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Your Guide to Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

IT territories of organizations all over the world face online security threats on a daily basis. In fact, it was predicted that a cyberattack would take place every 11 seconds in 2021.

With the use, and development, of Artificial Intelligence on the rise, online attackers are getting more sophisticated. Consequently, it’s crucial (now more than ever) that organizations are equipped to protect themselves from security threats.

Implementing strong, vigorous solutions within your company can help you spot, and eliminate, unusual or fraudulent activity in your IT environments as quickly as possible.

The increase in remote working has made this even more prevalent as the security risks of working from home are sometimes trickier to get under control. One choice available to you is security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

Here, we have compiled a guide to SIEM to help you learn more about it and decide whether it’s the right choice for your company.

What is SIEM?

SIEM systems are security and survey software that can analyze and monitor data. The purpose of SIEM solutions is to help you spot and resolve security threats as quickly as possible.

An effective SIEM structure will consist of Log Management (LM), Security Information Management (SIM), and Security Event Management (SEM). All of these elements combined result in software that allows for log collection and storage, and the proactive collection, analysis, and management of security-related data.

A SIEM solution (when installed correctly) will automatically process, store, and compare bulk data, and produce security reports and alerts. You don’t have to lift a finger.

Why do companies use SIEM software and how does it work?

It can be overwhelming for businesses to decide which software and technology to opt for and if you feel that way, it’s understandable. There are software options and systems for everything from CRM integration to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

There’s a reason why SIEM solutions are so popular. As mentioned previously, online hackers and security breaches are becoming more and more sophisticated. So, it’s crucial that your defense is also technologically ahead of the game

Investing in SIEM systems allows businesses to carry out basic security monitoring by providing a plethora of reports and log information. If you need to find out which employees were signed into a certain system during specific hours, SIEM can give you the answer.

SIEM can also detect potential security threats and make you aware of them by providing reviews on user activity and showing automated alerts. The alerts can also be amended using preset rules, so each business can focus on security problems most prevalent in their industry.

For example, a social media corporation could set a high-priority alert for 50 failed log-in attempts across a five-minute period. The intensity of the alert can also be amended so that the organization is aware of low-risk threats and high-risk threats alike.

As well as providing security features, SIEM can also help companies meet their compliance regulations and reporting requirements.

Benefits of SIEM

There are many advantages of using SIEM systems, some of which have been outlined above. But there are plenty more benefits that can help your business build on its security stance.

SIEM can give you a more comprehensive look at your organization’s data, and it can also make that data more accessible. It can standardize all data into one, unified format to ensure it is easily readable and understood.

The complex software can also help you stay compliant with real-time and continuous visibility.

On top of this, allowing you to detect threats and data patterns within your company, puts SIEM software in high demand.

Do I need SIEM?

It’s been established why so many companies choose SIEM for their security measures but is it the right fit for your business?

Before investing in software, it’s important to consider its relevance and usefulness in your particular trade and IT structure.

For example, a business creating relatable online content may need to invest in software that features the voice of the customer tools. However, that same software won’t be useful to an accountancy firm.

When debating whether you should purchase SIEM software (or any other software for that matter), consider the following.

Is this going to be cost-effective for your company?

If you can’t fit purchasing SIEM tools into your budget, then don’t bother considering it. There are always other, more affordable systems out there that will be better suited to your business.

Will It be manageable and sustainable?

SIEM tools require regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure it runs the best it can 100% of the time. If you don’t have the manpower or expertise to keep the software running, it will inevitably fail and that won’t be helpful to your business at all. Instead, I’ll have quite the opposite effect.

So, if you’re not currently able to manage team tasks due to staffing issues or an extremely heavy workload, maybe adding a complicated system into the mix isn’t the best idea.

Are there systems in place that could be applied to the SIEM layout?

Considering this factor could also help you save on costs and optimize your budget.

What kind of model do you need?

There are two main choices for installing and maintaining SIEM solutions:

  • Traditional – the seller supplies for the software but the buyer (in this case, you) has complete control over the daily functions. The seller can provide software support if required as part of the existing, or separate, contract.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – the buyer (your business) deals with the daily operations but the underlying structure and band-end elements are provided by the seller.

Be sure that you understand which model you require before making a purchase. If it’s not meant to be, try some home remedies like improving your data breach response manually. There’s always something you can do in-house without the help of external forces.

It can be easy to jump straight on the bandwagon and invest in any and all software that is popular. But you need to thoroughly think it through or you could be doing more harm to your business than good.

SIEM Limitations

Like all systems, SIEM has its limitations. It’s important to discuss all aspects of the software, including these limitations, to ensure the correct decision is made on whether to make an investment.

SIEM requires an experienced, sophisticated security team to handle its complexity. It can be difficult to install and operate so it’s crucial that the person, or team, dealing with it knows the ins and outs of its structure.

It can also be very expensive, so be sure to determine whether it fits in with your yearly budget before making any commitments.

Additionally, it’s important to mention that SIEM does not have the ability to recognize or flag vulnerabilities within your organization’s infrastructure.

Indeed, it can pinpoint active threats by collecting and analyzing existing data. But, SIEM tools are not designed to search for and alert you to security weaknesses in your business. This can be crucial to avoiding a potentially devastating online security attack.

If you’re not already aware of the gaps in your company’s security, it may be worth investing in other software that can do this for you.

Having said all that, just because a solution has some drawbacks, doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Again, decide whether SIEM would work for your company and if you think it’s a good fit then go for it!

The future of SIEM

The SIEM market is (and also will probably always be) evolving and developing new, more advanced capabilities.

It’s highly likely that a stronger link between SIEM and Artificial Intelligence will eventually be established. Human brain-like functions will be incorporated to allow the SIEM software to make important decisions and create new paths for it to grow further.

We may also see a development that allows SIEM tools to use AI to understand larger, more complex data sets.

As mentioned previously, SIEM systems are currently not able to identify and flag weaknesses within businesses. This is disheartening, as spotting your vulnerabilities is crucial to growing your security defense. Perhaps, this may be incorporated into SIEM tools with the help of AI and machine learning.

The possibilities are endless. The use of AI and complex software is already helping us incorporate predictive analysis and sales automation into our working lives. Who really knows what SIEM solutions might be capable of in, say, ten years’ time?

With the way technology is advancing at the moment, we’ll most likely see vast changes and useful improvements to how these systems can help us keep our businesses safe.

Bio: Jessica Day – Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform with IVR for call center that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.

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