Decades ago, business security systems replaced on-site security guards, reducing costs and improving total building security. Similarly, a security information and event management (SIEM) can improve the security of your business’s computer network with 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) monitoring, logging and event alerts. Instead of spending time and resources to manually comb and interpret thousands and thousands of false-positive alerts and miles of data logs of historical incidents, the real-time analysis of a SIEM helps make security and compliance easier.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Logging
To defend against daily cybersecurity attacks while meeting the ever-evolving demands of government and industry regulations, security information and event management (SIEM) technology has morphed from its original mission of simply monitoring and logging security events. Today, SIEM provides a comprehensive view of useful information drawn by normalizing data across disparate network sources, such as software applications, databases, servers and firewalls. This data aggregation looks for commonalities and anomalies across a computer network looking for performance, security and compliance issues. SIEM relies heavily on logs of events—also known as audit trails—to provide real-time insight into potential cybersecurity threats. By analyzing disparate logs over time, SIEMs produce real-time security alerts for review by IT staff or a Security Operations Center (SOC).
Another key feature of SIEM is data retention and report automation for the purposes of governance and compliance. A SIEM tool provides every business concerned with compliance the ability to collect data, safeguard data storage and automate the creation of regulatory reports to ensure company, industry and government compliance.
For example, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulates financial institutions and requires policies and procedures that keep your network secure from cyber-attacks. SIEM, as part of a total cybersecurity program, allows you to collect data, detect any security risks and respond in a timely manner, thereby meeting FINRA’s requirements. SIEM also provides the cybersecurity framework required by other industry compliance mandates such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and regulatory bodies like the American Bar Association (ABA).
As cyber threats evolve, SIEM has become more sophisticated, using machine learning, algorithms and statistical analysis to identify any behavior that deviates from a network’s normal state. User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) provide alerts for insider threats from compromised systems or rogue employees, while SIEMs protect your gateways, servers and firewalls from malicious attacks. For example, if a user’s normal pattern is to download an average of 15 MB of files daily and then suddenly downloads 10 GB of files, the system would generate an immediate alert based on the anomaly.
SIEM offers a single comprehensive look into threats across a company’s IT infrastructure. It can quickly sort 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 within your organization, thereby detecting potential internal security vulnerabilities.
Your IT staff is busy monitoring servers, networks, databases and software applications for suspicious activity, which can be an overwhelming responsibility by itself. Compound this with the need to respond to every security alert, including false alarms, and having a small SIEM deployment starts to make sense. While security alerts are important, having the staff and maintenance program in place to keep up with them is even more essential. 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 business.
Having a professionally monitored SIEM solution in place significantly enhances a business’s network security posture, addressing critical security and compliance issues, including the following:
- Robust compliance reporting
- End Point Detection and Response (EDR)
- Threat intelligence and forensics analysis
- 24x7x365 SOC monitoring
- Log management
- Analysis and visualization
- Alerts and responses
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 SOC, contact Valeo Networks for a free network assessment and ask about SIEM as a service.