SIEM is an acronym that stands for security, information, and event management. SIEM technology combines log data, threat management, and activities into a central system to provide real-time security monitoring analysis. SOCs invest in SIEM software to improve visibility across their organization’s environments, analyse log data for incident response to cyberattacks and data breaches, and meet local and federal compliance mandates.
SIEM software collects log and event data generated by applications, devices, networks, infrastructure, and systems in order to perform analysis and provide a comprehensive view of an organization’s information technology (IT). SIEM solutions can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. SIEM solutions use rules and statistical correlations to drive actionable insight during forensic investigations by analysing all data in real-time. SIEM technology explores all data, categorizing threat activity based on its risk level to assist security teams in quickly identifying malicious actors and mitigating cyberattacks.
SIEM solutions have been around for more than 15 years, but modern SIEMs have evolved from their predecessors. These legacy SIEMs combined several integrated security techniques into a single management solution, including:
- Log management systems (LMS): Procedures for collecting and storing logs in a centralized location.
- Security information management (SIM): Tools for collecting log files automatically for long-term storage, analysis, and reporting.
- Security event management (SEM) is a technology that monitors and correlates systems and events in real time, with notification and console views.
As SIEM software evolved over time, the core components continued to provide value, leading SIEM providers to ultimately launch new features, dubbed “next-generation SIEM” solutions.
SIEM components, depending on the solution and vendor, can provide a wide range of benefits that help to improve overall security posture, including:
- Real-time visibility throughout the environment
- Solution for centralized management of disparate systems and log data
- There are fewer false positive alerts.
- Decreased mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) (MTTR)
- Data collection and normalization to allow for accurate and reliable analysis
- Ability to map operations with existing frameworks such as MITRE ATT&CK for ease of access and searching across raw and parsed data
- With real-time visibility and pre-built compliance modules, you can ensure compliance adherence.
- Dashboard customization and effective reporting.
When selecting a SIEM solution, be sure to understand how licensing models calculate the true total cost of ownership (TCO) and account for future growth as your organization grows over time. It’s critical to find a trusted provider who understands your company’s needs for long-term scalability while also assisting your team in quickly deploying a solution to get the best return on investment. Here is a helpful guide to budgeting for a SIEM and managing financial risk along the way.