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Best Practices for Successful SIEM Implementation

Cyber-attacks and IT breaches are no longer something unusual in today’s information society. Day by day they increase more and more and have their influence on the enterprises’ reputation and profit. Attackers have turned into professionals who constantly look to exploit any gap in IT systems, applications, and hardware. One of the key security approaches to prevent and combat attacks is to identify and respond to security events in real-time to minimize the damage. That is possible by using Security Information and Event Management Software (SIEM). It is a security management approach that aims to have a holistic view of the security of a company’s information technology.

  • What does SIEM actually do?

SIEM is a system that is used to detect, prevent and resolve all cyberattacks while centralizing all the security events from every device within a network. The first function of a SIEM is gathering all the raw security data from companies’ firewalls, wireless access points, servers, and personal devices. The SIEM doesn’t just log events, but is customized to detect suspicious activity and recognize actual threats.

Furthermore, SIEM can create daily graphs and reports that show the user exactly what is going on. It filters through events and categorizes them by the severity of the threat. If the threat is not too serious but may carry some concern, a report is made; and if the event is critical, a notification is immediately sent to the IT team in order to diagnose the situation. Security architects would understand how much value it brings, given that individual software tools generate reports on their designated tasks. Collecting logs from multiple devices across different networks gives the IT staff an opportunity to analyze them and identify potential issues more easily, increasing operational efficiency.

  • Best Practices to Implement SIEM

Implementing SIEM will ensure you respect the rules and regulations of IT compliance, which requires monitoring and reporting on threats. There are several federal, state and local regulations dictating how the data is handled and stored, and these vary by industry. Some regulations that require compliance reports are the SOX, FISMA, PCI DSS, HIPAA, FERPA, etc.

This article provides you with several best practices for the successful implementation of what is an important defense mechanism and compliance control tool for information security teams.

1. Planning implementation

The first step in implementing SIEM should be to understanding the goals and the timeline of the integration. SIEMs are known with their complex nature and neglecting proper planning can expose weaknesses within the organization.

Based on requirements, you should use policy-based rules to define which logs and activities your SIEM should monitor and compare this policy against external compliance requirements to determine your needs. It’s a good idea to begin with a clear view of the use cases for SIEM for your particular business. Review the security processes and policies that can support your proposed SIEM implementation, including existing controls in place to meet compliance requirements. Proper planning ensures that the SIEM solution isn’t simply a generic security, but instead is tailored to the exact needs and expectations of the organization.

2. Start with a Pilot Run

It is not a good approach to implement a SIEM system throughout the entire organization’s IT infrastructure at the same time. A pilot run is a smart way to make a test by running the technology on a smaller subset of your technology infrastructure. Not only does this phase provide proof of concept, but it also demonstrates the potential return on investment for a SIEM system.

During this test run, collect as much data as possible to allow for a clear picture of how the system would run. The data you obtain from a pilot run is crucial in identifying weaknesses in security policies or compliance controls that should be plugged. Of course, it is not always possible to collect data from every single source across the organization. In this case, you should prioritize sections dealing with the critical systems and sensitive data.

3. Create rules

SIEM relies on information to be efficient. By applying correlation rules, it can detect events and threats that would be more difficult to identify in isolation. It is critical to ensure that correlation engines are functioning with basic policies. Besides, determining more customized rules to be implemented in the long term should be taken up in this stage. These rules help optimize documentation and alerting without damaging network performance. They should also be customized to meet any necessary compliance requirements.

4. Identify compliance requirements

SIEM software can help organizations meet compliance requirements and regulations. However, these requirements can often overlap. To avoid this scenario, you can draft documents that specify the compliance requirements you need to meet and check that list against potential SIEM solutions to ensure they cover your needs.

5. Define process

Before deployment, put a handoff plan in place to transfer control from the implementation team to security operations or IT management team. Adjust in accordance with your company’s staffing capabilities to ensure teams can effectively manage the SIEM going forward.

Any other long-term management processes should be outlined as well. Companies must train staff on general SIEM management as well as their team’s logging processes and data management plans. You may need to adjust to avoid understaffing, unmanageable logging rates, and storage capacity issues.

6. Continuously Update Your SIEM System

Extensive planning and step-by-step implementation are some best practices, but continuous refinement and improvement are of a great importance, as well. Cybercriminals come up with increasingly sophisticated forms of attack, so you should be a step ahead by continuously improving the security tools, policies, and procedures. Running a production SIEM deployment itself gives you a useful feedback for you to tweak and fine-tune everything to better protect against security threats.

Investing in Security Incident and Event Management solutions is of a great value and implementing it properly could help you to get significant business benefits. SIEM detects and responds to security incidents in real time, which reduces the risk of noncompliance. It also helps realize greater value across all underlying security technology and systems. Reporting with SIEM is more comprehensive and less time-intensive, helping to reduce capital and operational costs through consolidation. These are all important for any business that aims to stay on top of the market game.

How Do Managed Services Help to Reinforce IT Security?

Nowadays the technology is moving at a faster pace than ever. Whilst advances in technology present a number of opportunities, they also present businesses with challenges they must manage effectively in order to remain successful and profitable. Many businesses have users with multiple computer models and operating systems, so it can be difficult to manage costs and keep people connected and productive. This is where Managed services can help. They include any information technology service and support handled by an outside firm through cloud-based software. These information technology solutions provide remote monitoring of your systems, along with proactive support, and timely managing, updating and resolving issues in real time related to selected IT systems and functions on your behalf.

Managed Services against Cyber threats

As cyber threats evolve and become more complex, many businesses recognize the opportunity to work with managed services providers that can provide a cost-effective alternative to manage the monitoring, detecting, investigating, alerting and responding to cyber threats. Managed services are able to provide security operations, information security and event management, solution implementation and integration, actionable threat intelligence, and incident response. They also ensure organizations the visibility needed to better protect their sensitive data and critical infrastructure, and the incident response solutions provide rapid response and recovery to cyber threats. Getting to cyber confidence first requires a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity offerings that integrate strategy and governance with the core capabilities needed for helping organizations become more secure, vigilant, and resilient.

6 Ways Managed Services Improve Cyber Security

  • 24/7 Monitoring

A significant way that managed services improve cyber security involves system monitoring. A reputable MSP can provide monitoring not just during business hours, but 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When using machine learning your MSP can identify unusual activity and proactively address issues even before a breach occurs.

Monitoring can include both your network and your cloud infrastructure and in this way addresses the numerous data access points. Furthermore, many providers offer automated compliance monitoring. Thanks to the privacy and security regulations affecting industries across the board, compliance monitoring can save problem situations and protects your business reputation.

  • Threat intelligence and analytics

Through MSP’s global network of threat intelligence-sharing, it is possible to proactively monitor the clients’ environments and the external threat landscape to help prevent and detect targeted cyberattacks and insider threats. Managed services are able to turn intelligence updates into actionable mitigation strategies to help the clients respond to threats relevant to their business. The global network for sharing threat intelligence and the powerful analytics resources provide organizations with the visibility they need to better protect their sensitive data and critical infrastructure.

  • Risk Assessment

Risk assessment supports the business to get an idea about its risk posture for key assets and systems, procedures, policies and controls. It also helps to assess and mitigate risks when sharing information, especially with third-party vendors. Besides, it also addresses emerging threats so that you can integrate new technology to secure the risks.

  • Vulnerability Identification and Remediation

As mentioned above, The MSP typically conducts risk assessments to determine the state of your organization’s cyber security and make recommendations. In this process they conduct vulnerability scans and penetration testing. A vulnerability scan often uses automated tools to identify weaknesses in the perimeter, places where unauthorized persons could enter the system. Penetration testing goes further by simulating an actual cyber-attack, with a skilled tester acting like a hacker to try and exploit weaknesses. Some regulations require vulnerability scans and penetration testing on a regular basis. But whether required or not, they both form an essential part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy.

  • Endpoint Protection

Endpoint protection ensures that all access points on the business’ network are secure. Without this element, it is practically difficult to know whether a network has been somehow breached. Having in mind that today’s businesses are widely implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy to enable employees work from anywhere at any time, the Managed Services provide the assurance that the organization’s network is same irrespective of how its employees work.

  • Incident response

Sometimes, despite all attempts at prevention and detection, the inevitable could happen. Managed Services could help the clients to proactively respond to and recover from a sustained attack. The incident response capabilities support clients in the immediate, mid-term, and long-term aftermath of an incident, including crisis management, technical investigation, security remediation, cyber-risk program enhancement, and regulatory compliance.

With security breaches that are critically increasing day by day, businesses are looking for solutions that are more effective and cost-efficient. If you don’t know who to choose as your MSP, contact PATECCO today to understand more of what we have accomplished in terms of handling managed services benefits and risks. We are a reliable MSP and we commit to helping you achieve all the IT services mentioned above and even more.

PATECCO managed IT solutions allow a business of any size to focus on its core competencies while leaving its day-to-day IT needs to a team of professionals that are not only proactive in managing your IT services, but are also available 24/7 for your peace of mind. As your managed service provider, PATECCO offers a single point of contact, convenience and flexibility for all of your IT needs.

Why Businesses Should Migrate to Hybrid Cloud Systems

Cloud structures are a hot topic, discussed from specialists and businessmen all over the world. Cloud computing, the disruptive technology that we know today, is the outcome of technological advancements over many years. It became a powerful tool and an enabler of business success through its attributes in today’s competitive market. Besides, it has also radically improved the way we interact with each other and perform businesses.

Now, the transformation to a „digital business“ by implementing cloud services and platforms is no longer an option – it’s an imperative for the existence and survival of any enterprise.  Organizations of all sizes have already access to more data to guide their decisions than at any point in history, and it’s turned data-access technology into big business. Gartner experts have stated that by 2021, over 75% of midsize and large organizations will have adopted a multicloud or hybrid IT strategy, so it’s important to understand what it is and how enterprises benefit from the hybrid cloud.

The essence of a hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud computing started its development in 2008 and offers the enterprises incredible customization and security. The foundation of a hybrid cloud model is the combination of private and public cloud infrastructures that allow workloads to move between the two interconnected environments. This mobility between cloud environments gives organizations greater flexibility and agility in their data deployment options. For companies that want to maximize the benefits of both public and private cloud environments, hybrid cloud deployments offer tremendous advantages. Versatile and responsive, hybrid clouds are a popular solution for organizations looking to adopt creative solutions for their IT and computing needs.

Here are the top 6 reasons why business moves to hybrid cloud?

1. Security Compliance

One of the big challenges that many businesses face with hybrid cloud are unauthorized access (both from outsiders and other cloud tenants), visibility and worries about how you respond to incidents. When implemented well, a hybrid cloud security strategy can help provide the right level of security for the right data.  With a hybrid cloud model, however, companies can leverage the security of a private cloud with the power and services of a public cloud. While data stored in a private environment will likely still have to be transmitted to the public cloud for analytics, applications, and other processes, extensive encryption methods can be implemented to ensure this data remains as secure as possible.

A hybrid cloud’s centralized management makes it easier to implement strong technical security measures such as encryption, automation, access control, orchestration, and endpoint security, so you can manage risk effectively. An ideal hybrid solution will also help to support compliance and will offer a suite of helpful security benefits, for instance, system hardening and vulnerability shielding for protected systems.

2. Increased Scalability

Flexibility is critical for growing businesses. A hybrid cloud system provides new tools and data for innovation, ensuring you are no longer constrained by what’s available onsite. Using both private and public cloud solutions increases power and scalability through higher speeds and advanced infrastructure and planning. Resources and workloads can also be easily moved between clouds. As your needs change, you can scale resources up and down, optimising for performance and efficiency.

3. Reduced costs

Cost is a key factor for many organizations considering migrating to the cloud. A hybrid cloud is a great option for companies that want more security and control of their data but need a cost-effective way to scale their operations to meet spikes in demand. The hybrid cloud option means organizations can house their core, business-critical, and sensitive data on their private, on-premise servers while offloading less sensitive data and applications to the public cloud.

Hybrid cloud environments allow businesses to leverage the resources they already have, without the requirement to adopt new tools or splash out on new hardware. When using both a mix of private and public clouds, the upfront costs of installing in-house technology can be removed, or combined with a simple monthly payment, in order to simplify costs.

4. Flexibility

As previously mentioned, solely using private cloud can be very limiting for a business. Increased security means that employees cannot access the private cloud or business functions through unknown devices, limiting their ability to work remotely on the move or from home. This can hinder the productivity of a business, and contrasts with the kind of flexibility a business can achieve with public cloud.

Through a hybrid environment, a public cloud solution can be used for employees who want to share and store data in a form that is accessible from anywhere, whilst a private cloud can host critical security compliant applications. This offers flexibility to businesses looking for both security and mobility, and reduces the need for businesses to invest in a costly in-house infrastructure for their security reliant applications.

5. Increased agility and innovation

The ability to respond automatically to changes in demand is a key factor for innovation and competition. Nowadays, speed to market can build or break a company’s competitive edge. A hybrid cloud model helps organizations increase their speed to market by optimizing IT performance and providing the agility needed to meet changing business requirements.

Due to the fact that companies with a hybrid cloud aren’t limited to their private on-premise infrastructure, they can easily expand their workload on the cloud and more quickly test, prototype, and launch new products.

6. Improved Customer Experience

We are living in the digital age, where businesses should be customer-centric in order to be competitive against industry disrupters. If a business is not able to adjust to extra demand from customers, there is a risk of losing valuable business. In order to remain competitive and relevant, a business should invest in a cloud system that is flexible, scalable and caters to all their business needs. For example, with a hybrid cloud model, healthcare organizations can interact with patients in real-time and financial institutions have better oversight over a customer’s full financial overview.

Hopefully after reading through the top six advantages of Hybrid Cloud you now have a better perception why it is becoming such a popular choice for IT executives all over the world. Furthermore, just choosing to go hybrid cloud doesn’t mean you are guaranteed these benefits. Depending on your company and its needs and inherent complexities, executing your hybrid cloud vision could be a complex undertaking and the best option is to do it with an experienced partner.

Key Aspects of an Identity Access Management (IAM) Strategy

The components and functionalities of identity and access management bring a lot of benefits to all users who are involved into the organisation’s ecosystem, no matter of the business sector they belong to. Before engaging yourself to an IAM project, it is critical to determine and to have a long-term vision of your IAM strategy. This initiative is much more effective and profitable than having to assemble various solutions that may not be appropriate or not always well integrated.

A clear identity and access management strategy is fundamental for organisations to operate effectively. It will guarantee secure access to the information system, ensure compliance with regulations, reduce a large number of operating risks, improve productivity and the quality of service delivered to users. Many organisations’ failures prove that fact that the lack of expertise and effective identity and access management strategy can led to risky implementations and expensive mistakes. This is the reason why many organizations look for experienced service providers for assistance.

Building an Identity and Access Management Strategy

1. Discovery Is the First Step

The first step in developing an IAM strategy is to gain a thorough understanding of the customer’s current state. This step is crucial, because an accurate picture of an organization’s current state helps to create a more realistic strategy and results in successful project implementation. There are three ways to develop a better understanding of the customers’ current environments, needs, and goals.

  • Understand the How. To better prepare and develop context before beginning a project, you should search for specific artifacts and documents that help understand how the organization functions. That could include any existing IAM policies and procedures, IAM architectural diagrams, relevant audit findings, and an overview of the network and server environments. It is also helpful to get to know the current technology elements: which are the main applications and systems being used, and how they are set up and customized.
  • Understand the Who. Developing a demographic profile of the organization is also very important, i. e – how many users there are, what is their location, and who gets access to what. Viewing the structure of the organization is also essential: who approves access requests, which users are employees or non-employees, and how HR interacts with the existing IAM process.
  • Understand the Why. Understanding the drivers for an organization’s IAM project is pivotal for the project’s success. It ensures that leaders are on the same page about their reasons for investing in IAM, sets clear expectations for the project’s outcomes, and helps champions justify the project internally.

2. From Discovery to Deliverables

When the discovery process is finished, the next step is to conduct an analysis of what you have collected as an information. For some companies, this means a roadmap and a strategy, but others might need a competitive assessment, an IGA recommendation, or advice on the best way to handle role-based access. Here are some examples of the deliverables that can be provided:

  • Architecture. A smart approach is to develop a map that captures how IAM currently functions at the organization and represents all the systems, architecture, tools, users, and connectors. This map should accurately reflect the organization’s environment, processes, patterns, and challenges. On the basis of this “big picture” of the organization’s current state, an architecture that reflects the ideal state could be created.
  • Roadmap. The roadmap describes the actions which companies need to take to get from A to B, and helps companies prioritize these actions and put them in the appropriate order.
  • Tool Recommendations. With a clear understanding of the customer’s requirements and extensive knowledge about the best tools for every situation, the needs to the appropriate vendors could be properly matched.

3. Perform a comprehensive audit

Another significant step is to perform a comprehensive audit of current practices so that you know exactly what types of systems or processes are used by employees to share and transfer information. You may find out that people in your organization are subverting security controls to get their work done. It’s a common issue that can help you build a stronger access management structure.

4. Develop IAM Governance Procedures

It is very important to ensure that risk management and compliance guidelines are followed consistently throughout the company. That could be verified by efficient provisioning and de-provisioning procedures. Besides, the privileged accounts should be handled with care. Compared with accounts for regular users, these accounts can have almost unlimited access to sensitive data, applications, and devices. You should strike a balance between access and security by following the guidelines of least privilege. When users need elevated privileges for a specific task, it is recommended to grant access for a limited time using unique credentials.

5. Compliance is a top consideration

Its crucial to ensure that compliance guidelines and risk management are incorporated into the identity management strategy. Privacy management and data access governance is an important aspect of IAM. It controls who is capable of accessing user data and how they can share or use it. This ensured that organizations meet the growing requirements of changing industry and global data privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

6. Add Cloud-based IAM to Your Arsenal

If you are looking to the cloud for greater efficiency and easy scalability, cloud-based identity and access management services can be part of your IAM plan. Identity and Access Management-as-a-Service (IDaaS) simplifies even the most complex user management challenges. These systems exist in environments defined by strict access with regular monitoring and security for both IT and physical assets. Scheduled backups and data recovery plans prevent catastrophic losses. Further, the access control measures are certified to industry standards with frequent audits. You can meet necessary audit requirements by leveraging existing security certifications rather than investing talent and resources within a similar internal plan.

IAM projects are complex, that is why a defined strategy for success is required. Without a good IAM strategy, analysis and planning the projects usually fail. A successful IAM strategy balances security requirements with employee and customer experience and communicates these goals effectively to executives.

PATECCO is your partner through all phases of IAM strategy: Our practice is to work closely with your technology management and business leaders and to consult you for the sequence of projects needed to make your strategy a reality. Whether you would like to implement a new IAM strategy or update an old one,our consultants can offer their professional support to successfully build up your IAM strategy.

Why Identity and Access Management Is So Important In Preventing Data Breaches?

For better optimization of efficiency, agility, and to drive greater collaboration, it is essential for the enterprise to be able to share information, resources, and applications with external value chain partners in a trusted way. This article explores how Identity Access Management (IAM) provides the policies and processes for ensuring that the right people in the company have the right access to secure resources, at the right time, while improving security, productivity and visibility.

  • Identity Is Core To Data Security

In the era of globalization, enterprises are undertaking significant digital transformation initiatives to integrate more applications and automate processes to increase productivity and innovation. These initiatives frequently involve the integration of information technology with operational technology, even bridging security domains, through direct integration with value chain partners. Digital transformation initiatives deliver significant value, but potentially put more resources at risk and increase the enterprise security threat surface.

Moreover, enterprise managers require visibility into the organizations and must be able to delegate administration of people and resources to trusted individuals within the supplier organization if they want to have the agility they need. At the same time, they must be able to govern those external users are authorized to do. This practice requires regular processes where delegated administrators attest to users’ validity and the resources to which they have access for a complete audit trail and to ensure compliance.

At its core, Identity and Access Management  ensures that a user’s identity is authenticated to a high degree of assurance, and that the user is authorized to access the right services he or she needs. So, Access Management solutions provide authentication and authorization services and enforce user access policy to a company’s employees and customers across the web, mobile apps, and other digital channels. According to Data Breach Investigation Reports, 80% of data breaches involve compromised or weak credentials, and 29% of all breaches involve the use of stolen credentials. That means that passwords are the main point of vulnerability and the more frequently you have to request or change access for lost or forgotten passwords, the larger is the risk for your personal and professional data to be hacked.

When applied properly, advanced Identity and Access Management tools can help detect suspicious activities quickly whether they are committed by external or internal criminals. In fact, insiders who have highly privileged access pose the greatest risks as they may be disgruntled or have financial problems, therefore have the incentive and opportunity to commit a perfect crime. Highly technical users who have privileged access can also cover their tracks by modifying system logs. Sometimes, users also make mistakes and errors which can also be mitigated with IAM capabilities such as Multifactor-authentication and Role-based Access Control.

Products like Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM 2016) is able to synchronize identities between directories, databases and applications, which means that employees’ identities are managed wherever they are working from. It also provides increased admin security with policies, privileged access management and roles. This, combined with Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory (AAD) technology, provides additional cloud based self-service capabilities, secure remote access, single sign on, and multi-factor authentication.

How Can IAM Practices Prevent a Data Breach?

  • Automating the access privilege provision

For every new employee addition, you should assign all the privileges based on their roles and business rules. It’s better to have workflow automation. Besides, for every employee resignation or termination, you must ensure that all the privileges will be taken away automatically. This practice will help in limiting and preventing unnecessary privileges.

  • Privileged User Management

Basically, the organized attacks target the privileged accounts of the organization. Once a privileged account gets compromised, it increases the chances of a massive security breach. Social engineering and phishing attacks are some common ways of tricking privileged users in sharing their passwords. Such attacks can remain undetected for a long period and that is why it is recommended to implement privileged user management. Any access considered privileged should be assigned to a separate account within the system for which the access is granted, and such accounts should be assigned to the user after an appropriate review of the user’s duties and justification for both the privileged account and the specific access. Any privileged access defined or granted should be limited in both scope and the number of users to which it is assigned and tailored to the needs of the business.

  • Account and access reviews

A useful practice is to conduct Account and access reviews. This can be done periodically in smaller companies and even in larger companies, as well. For example, if a user changes jobs, you should trigger an access review based on changes in the user’s job code or department code. Access reviews can also be based on risk, or when users request certain types of access, i.e., conduct a review of all of user’s access if the user requests domain administrator access, or if a user’s risk score reaches a certain level. Access reviews should be done either by the entitlement owners, or the current manager.

  • Entitlements warehouse

It is a good approach to set up an entitlements warehouse, which identifies all the entitlements in all the systems within the organization, who is assigned to those entitlements, and includes risk rating and privileged access flags for each entitlement. The entitlements warehouse can also be used to conduct peer analytics to identify unusual patterns of entitlement assignments based on entitlements assigned to other users with similar job functions, or assigned to users in similar or the same department.

  • Compliance

Another reason why Identity and Access Management is important in preventing data breaches is because organizations must comply with increasing, complex and distributed regulations, and they must ensure and demonstrate an effective customer identification process, suspicious activity detection and reporting, and identity theft prevention. Identity and Access Management solutions can be leveraged to manage various regulatory requirements such as having a Customer Identification Program (CIP), Know Your Customer (KYC), monitoring for Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR), and Red Flags Rule for identity fraud prevention.

Identity and Access Management is regarded as complex and critical solution in managing security risks. Although technology is an important part of identity and access management which can be leveraged to support an organization’s cybersecurity objectives and strategy, effective IAM also requires processes and people for user onboarding and identity verification, granting and removing access, detecting suspicious activities, and keeping unauthorized users out of the systems. IAM can help organizations achieve operating efficiency and optimal security through advanced technology and automation such as adaptive, multi-factor, and biometric authentication.

The Benefits of Using a SIEM to Strengthen IT Security

Modern businesses have built IT infrastructure to conduct their regular activities. On one hand, IT infrastructure allows organizations to become more streamlined and productive, but on the other hand, there is a persistent challenge that all businesses must face: cybersecurity threats and incidents. Slapping up some firewalls and subscribing to an antivirus software are old-fashioned methods to effectively secure the enterprise, that is why businesses apply more dynamic method of managing the security of their IT infrastructure: Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software.

SIEM is a software solution that aggregates and analyses activity from many different resources across your entire IT infrastructure. By combining SIM (security information management) and SEM (security event management), the tool aims to aggregate log data across users, machines, and servers for real-time event log monitoring and correlations to find security threats and mitigate risks in real-time. Whether to protect health IT infrastructure or financial information, or prevent threats and data breaches, SIEM has become increasingly crucial.

What are the features and functions of a SIEM?

SIEM tools are an important part of the data security ecosystem. They aggregate data from multiple systems and analyse that data to catch abnormal behaviour or potential cyberattacks. SIEM collect ssecurity data from network devices, servers, domain controllers, and more.  At its core, SIEM is a data aggregator, search, and reporting system. SIEM gathers immense amounts of data from the entire networked environment, consolidates and makes that data human accessible.

Gartner identifies three critical capabilities for SIEM – threat detection, investigation and time to respond, but there are other features and functionality such as basic security monitoring, advanced threat detection, forensics & incident response, log collection, normalization, notifications and alerts, security incident detection and threat response workflow.

SIEM Benefits that enhance the IT Security

Dismissing the SIEM importance could lead to long-term cybersecurity problems. The benefits of SIEM are numerous, but in the article will be listed some of the most popular ones which enterprises enjoy and utilize to ensure a secure network and efficient business processes.

1. Compliance

Every business, in every industry, requires the fulfilment of at least some regulatory mandates. Enterprise which does not follow the compliance requirements could suffer problems such as loss of consumer consequences, loss of sales, and the legal costs of resolving lawsuits.  

SIEM solutions often provide out-of-the-box report templates for most compliance mandates such as HIPAA.  Through its compliance capabilities, SIEM helps enterprises patch their IT environments and helps to regulate third-party access. Both could represent security holes and compliance failures if not properly secured. Furthermore, your SIEM solutions can use the data it collects to help fill those templates, saving your security team time and resources.

2. Threat Detection and Security Alerting

When talking about cybersecurity, one of the key benefits of SIEM is its threat detection and security alerting capabilities.

First, SIEM often connects your enterprise and IT security team to multiple threat intelligence feeds. They keep your enterprise up-to-date with the latest information on cyber attack evolution and the most pressing threats facing businesses similar to yours. Thanks to this knowledge, you can accurately secure your enterprise against the most likely digital threats.

Then, after your SIEM solution aggregates and normalizes the data, it can analyse it for potential threats through security event correlation. When your solution detects a correlated security event, it immediately sends your IT security team an alert prompting an investigation. This allows your team to concentrate their efforts on specific potential problem areas and to recognise whether your enterprise suffered a breach. After that, they can run your incident response plan and remediate the threat as quickly as possible, reducing the damage you suffer.

3. Improved Efficiency

SIEM tools can significantly improve your efficiency when it comes to understanding and handling events in your IT environment. With SIEM tools, you can view the security log data from the many different hosts in your system from a single interface.  SIEM tools also include automated mechanisms that use data correlation and analysis to stop attacks as soon as they are detected. These capabilities enable SIEM tools to stop attacks while they’re still in progress and to contain hosts that have already been compromised, thus reducing the impact of a security breach.  By responding quickly to perceived events, SIEM tools can help you reduce the financial impact of a breach – as well as the amount of damage that occurs in the first place.

4. Data aggregation and visibility

Visibility into your entire IT environment is one of the greatest benefits of SIEM. This visibility goes hand in hand with the way that logs are normalized and correlated in a SIEM tool. No matter the size of a business, there is a variety of different components in the IT environment, each of which is generating, formatting, and sending huge amounts of data. Not only are these components producing tons of data, they are likely each doing so in different ways. Trying to make sense of all that data manually is a nearly impossible task, and one that would necessitate devoting a huge amount of time and energy to a job that can easily be automated.

This is the reason why the SIEM capabilities that relate to data aggregation and normalization are so beneficial. The SIEM tools not only collect and store the data from the security tools in your IT environment in a centralized location, but they also turn them into a uniform format so you can easily compare the data.

5. Case Ticketing and Management

Identifying security incidents is not helpful if that is not followed by investigation, tracking, resolution and root-cause analysis. SIEM facilitates incident ticketing and management which makes it easier to not only drive problem resolution, but also to maintain a case record so that recurring problems are identified for deeper and more conclusive troubleshooting.

6. Change Intelligence

In most cases security events are a result of a major change such as an upgrade made to an existing system or the replacement of a business application with a new one. For that reason SIEM provides granular change intelligence that detects both planned and unplanned changes to network, server and application configuration. This ensures that both operational and security outages can be tackled proactively.

All the organizations, regardless of their size, need to undertake cybersecurity measures to ensure the safety of their digital assets. In times when cyber-attacks are becoming more advanced, the companies should constantly strengthen the organization’s cybersecurity posture. Companies should also realize that any attack on their IT infrastructure can cost them not only data loss but public trust and reputation, as well. To avoid this situation, cybersecurity has become a vital part of any organization. When combining Security Information Management and Security Event Management capabilities in a single solution, SIEM helps security analysts to achieve threat detection, response, security incident reporting, and compliance ability. All these capabilities make SIEM an essential part of a modern cybersecurity strategy.

The Interaction Between Artificial Intelligence and Identity & Access Management

For many organisations, Identity & Access Management is a critical weapon in their cyber security battle. It is a great and robust solution to mitigate against data breaches, as well as manage the risks that come with remote working and Bringing Your Own Device – BYOD. IAM is constantly evolving across critical functions including data security, authentication, synchronizing internal data, enabling consumer contact preference management and meeting privacy compliance requirements.

The importance of a clever and mature IAM strategy shouldn’t be underestimated. Deciding who should have access to what information is difficult for many businesses and this challenge leaves their systems vulnerable. According to a Forrester research report, 83% of organizations do not have a mature approach to IAM. The risk that these organizations meet problems with a data breach is twice as high compared to organizations that have their IAM strategy. The report also presents a direct correlation between smarter IAM approaches and reduced security risk, improved productivity, increased privileged activity management and greatly reduced financial loss.

What is the Approach to Artificial Intelligence in IAM?


In the past several years, Machine Learning successfully develops due to its unique features like adaptability, scalability and ability to handle unknown challenges and to reduce human effort and intervention. AI and Machine Learning technologies could be a significant support for effective IAM. These trendy technologies could facilitate enterprises mature from excessively technical access management to access management that’s understandable on all levels.

Modern technologies provide ways to learn new insights and automate processes, which significantly speeds up the existing IAM compliance controls. They can detect anomalies and potential threats, without the need for a large team of security experts. This gives employees (technical and non-technical) the information needed to make correct decisions. Such progress is crucial, especially in the area of anti-money laundering and fraud detection, but also in the area of combating insider threats. That’s why it could be said that AI can serve as a lever to improve the enterprises’ IAM workflow and that ability makes it increasingly important in cybersecurity and Identity and Access Management.

  • AI monitoring and increased visibility

As business systems become more interconnected the need for seamless, continuous, and accurate access to information will become increasingly important. For that reason, AI advanced authentication systems will play a huge role, especially when collecting and analysing the information much faster than humans. Working within a user’s access permissions, AI systems could constantly monitor users as they move around the network, but they could also monitor any unusual, irrational or variable behaviour. They could detect whether users are trying to access a part of the system they wouldn’t normally or downloading more documents than they generally would.

  • Automation and Flexibility

Because AI monitors the details of users’ actions, it’s possible to automate authentication for low-risk access situations. In this way it can offload some of the burden of IAM administration and can prevent the “security fatigue” among users. AI is capable of looking at the total set of circumstances surrounding access requests including time, device type, location and resources being requested.

Considering these details, before granting network access, it makes IAM contextual and granular and can control potential problems caused by improper provisioning or deprovisioning. AI-powered systems are able to apply appropriate IAM policies to any access request based on needs and circumstances, so that the IT department doesn’t have to waste time figuring out the basics of “least privilege” for every use case.

  • More effective regulatory compliance

Enterprise software applications which integrate AI can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory compliance programs across a variety of industries. Many enterprises believe that complying with security and privacy regulations is sufficient to keep hackers away, but that’s not enough to meet the security needs. The basics of compliance means ensuring information is only accessed by those who need it and rejecting everyone else.

Implementing compliance rules for new security laws can be a burden, and noncompliance is a common practice. The flexible, adaptable nature of AI-powered IAM is useful in these situations. AI and ML constantly monitor traffic, learn behaviours and apply granular access controls, so enterprises face less of a challenge when enforcing security protocols, and it becomes difficult for hackers to get any use out of stolen credentials.

Nowadays hackers are getting better and braver in infiltrating networks. Detecting unauthorized access attempts requires detailed scrutiny which could not be performed precisely by human monitoring. This is the reason why companies rely on artificial intelligence technologies to implement better IAM practices for improving access security and maintaining the integrity of user identities.When AI and ML are performed with the appropriate monitoring and reporting tools, it becomes possible to visualize network access and reduce overall breach risk using intelligent and adaptable IAM policies.In the highly competitive world of global finance and regulated industries, investing in AI and ML can increase the accuracy and efficiency of compliance systems, as well.

How to Protect the Data and Privacy In the Cloud

The era of the cloud is in its progress. It is a constantly developing innovation that includes a broad set of public, private, and business process outsourcing capabilities. Cloud computing relies on sharing computer resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Nowadays, organizations use cloud services for data storage and doing their daily operations. Despite of various advantages like scalability, flexibility, productivity, security is the major concern for cloud computing. One of the main security issues is how to control and prevent unauthorized access to data stored on the cloud.

There are various techniques able to control unauthorized access to data. One such technique is RBAC (Role Based access Control) model. RBAC method controls the access to data based on roles given to individual users within an organization. Besides, RBAC model provides flexible control and management using two simple mappings.  First is User to their role in the organization and second is Roles to accessible data to that Role.

  1. Implementing a strong RBAC policy

Implementing a strong RBAC policy helps for building up a strong visibility strategy and provides a better security solution for accessing data on cloud. Roles in RBAC are mapped to access permissions, and all users are mapped to appropriate roles and receive access permissions only through the roles to which they are assigned.

Controlling the access through roles gives benefits to organization and simplifies the management, as well. Typically, role-based access control model has three essential structures: users, permissions and roles. A role is a higher level representation of access control. User corresponds to real world users of the computing system. User authorization can be accomplished separately; assigning users to existing roles and assigning access privileges for objects to roles. “Permissions” give a description of the access users can have to objects in the system and “roles” give a description of the functions of users.

2. Management and Automation

Unifying an organization’s security infrastructure not only eases management, but also helps ensure that consistent security policies are applied wherever applications run, data is stored, or infrastructure is built. Moreover, it enables the automation of security lifecycle management processes and helps ensure compliance. These capabilities allow organizations to manage cloud and on-premises infrastructures similarly by leveraging the same level of visibility and control. Centralized management and automation help organizations meet risk management and regulatory compliance objectives. Effective security management and automation consists of  three primary elements: visibility, control, and compliance.

  • Visibility

The ability to consistently see all applications, networks, infrastructures, security events, and logs in a multi-cloud environment is a cornerstone of a security posture assessment. Such assessments are both a starting point and an ongoing process of security management.

  • Control

Control refers to applying configuration changes and populating the security infrastructure with the relevant resource-related information pertaining to the multi-cloud security posture. Besides, the control framework should extend to the native security functionality provided by each cloud platform. This allows administrators and operators to apply security changes throughout the infrastructure.

  • Compliance

Maintaining a consistent security posture and automating security operations significantly increases an organization’s ability to maintain regulatory compliance. In addition, centralized security management, automated workflows, and shared threat intelligence help enterprises quickly react to emerging threats.

PATECCO Cloud Access Control tools for data and privacy protection

PATECCO Cloud access control tools offer a greater flexibility whilst maintaining the levels of security essential to their business. Cloud access control provides secure deployment options that can help enterprises develop new customer experiences, enable effective collaboration and improve speed to market – all while increasing IT efficiency

1.Cloud Access Control: REST API

PATECCO MIM 2016 REST API. This fully functional CRUD tool acts like a convenience gateway between your applications and MIM Portal providing the following benefits:

  • Faster response times due to the integrated cache.​
  • Offers better support for different clients and increased productivity through automation.​
  • Increased level of security by easy integration with API Gateways (Axway Amplify, APIGEE and etc.).​
  • Supports Push Notifications providing easier integration with SIEM or other Event based tools (Azure Event Hub and etc.) adding additional flexibility to your applications.​
  • Cloud ready. Installed on Azure provides easier access for your cloud apps and transforms. Microsoft MIM 2016 infrastructure for Data Stream compatibility.

2. Cloud Access Control: Microsoft PIM

PATECCO offers clear migration path from an On-premise Identity System to the Azure Premium AD and Microsoft Privileged Identity Management (PIM).

  • Analyse and transform current RBAC model to a one based on Azure AD and protect the roles with Microsoft PIM.​
  • Transform and organize Azure AD logs to Events integrated to the Azure Event Hub infrastructure.​
  • Transform and adapt current workflows to the newest cloud native Azure Logic Apps infrastructure and handle all needed customizations through Azure Functions.​
  • Provide level of support for the legacy infrastructure through Azure Active Directory Sync or through our own PATECCO PAM tool. ​

3. Cloud Access Control: Azure AD Domain Services

  • PATECCO offers clear migration path from On-premise Active Directory to Azure AD Domain Services
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) Provides managed domain services with a subset of fully compatible traditional AD DS features such as domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication.
  • Azure AD DS integrates with Azure AD, which itself can synchronize with an on-premises AD DS environment, to extend central identity use cases to traditional web applications that run in Azure as part of a lift-and-shift strategy.
  • Use of Azure AD Application Proxy feature which provides the ability to securely access internal apps from outside your network.

For the different kind of organizations throughout the world, cloud computing has become a key element of their ongoing IT strategy. Cloud services give organizations of all sizes access to virtually unlimited data storage while freeing them from the need to purchase, maintain, and update their own networks and computer systems. Microsoft and other cloud providers offer IT infrastructure, platform, and software “as a service,” enabling customers to quickly scale up or down as needed and only paying for the computing power and storage they use.

However, as organizations continue to take advantage of the benefits of cloud services, such as increased choice, agility, and flexibility while boosting efficiency and lowering IT cost, they must consider how the cloud services affect their privacy, security, and compliance posture. It is important for the cloud offerings to be not only scalable, reliable, and manageable, but also to ensure  your customers data is protected and used in a transparent manner.

The Role of Identity Governance in Security and Compliance

In the complex network of managing user rights, permissions and accounts, tracking who has access to certain resources becomes almost impossible. Every organisation is facing demands, mandates and compliance regulations while managing the access and support of many devices and systems that contain critical data. Identity Governance and Intelligence solutions help business with the ability to create and manage user accounts and access rights for individual users within the company. In this way they can more conveniently manage user provisioning, password management, access governance and identity repositories.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Security?

Identity governance is the core of most organizations’ security and IT operations strategies. It allows businesses to provide automated access to an increasing number of technology assets and at the same to manage potential security and compliance risks. Identity governance enables and secures digital identities for all users, applications and data.

In case the identity governance is compromised, the organization is left vulnerable to security and compliance violations. Companies can solve this problem by investing in identity governance and intelligence (IGI) solutions that address the business requirements of compliance mangers, auditors and risk managers. According to our partner IBM, “IGI provides a business activity-based modelling approach that simplifies the user access and roles design, review and certification processes. With this approach, you can establish trust between IT and business managers around business activities and permissions, making workflows understandable for nontechnical users. IGI solutions enable security teams to leverage powerful analytics to make informed decisions about identity, give users the applications and the flexible data access they need, and help to ensure compliance with ever-evolving regulations.”

When we talk about managing access within the organization, a number of researches show that more than 50 percent of users have more access privileges than required for their job. In most cases the reason is bulk approvals for access requests, frequent changes in roles or departments, and not regular reviewing user access. The trouble is that too much access privilege and overprovisioning can open an organization up to insider threats and increase the risk throughout the business.

It’s necessary to make sure that users have the appropriate access and to prevent facing with insider threats. The risk could be decreased by using role-based access controls (RBAC) – this means having solid, well-defined roles in place and knowing specifically which access privileges each role needs. As organizations grow and evolve, the right IGI solution can allow for more efficient changes and decrease risk by focusing on role definitions and role assignments rather than on individual accounts. The strategy of RBAC works well to decrease the timeline in executing bulk additions where a lot of change is happening at once, like during mergers, acquisitions and corporate reorganizations.

Why is Identity Governance Critical to Compliance?

Companies today have to manage customer, vendor, and board member demands, but at the same time they also must make sure they are compliant with any number of regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and SOX. The increasing number of federal regulations and industry mandates that organizations face today, leads to more auditing, compliance reviews, and reporting.

Identity Governance is a critical discipline involved in this regulation. To be GDPR compliant, organizations must ensure that the personal data they process, collect, and store is properly protected. IBM Security Identity Governance & Intelligence (IGI) can help with that process. IGI allows only the right people to access and manage GDPR-relevant data. IGI presents these people to a business manager holistically in a single pane of glass. (source: IBM) IGI solutions not only strictly control the access to sensitive information like patient records or financial data, but also enable companies to prove they are taking actions to meet compliance requirements.

Furthermore, IGI solutions make the review process easier and more effective with built-in reporting capabilities to meet relevant government and industry regulations. A good compliance program allows for frequent and multiple access reviews to take place at any given time to meet ever-increasing auditor demands without engaging numerous resources from the organization.

One of the main reasons for implementing an IGI solution, is to ensure that users only have access to the resources they need. It also makes sure that you provide appropriate access, risk mitigation and improved security posture of your organization. Unfortunately, a lot of companies today may not view this as a strategic priority and that is a prerequisite to suffer a security incident at some moment. What such companies should do, is to trust IGI solutions and their strong capabilities. See here how PATECCO IGI Solutions are the foundation for a solid Identity and Access Management program in your organization.

How IAM Ensures Secure Access to Information Across Your Enterprise

To meet the challenges of today’s world, competitive companies need to increase their business agility in a secure environment and need to enforce the performance of their IT infrastructure. With the development of the business, enterprises now require new methods to manage secure access to information and applications across multiple systems, delivering on-line services to employee, customer and suppliers without compromising security. Companies must be able to trust the identities of users requiring access and easily administer user identities in a cost-effective way. That’s why it is important how they manage all the identities that access information across the enterprise (from employees and customers to trading partners), how they keep all interactions compliant and secure regardless of access channel, including personal devices.

More and more enterprises are undertaking significant digital transformation initiatives to integrate more applications and automate processes in a bid to increase productivity and the pace of innovation. These initiatives frequently involve the integration of information technology with operational technology, even bridging security domains, through direct integration with value chain partners. Digital transformation initiatives deliver significant value, but potentially put more resources at risk and increase the enterprise security threat surface.

Managing external identities, determining who should have access to what resources, and validating and auditing access requests to key resources across channels creates significant administrative overhead for the enterprise. The inherent risk in granting access to mission-critical resources to people and organizations outside the enterprise’s control is compounded by: lack of visibility into an external organization’s hierarchy to validate user requests for access to resources, inability to identify orphan accounts, audit whether users are still active at an organization and still need access to resources, and compromised accounts

The solution for all these business challenges and risks is Identity and Access Management (IAM). It is developed, based on the users and access rights management through an integrated, efficient and centralized infrastructure. This concept combines business processes, policies and technologies that enable companies to provide secure access to any resource, efficiently control this access, respond faster to changing relationships, and protect confidential information from unauthorized users.

Beyond the most basic function of directory services that maintain the metadata associated with an identity, IAM covers two main functions: Authentication and Authorisation.

How does PATECCO IAM solution enable you to manage your most critical identity and access management challenges?

PATECCO offers a robust set of IAM capabilities. The solution enables enterprises to centrally manage the entire identity lifecycle of their internal and external users, as well as their access to critical resources across the enterprise. The IAM platform provides a comprehensive set of capabilities to connect and manage the people, systems, processes, and things that span the extended enterprise. PATECCO IAM solution addresses identity and access management challenges in three key areas:

1. Onboarding and provisioning

 Onboarding and provisioning is a business problem, which deals with the policies, rules, technology, and user experience pertaining to creating and managing user accounts. Enterprises need robust approval-based access requests, the ability to audit access grants, and the ability to provide answers to the questions of who has what, why, and for how long?

 2. Authentication and access

With network security perimeters disappearing and data flowing freely within and between companies, identity has become the crucial point to help manage, control, and govern access to data, applications, and cloud resources. This requires the enterprise to master non-core capabilities such as single sign-on, password management, advanced authentication, role-based access control, and directory services integration.

 3. Privacy and security

The rise in awareness about compliance management—as well as the growing list of regulations on the matter such as GDPR in Europe—is driving the adoption of IAM solutions for security purposes. Enterprises must prevent sensitive information from being disclosed to unauthorized recipients. They must reduce or eliminate the risk of financial loss, public embarrassment, or legal liability from unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or critical information. PATECCO solution for IAM mitigates many of the risks inherent in a diverse, globally distributed supply chain. Starting with comprehensive identity and access management capabilities, we can ensure only the right people have access to the most trusted resources when they need them. Adding comprehensive tools for audit and attestation means that the enterprise can easily determine who has access to what resources at any time, as well as how they got access and when they actually accessed the resource.

After describing the IAM capabilities, we can conclude that the more IAM continues to evolve, the more organizations will look to broader, enterprise-based solutions that are adaptable to new usage trends such as mobile and cloud computing. Effective identity and access management processes are able to bring business value to your enterprise — reduced risk, sustaining compliance, improved efficiency and end user experience responding to the changing IT landscape.