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Why Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) Is an Essential Cybersecurity Tool?

The SOAR acronym first appeared back in 2017, and it stands for Security, Orchestration, Automation, and Response. SOAR represent a rise in automated incident response and management platforms. This technology allows organizations to collect relevant data regarding security operations by applying automation and orchestration. Gartner predicted that this technology will be a turning point in the cyber world, as more and more organizations have realized the immense value of SOAR.
With the evolution and increase in cyber attacks every day, SOAR gained popularity among security analysts for its core feature of handling repetitive tasks. By helping to plan and orchestrate responses to security incidents, SOARs offer critical functionality that extends beyond that provided by security incident and event management (SIEM) platforms, a more conventional type of security tool.


Security Orchestration, Automation and Response in detail

Let’s break down the term SOAR to get a better understanding of what it actually involves:

  • Security automation

This is the automatic execution of security operations-related tasks – such as scanning for vulnerabilities or searching for logs – without human intervention. Information is automatically retrieved from advanced detection systems and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM).

  • Security orchestration

This refers to the way all security tools are connected. Even disparate security systems are integrated. In this layer, SOAR streamlines all security processes.

  • Security response

This means automation helps to define, prioritise and execute default incident response activities based on predefined policy rules. Incident response processes may be completely automated, completely manual, or a combination of both to mirror an organization’s unique business processes.

Benefits of using SOAR as an Effective Cybersecurity Tool

  • Enhancing incident response

Rapid response is vital in order to minimise the risk of breaches and limit the vast damage and disruption they can cause. SOAR helps organisations to reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) by enabling security alerts to be qualified and remediated in minutes, rather than days, weeks and months.

SOAR also enables security teams to automate incident response procedures (known as playbooks). Automated responses could include blocking an IP address on a firewall or IDS system, suspending user accounts or quarantining infected endpoints from a network.

  • Improve security operations center management with standardized processes

Using a centralized security operations center (SOC) management system, your organization can maintain better internal and regulatory compliance. Plus, using an automation platform specifically built with SOCs in mind, allows you to better prioritize and optimize alert remediation.

  • Faster detection and resolution of known and unknown threats

Responding to cyber threats in real-time requires a great deal of preparation, and with today’s evolved data threats, combating incidents without the help of AI automation is virtually unthinkable. In that regard, SOAR helps managed security service providers (MSSPs) respond to these threats quickly and effectively. Furthermore, AI-enhanced technologies are used to evaluate real-time threats, search for trends, utilize historical data to detect patterns, and isolate confirmed threats or any types of suspicious activities in a rapid-response fashion.

It’s very important to note that cyber attacks are moving at a rash speed, and cyber criminals are utilizing agile development and machine learning to strike any weaknesses and evade detection, and leaving traces. And only SOAR offers that kind of instant readiness that allows MSSPs to quickly respond in a preventive manner and learn consistent pattern behaviors.

  • Automated Security Reporting

In addition to automating security incident detection and response, SOAR platforms usually provide automated reporting features that record what happened, who did what and which steps ultimately mitigated the threat.

This data is crucial for tracking trends in security risks and response over time. It may also be useful for auditing and compliance purposes in cases where businesses are required to document their security operations.

  • Vulnerability management

SOAR platforms may also provide cataloguing of assets for a clearer visibility of their security. If any asset is vulnerable to a cyber threat, timely patching of vulnerabilities will reduce the risk of cyber-attacks on those assets. SOAR also offers integration with tools that automate the process of vulnerability management, in addition to directly fetching information about vulnerabilities by integrating with threat intelligence.

  • Unification of security tools

In order to achieve optimal efficiency, SOAR allows a swift integration of both workforce and tools, and that exact integration allows SOAR to handle tasks and processes without the need for human intervention. Machine learning is also applied to automate specific tasks, and that automation is usually applied via playbooks.

Is SOAR right for your organization?

To select a suitable SOAR solution for your business, you need to think about a variety of factors. Gartner advises that before choosing a SOAR solution, it is essential to make an assessment of the need of your security team, analyze which areas of your security operations need strengthening, and find out which SOAR solutions offer the kind of features that match your actual needs. Implementing SOAR can reduce threat response times, improve security performance and resource allocation, and create a more positive, productive environment for security professionals.

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.

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.

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.

Defining the Key Capabilities and Benefits of SIEM Solutions

Security information and event management systems have the capability of collecting security log events from numerous hosts within an enterprise and store their relevant data centrally. By bringing this log data together, these SIEM products enable centralized analysis and reporting on an organization’s security events. And that’s not everything – SIEM allows IT to monitor threats in real time and respond quickly to incidents so that a damage can be prevented. Of course, we should not take into account only the external attacks – IT needs a way to monitor user activity, so that it can minimize the risks from insider threat or accidental compromise.

Different kinds of organizations use SIEM systems for different purposes, so SIEM benefits vary across organizations. This article looks at the six top SIEM benefits.

  • Real-Time Monitoring
  • Incident Response
  • Threat Intelligence
  • Advanced Analytics
  • Advanced Threat
  • Detection

These capabilities give organizations the ability to use their SIEM for a wide range use of security use cases, as well as compliance. Let’s take a deeper look at each key capability of a SIEM solution.

  1. Real-Time Monitoring

The longer it takes to discover a threat, the more damage it can potentially inflict. IT organizations need a SIEM that includes monitoring capabilities that can be applied in real time to any data set, regardless of whether it’s located on-premises or in the cloud. In addition, that monitoring capability needs to be able to retrieve both contextual data feeds such as asset data and identity data, as well as threat intelligence feeds, which can be used to produce alerts. An SIEM is able to identify all the entities in the IT environment, including users, devices and applications as well as any activity not specifically attached to an identity. A SIEM is capable to use that data in real time to identify a broad range of different types and classes of anomalous behaviour. Once identified, that data needs to then be easily fed into workflow that has been set up to assess the potential risk to the business that anomaly might represent.

2. Incident Response

At the core of any effective incident response strategy is a robust SIEM platform that makes it possible not only to identify distinct incidents, but also provide the means to track and reassign them. SIEM is be able to provide other members of the organization with varying levels of access based on their roles. Other key capabilities include the ability to either manually or automatically aggregates events, support for application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be used to pull data from or push information to third-party systems. SIEM is also able to identify notable events and their status, to indicate the severity of events, to start a remediation process, and to provide an audit of the entire process surrounding that incident.

3. User Monitoring

User activity monitoring includes the ability to analyze access and authentication data, establish user context and provide alerts relating to suspicious behavior and violations of corporate and regulatory policies. It’s critically important when the user monitoring is extended to privileged users who are most often the targets of attacks. In fact, because of this risk, privileged user monitoring is a common requirement for compliance reporting in most regulated industries. For achieving those goals there are real-time views and reporting capabilities capable of leveraging a variety of identity mechanisms that can be extended to include any number of third-party applications and services.

4. Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence makes it easier to recognize abnormal activity such as, for example, identifying outbound connections to an external IP address. With this level of threat intelligence, analysts have the information needed to assess the risks, impact and objectives of an attack that are critical to prioritizing an appropriate response.

Threat intelligence data could be ideally integrated with machine data generated by various types of IT infrastructure and applications to create watch lists, correlation rules and queries in ways that increase the success rate of early breach detection.

5. Advanced Analytics

SIEM is able to provide advanced analytics by employing sophisticated quantitative methods, such as statistics, descriptive and predictive data mining, machine learning, simulation and optimization, to produce additional critical insights.

6. Advanced Threat Detection

Security threats continually evolve. A good SIEM solution can adapt to new advanced threats by implementing network security monitoring, endpoint detection and behaviour analytics in combination with one another to identify and quarantine new potential threats. Most firewalls and intrusion protection systems can’t provide these capabilities on their own. The goal should be not only to detect threats, but also to determine the scope of those threats by identifying where a specific advance threat may have moved to after being initially detected, how that threat should be contained, and how information should be shared.

By describing all the above mentioned SIEM features and advantages, we can conclude that SIEM is considered not only as an issue of security or technology, but as an issue of business processes and productivity! SIEM introduction should be precisely planned in order to avoid false expectations or unexpected costs later on. Our team of experienced experts is able to give you the best advice in the field of SIEM and to can support you in developing a SIEM concept in conformity with your business requirements.

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.  

How Cloud Access Control Enables Security and Innovation in the Digital Age (Part 2)

Each organisation should take into account that security must remain the cornerstone of the cloud deployment strategy. There are several forces driving big companies toward public clouds – reduced costs, scalability, reliability, efficiency and the ability to attract and retain technical staff. But in most cases, the success or failure of any project is measured by the level of security that is integrated to safeguard an organization’s data and that of its customers.

In the past two years, several high-profile security breaches have resulted in the theft or exposure of millions of personal customer data records. The headlines are a constant reminder of the disruptive impact on a business in the wake of a breach. Concern about the security of public cloud technology itself, however, is misplaced. Most vulnerabilities can be traced back to a lack of understanding of cloud security and a shortage of the skills necessary to implement effective security measures.

Security should need not altogether be viewed as an impediment to migration efforts, but it must not be swept aside due to pressure or demands from business units. While companies cannot prevent every attack, building cloud security awareness at the right levels of the organization from the outset is a first line of defence for blocking the malicious activity that often precedes a breach.

Which are the biggest security threats of the companies when using cloud technologies?

1. Data breaches

The risk of data breach is always a top concern for cloud customers. It might be caused by an attacker, sometimes by human error, application vulnerabilities, or poor security practices. It also includes any kind of private information, personal health information, financial information, personally identifiable information, trade secrets, and intellectual property.

2. Data Loss

Data loss may occur if the user hasn’t created a backup for his files and also when an owner of encrypted data loses the key which unlocks it. As a result it could cause a failure to meet compliance policies or data protection requirements.

3. Ransomware attack

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s data or block access to it. The attack leaves you with a poor opportunity for get your files back.  One of them is to pay the ransom, although you can never be sure that you will receive the decryption keys as you were promised. The other option is to restore a backup.  

4. Account hijacking

It happens, when an attacker gets access to a users’ credentials, he or she can look into their activities and transactions, manipulate the data, and return falsified information.

5. System vulnerabilities
System vulnerabilities can put the security of all services and data at significant risk. Attackers can use the bugs in the programs to steal data by taking control of the system or by disrupting service operations.

6. Advanced persistent threats (APT)

An advanced persistent threat is a network attack in which an unauthorized person gets access to a network and stays there undetected for a long period of time. The goal of such kind of attacks is to steal data, especially from corporations with high-value information.

7. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks

Denial-of-service attacks typically flood servers, systems or networks and make it hard or even impossible for legitimate users to use the devices and the network resources inside.

How does the Cloud Infrastructure protect the business from the dangers?

Nowadays most companies are still in a process of searching for the right formula and developing successful strategy to prevent all of the above mentioned threats.  What they should do is to adhere to strong security requirements and proper authorization or authentication.

In the report, “Assessing the Risks of Cloud Computing,” Gartner strongly recommends engaging a third-party security firm to perform a risk assessment.  Coding  technology is also a way to  give  no  chance  to  hackers to  hijack  your  computer  or spread ransomware infection. Data  is  encoded  in  your  computer  and  the  backup  data  is  uploaded directly to the cloud storage locations.

Another effective way to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and apps is to ensure secure access with modern, mobile multi-factor authentication. Cloud security is enhanced with compliance regulations which keep high standards of privacy and protection of personal data and information. In such situation PATECCO recommends organizations to focus on Cloud Access Control, Privileged Access Management, Role Based Access Control, GRC, SIEM, IGI.

It’s important to have a full understanding of the services available to protect your infrastructure, applications, and data. And it’s critical for teams to show that they know how to can use them for each deployment across the infrastructure stack. By implementing security measures across your deployments, you are minimizing the attack surface area of your infrastructure.

How to Detect and Protect the Sensitive Data in the Cloud

As already mentioned in the previous article, Cloud computing has transformed the way organizations approach IT, enabling them to adopt new business models, to provide more services and productivity, and reduce IT costs. Cloud computing technologies can be implemented in different kinds of architectures, under different service and deployment models. At the same time they can also coexist with other technologies and software design approaches. Looking at the broad cloud computing landscape continuing to grow rapidly, it becomes obvious that access to sensitive data in the cloud should be properly monitored and controlled.

Cloud services facilitates data management and applications across a network linked through mobile devices, computers or tablets. But these networks can pose significant challenges for front-end security in the cloud computing environment. For overcoming any threats, there is a need of multiple levels of user-enforced security safeguards which are able to restrict access, authenticate user identity, preserve data integrity and protect the privacy of individual data. When implementing appropriate safeguards, policies and procedures, private data can be securely stored and accessed in third-party cloud servers by a network of users.

Best practices for monitoring access to sensitive data in the cloud

If compared to on premise data centres, cloud-based infrastructures are actually not that easy to monitor and manage. For providing high-quality data protection in the cloud, there is a number of measures which must be undertaken

1. Provide end-to-end visibility

The lack of visibility across the infrastructure is one of the little disadvantages of the cloud-based solutions. Consequently, there is a need of ensuring end-to-end visibility into the infrastructure, data, and applications. The implementation of an efficient identity and access management system can help limiting the access to critical data. It also makes it clear to understand who exactly accesses and works with your business’s critical data. A high-level granularity of access management allows granting elevated privileges only to users that actually need it.

2. Implement Privileged Access Management to Secure access to valuable information

Privileged Account Management (PAM) systems are designed to control access to highly critical systems. PAM security and governance tools support companies in complying with legal and regulatory compliance. Their capabilities allow privileged users to have efficient and secure access to the systems they manage. Besides it offers secure and streamlined way to authorize and monitor all privileged users for all relevant systems.


3. Monitor implementation and audit access to sensitive data

It is necessary to conduct periodic audits to identify security vulnerabilities and monitor compliance. Continuous monitoring and auditing of the cloud infrastructure allows detecting possible attacks and data breaches at an early stage. PAM capabilities will also help you to successfully monitor sensitive data and manage access to it.

4. Use RBAC to Control what users have access to.

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method of restricting network access based on the roles of individual users within an enterprise. RBAC lets employees have access rights only to the information they need to do their jobs and prevents them from accessing information that doesn’t pertain to them. An employee’s role in an organization determines the permissions that individual is granted and ensures that lower-level employees can’t access sensitive information or perform high-level tasks.

5. Use SIEM Technology

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. 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 easy.

SIEM supports compliance reporting and incident investigation through analysis of historical data from these sources, as well.

6. Build an efficient incident-response strategy.

It is recommended to make a plan which would help you react immediately to a possible security incident in an adequate manner. It should include several important steps such as determining authority to call an incident, establishing clearly defined team roles and responsibilities, establishing communications procedures and responsibilities, increasing end user awareness and deploying the Right Tools.

All the above mentioned points, concerning implementing appropriate safeguards, policies and procedures, are a good prerequisite for keeping private data securely stored and a protected.

How SIEM Improves Your Organisation’s Cyber Security?

Modern businesses operate under constant cyberattack. Cybercriminals of every type continually launch ransomware, viruses, phishing, and denial-of-service attacks that threaten your computer systems and network infrastructure. That puts your IT and security teams always on defence, without the time and expertise to proactively detect and respond to advanced threats. And when you are on defence, just a single mistake can lead to devastating results. Organizations of all sizes are at risk. They need to protect intellectual property, personal identifiable information, and other sensitive data from being compromised or stolen.

To ensure data and sensitive information always remain safe, companies should develop security strategies that use a Security Information and Event Management system (SIEM). A SIEM is a core technology of a Security Operations Center (SOC) commonly understood as a team of security experts using a diverse range of advanced tools to thoroughly monitor a company’s systems and network infrastructure for attack threats, including those of malicious insiders.

Why do you need a SIEM?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software is a foundational component used in SOC. It is a collection of tools that provide a combination of Security Information Management (SIM), also known as log management, and Security Event Management (SEM), also known as the correlation engine. By integrating these two capabilities,  SIEM offers actionable intelligence derived from a high volume of diverse log data collected from various endpoints (laptops, desktops, servers), security devices (firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention services), applications, databases, and network elements (switches, routers).

A SIEM can be a powerful tool to detect cyberattacks and insider threats if it is well architected, fully implemented, and finely tuned. But a SIEM’s success depends on much more than selecting the correct piece of software. It also relies on the skillset of those who continuously manage it, as well as the best practices used to do so.

Stages of SIEM Implementation

Every stage of SIEM implementation imposes its own layer of complexity.

1. Deployment: A SIEM is known for its long deployment cycles, and functions effectively when it is connected to sufficient information sources. While an initial deployment may sound simple – i.e., just connect the SIEM to raw log sources and run searches over the resulting log corpus – it rapidly grows more challenging. Once your team deploys agents and activates normalization engines that convert raw logs into structured data, unanticipated mis-categorizations are common. During this entire extended deployment period, your company is not fully protected by its new SIEM.

2. Administration: A SIEM requires constant tuning. This goes for rules, algorithms, and agents. Rules must be regularly updated, and vendors frequently issue patches and updates for device and endpoint software. Each time this happens the agent needs to match the supported version or risk getting thousands of false positives.

3. Operations: A SIEM generates a large volume of alerts and notifications. It requires 24×7 monitoring and response to efficiently and promptly process all notifications.

Benefits:

Security Information and Event Management can be such a useful tool for safeguarding businesses of all sizes and IT systems due to several key benefits:

  • SIEM tools can dramatically reduce the impact of a security breach on your business breaches by providing a fast response to any security events detected.
  • SIEM help 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 easy.
  • SIEM ensures real-time visibility by proactive monitoring of networks for suspicious activity in real-time.
  • SIEM keeps your business productive by defending your IT infrastructure against malicious attacks.
  • SIEM provides increased efficiency due to better reporting, log collection, analysis and retention.

By describing all the above mentioned SIEM features and advantages, we can conclude that  SIEM is considered not only as an issue of security or technology, but as an issue of business processes and productivity! SIEM introduction should be precisely planned in order to avoid false expectations or unexpected costs later on. Our team of experienced experts is able to give you the best advice in the field of SIEM and to can support you in developing a SIEM concept in conformity with your business requirements.