliance
As a small-business owner, you may not think security compliance is an issue about which you need to worry. Surprise! Your small merchant neighbor was just fined thousands of dollars for not meeting Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). SIEM adoption evolved out of ever-increasing compliance regulations like PCI DSS, mandated to reduce credit card fraud. While your company may not use credit cards, you are likely storing data that contains Personally Identifiable Information (PII). PII is regulated by compliance laws such as the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In addition, healthcare providers who house Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI) fall under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the HITECH Act as well. Even small businesses need to be concerned with compliance, protecting personal data and the possibility of data breaches. Key features of SIEM include the ability to collect data, safeguard data storage, and automate the creation of regulatory reports to ensure company and government compliance.
Myth #2 – Security attacks only happen to large businesses
If you may think major security breaches only happen to large organizations like Equifax and Target, think again. While the news media covers large data breaches affecting millions of customers, more than 70 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. Fortune 500 companies are capable of providing multiple layers of network security, making your small company’s single firewall an easy target. Many SMBs believe they lack the resources to implement a comprehensive enterprise-wide defense and end up exposing their customer’s valuable personal data. SIEM can provide these smaller companies with a critical piece of the layered cybersecurity puzzle, protecting an SMB’s gateways, servers and firewalls, while also mitigating malicious incursions by Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) and Zero Day attacks.
Myth #3 – SIEM is for large enterprises with lots of data
Another common misconception is that SMBs do not require comprehensive systems to keep track of the relatively small amounts of data they generate. The amount of data these entities produce may seem miniscule by comparison, but when combined with thousands of events transmitted per second over a variety of disparate sources, the volume is actually quite large. Your IT staff is busy monitoring servers, networks, databases and software applications, which can be an overwhelming responsibility by itself. Compound this with the need to respond to every security alert — even false alarms — and having a small SIEM deployment starts to make sense. And while security alerts are important, having the staff and maintenance program on hand to keep up with them is all the more more crucial. An effective alternative is to hire a managed security service provider (MSSP) that includes SIEM as a service to monitor and review security alerts for your small business.
Other SIEM Benefits
SIEM provides a proactive approach to data security because it delivers real-time monitoring and reporting, long-term analysis and forensics of incident management. SIEM offers a single comprehensive look into threats across a company’s IT infrastructure. It can quickly weed through thousands of alerts and detect real cyberattacks and breaches (versus false positives) as soon as they occur so you can quickly respond and mitigate damage. SIEM can also go on the offensive to determine high-risk activities in your organization, thereby detecting potential internal security intrusions. As cyber threats evolve, SIEM is also becoming more sophisticated, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify any behavior that deviates from the network’s normal state.
A Comprehensive Approach to Security
Many small businesses are asking what kind of enhanced network security pieces they need. Having a professionally monitored SIEM solution in place greatly enhances an SMB’s network security posture, addressing security and compliance issues, including the following:
By providing a comprehensive view across your IT infrastructure, SIEM can identify and help you understand advanced threats in real time for enhanced incident response and compliance. If you are interested in learning more about how your small business can benefit from SIEM and a 24x7x365 Security Operations Center, contact Valeo Networks for a free network assessment and ask about SIEM as a service.
1. TechTarget.com Security Information and Event Management