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How to Get the Best Value from Your SIEM

By: Scott Williamson, Vice President of Security Operations Center & Network Operations Center, Cerberus Sentinel

What SIEM Is and Why You Need IT

Security Information Event Management (SIEM) comprises a range of tools that combine security information management and security event management into a singular real-time monitoring. This allows analysis of any events occurring on your network through tracking and logging of this data. 

As a security solution that helps networks recognize potential security threats and vulnerabilities before they can cause destruction or disrupt business continuity, SIEM is essential for the incident detection and response process: it can help protect your organization from a costly data breach or malicious attack. This critical information also keeps your business compliant with local and federal authorities for auditing purposes. And it is a key part of a comprehensive approach to creating a culture of cybersecurity.

SIEM Value Blog Image

Based on filtering and results, a SIEM solution provides a wealth of information, including the following:

  • Attempts for authentication 
  • Advanced real-time threat recognition
  • Regulatory compliance auditing
  • AI-driven automation
  • Improved organizational efficiency
  • Detecting advanced and unknown threats, including

How to Make SIEM Work in Your IT Environment

SIEM solutions are central to enterprise-class security operation centers, with tools that can provide threat detection, investigation, response, and hunting in real time. But it is also a complex solution. SIEM tools create disparate reports that produce a lot of “noise,” generating raw logs with lots of data that are difficult to understand or, conversely, don’t provide enough data. It is also a potentially expensive solution, with high costs associated with installation, maintenance, and staffing (perhaps the most overlooked of all costs). Experts are needed around the clock to interpret signals from a myriad of data points and configure and fine tune alerts to detect correlated events. In a typical environment, 24x7x365 coverage requires 10 full-time employees (FTE). This is a hefty investment to make in highly specialized team members, however, and still won’t speed up the time to understand an attack in its entirety. 

Quickly understanding log data is essential to the success of your SIEM, though, so it’s important to identify a more accessible route than hiring 10 FTEs if that is not in the cards for your budget. Finding the real signal in the noise means being able to filter out irrelevant data to focus on — and properly analyze — relevant data to speed up investigations in real time. Otherwise, you are forced to cope with an incomplete picture of your network caused by a lack of data. This could lead to overlooking malicious scripts or other actionable threat intelligence. It is critical to inform your response team once a threat is discovered and to have tools on hand that enable your incident response team to address threats before or as they happen.

Building a security toolset that effectively detects and responds to security threats means knowing how to first evaluate SIEM implementations and avoid those that fail to efffectively prevent a calculated and malicious attack. Some SIEM tools are ineffective due to the following:

  • Lack of on-hand 24x7x365 support team capable of complete remediation on your behalf
  • Slow or inadequate response time due to siloing
  • Lack of telemetry
  • Siloed alert data 
  • Disparate tools managed by different teams
  • Missed alerts
  • Misinterpreted alerts due to incomplete data 

Because selecting what is right for your environment can be overwhelming and mistakes can be very costly — both to your reputation and your revenue — it’s good to know what you are getting in to when adding SIEM as a security solutions.  Extended Detection and Response, also known as XDR, can work in tandem with SIEM tools. It solves the general frustrations created by SIEM solutions that miss the mark by collecting and automatically correlating data across multiple security layers—email, endpoint, server, cloud workload, and network. This allows for faster detection of threats and improved investigation and response times through security analysis. 

SentryXDR is a unified XDR solution that prevents alert overload and breaks down silos. It gathers intelligence alerts across your entire digital estate using SIEM, endpoint monitoring, static AI, machine learning, automated custom playbooks, and human security analyst oversight, consolidating disparate datasets to provide a single, rapid, comprehensive detection and response solution. 

Once information has been correlated, SentryXDR layers in Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) technology, which facilitates rapid response processes with automated response, and the expertise of our certified security analysts. This allows for improved SIEM deployments to meet compliance mandates while preventing attacks across networks, endpoints, and all connected devices. 

SentryXDR provides:

  • Around-the-clock monitoring and response
  • AI tools: automation and machine learning
  • Human-led threat hunting
  • A deep bench of security analyst oversight

Detecting threats requires processing, correlating, and triaging data from multiple solutions using SIEM and SOAR tools. Request a consultation with one of our experts to learn more and see how you can improve your ROI on SIEM.