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The Importance of Security Information and Event Management in Business

We live in a digital era when modern businesses rely mostly on their IT infrastructure in order to conduct their daily activities. Of course, the reliance on IT brings a few advantages to organizations which become more streamlined and productive, but at the same time there is a persistent challenge that all businesses have to face: cybersecurity threats and incidents.

Cybersecurity incidents are not something unknown for the enterprises. Most businesses try to ensure the security if their IT infrastructure by establishing special safeguards. However, just slapping up some firewalls or subscribing to an antivirus software is not a serious approach anymore, not only because they are ineffective but also because the cybersecurity threats are continually evolving, and criminal hackers become more sophisticated. So, to resolve this problem, businesses have begun to turn to a more robust method of managing the security of their IT infrastructure: security information and event management (SIEM) software.

How does SIEM work?

Security information and event management (SIEM) software gives security professionals both insight into and a track record of the activities within their IT environment.  It is a group of complex technologies that provide a centralized view into a network’s infrastructure. SIEM provides data analysis, event correlation, aggregation and reporting, as well as log management.  While SIEM technology has been around for more than a decade, it becomes a critical component of a comprehensive security strategy in today’s threat environment.

The function of SIEM in cybersecurity is to provide a complete overview of a business’ entire IT infrastructure. Log data from applications, devices, networks, firewalls, antivirus software, wireless access points, and similar sources are collected to identify, analyse, and categorize different types of security threats the business may experience. SIEM products also provide dynamic, up-to-date information on the overall health of a business’ security system. This information can then be used to complete security compliance reports, analyse areas of weakness, and strategize solutions that may best protect the business’ entire IT systems in the future.

How Does a SIEM Help with Log Monitoring and Management

Effective log management is essential to an organization’s security. Monitoring, documenting and analyzing system events is a crucial component of IT security. Log management software or SIEM’s automate many of the processes involved. A SIEM handles the two following jobs that prior to today’s SIEM’s were handled individually:

  • SIM – Security information management provides long-term storage as well as analysis and reporting of log data. This was and is still tricky and time-consuming if you must build your own connectors to your IDS/IPS, Firewalls, DLP solutions, Application servers and so many other log generating assets in your IT environment. Most SIEM’s have some connectors out of the box today.
  • SEM – Security event manager provides real-time monitoring, correlation of events, notifications and console views. This is the key benefit of SIEM’s because a good SIEM will turn data into insights and a great SIEM, tuned correctly will turn insights into visual dashboards to assist analysts in uncovering anomalies and threats.

Effective SIEM solutions rely on logs from all critical components of a company’s business and network. These should include all firewall logs, logs from intrusion detection systems and antivirus system logs. As well, logs from primary servers should be included, particularly key application and database server logs along with the active directory server logs and web server logs.It is also important to protect your sources of log information, particularly when attempting to prove any legal culpability from computer misuse. This is because cyber attackers can try to delete or falsify log entries to cover their activity in your system.

Why SIEM is important and beneficial for the business?

To establish a capable cybersecurity team, SIEM solutions are a must-have for businesses in any industry. Today’s enterprises need a solution that can centralize, simplify, and automate security workflows to enable better analytics and incident response procedures. The key important pillars of a Modern SIEM are:

  • Incident Detection

SIEM enables the detection of incidents that otherwise would go unnoticed. Not only can this technology log security events, they have the ability to analyze the log entries to identify signs of malicious activity. And by gathering events from all of the sources across the network, a SIEM can reconstruct the series of events to determine what the nature of the attack was and whether or not it succeeded.

  • Efficient Incident Management

An SIEM solution can significantly increase the efficiency of incident handling, saving your security professionals time and resources. More efficient incident handling ultimately speeds incident containment, therefore reducing the extent of damage that many incidents cause. A SIEM improves efficiency by enabling rapid identification of all sources that were affected by a particular attack and by providing automated mechanisms to attempt to stop attacks that are still in progress.

  • AI Cybersecurity

In recent years, advanced technologies like machine learning have made SIEM platforms more robust. It gives the companies the power to defend their businesses with complex threats before they become irreparable. It accurately analyzes event correlations for unique patterns that may lead to the detection of complex concerns over information and system security.

  • Better Security Analysis

With SIEM solution, organizations get to integrate risk assessment services. SIEM tools make it possible for you to analyze network behavior in different circumstances and factors based on security sources for that particular condition.

  • Proper Categorization

Businesses can categorize and standardize network logs for effective monitoring and achieve a responsive workflow with in-depth visibility of your backups and security. It provides your IT team with access to additional features like quick data encryption, system access management, SSO integration, and other quality management services.

Businesses now have multiple services available in the market that can accommodate any SIEM requirements. Some of the most powerful software are IBM QRadar and Splunk Enterprise Security. Based on your system requirements, you can decide what SIEM features you want from your SIEM solution. Moreover, considering elements like budgeting, storage array, customization preferences, and training needs is also essential. And finally – businesses must determine their current resource capabilities before integrating any SIEM tool into their systems.

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.

Supporting Three Areas of SIEM Technology – Operation, Compliance and Security

In the complicated digital space cybercriminals of every type constantly launch ransomware, viruses, phishing, and denial-of-service attacks that threaten your computer systems and network infrastructure. To ensure data and sensitive information always remain safe, companies need to develop security strategies that use a Security Information and Event Management System (SIEM). SIEM tools are capable of detecting, mitigating, and remediating different kinds of digital threats. In practice, SIEM focuses on providing security intelligence and real-time monitoring for network, devices, systems and applications.

The underlying principle of SIEM technology is that the relevant information about the security of an enterprise is produced in diverse sources, and the data is correlated and viewed from one central location. This process makes it easier to study the patterns and trends that are not allowed. The whole SIEM process consists of deploying multiple collection agents in a hierarchical manner to gather security-related events from end-user devices, servers, network equipment – and even specialised security equipment like firewalls, antivirus or intrusion prevention systems. Bearing in mind that the current computers and networks produce huge volumes of security log information, the SIEM system is required for handling of the increased level of information security as well as the analysis and management of centralized log.

PATECCO’s SIEM activities are spread into three groups: support of operation, support of compliance regulations and support of security analysis.

1. Support of operation:

The first step of a SIEM implementation is the deployment of Log Management. The logs of all relevant devices should be collected and stored. Log management tools help management quickly track down which pieces of data are missing and at the same time simplify regulatory compliance.

2. Support of Compliance Regulations:

A lot of relevant laws, policies and regulations have to be achieved in the modern world of enterprises and government. Regulatory compliance has been the most significant driver for the adoption of SIEM by organisations. Regulatory and legislative compliance demands also play a key role in log management adoption, being attributed for the increase deployment of log management tools by organisations and establishing log management as a permanent feature in the enterprise security architecture.

There are Core Elements of addressing Compliance Regulations which are the following:

  • log all relevant events
  • define the scope of coverage
  • define what events constitute a threat
  • detail what should be done about them in what time frame
  • document when they occurred and what was done
  • document where both the events and follow up records can be found
  • document how long events and tickets are kept

3. Support of Security Analysis

With correlation of event data, a SIEM system can help to detect security breaches and advanced persistence threats. That means that SIEM technology supports threat detection and security incident response through the real-time event collection and historical analysis of security events, from a wide variety of event and contextual data sources.

Business benefits of SIEM solutions

Enterprises find SIEM necessary because of different factors such as rise in data breaches, need of managing increasing volumes of log from multiple sources and the requirements of adhering to stringent compliance requirements.

The business benefits of SIEM solutions are numerous, but the most essential ones are related to continuous information security risk and management processes, real-time monitoring (for operational efficiency and IT security purposes), cost savings, compliance, enhanced data protection and increased efficiency. SIEM also helps enterprises manage the increasing volumes of logs coming from disparate online sources. Storing the logs from different sources in a central secured database make the process of consolidation and analysis easier.