Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a system every Organisation or Small Medium Enterprise needs today. Logstail.com today offers Log Management that suits the needs of our clients. But the log files produced from your systems have a big value from the security standpoint also. A well-orchestrated SIEM can help you detect hacker attempts that want to cause harm to your organization’s resources. In this article, we will briefly explain what is a SIEM and which are the main differences from our Log Management Platform.
What is a SIEM?
A major challenge today for businesses is to be prepared to defend from cyber-attacks which are continually evolving as well as prevent them. It is difficult to fully automate the security mechanism due to a series of factors like the high complexity of the architectures, the number of systems or the lack of expertise. Systems produce a high number of log files which are nearly impossible to be analyzed by humans in real-time.
Here comes in handy the term Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM). The SIEM is essentially the combination of the SIM and SEM and it 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.
SIEM is a system that incorporates a series of technologies: Log Management Systems, Security Event Management, Security Information Management, and Security Event Correlation. Whether to protect general IT infrastructure, hospitality, healthcare, or energy information, or prevent threats and data breaches, SIEM has become crucial for every enterprise.
In essence, SIEM is a management layer above a company’s existing systems and security controls that provides a broad yet comprehensive way to view and analyse all of a company’s activity from a single interface. A key advantage to SIEM is that security analysts have the ability to search for security threats in real-time, rather than devoting time to search individual security products or systems.
And because many companies want to avoid the administrative cost of deploying and maintaining a SIEM, they choose to move from traditional on-premise SIEM solutions to cloud-based SIEM.
Which are the capabilities of a SIEM?
The capabilities of a SIEM today are varying depending on the specific use cases of the company. Mainly we can divide the SIEM’s capabilities into four layers:
- Data management layer
- Monitoring layer
- Workflow layer
- User Interaction layer
Initially, in the Data management layer, the solution is built around a big data architecture, a compute-and-storage architecture that collects and manages large security data sets for indexing and search, enabling real-time data analytics. This layer includes data collection, aggregation, correlation and analysis, storage, and retention.
In the monitoring layer, advanced analytic capabilities are key to identifying hidden threats. They include both scenario detection and behavioral modeling to identify and prioritize threats. It includes monitoring/auditing, analytics and threat intelligence feeds.
In the workflow-automation layer, the SIEM can automate and prioritize actions that allow workflow and productivity improvements to organize security. This procedure has a positive impact on Incident Response and Alarm Triage. This layer includes automation, threat hunting, incident response, compliance and forensics.
In the last layer of User Interaction, the tools used to provide real-time insight into patterns trends and correlations that can translate directly into the timely exposure and recognition of issues that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. The User Interaction layer includes Alerting, visualization, and reporting.
Who is SIEM for?
In today’s environment where security is essential in every phase, from software development to managerial level, a SIEM is extremely useful (or sometimes obligatory – due to compliance) for most teams inside the company:
- Operations Team – The operations or DevOps team can benefit from SIEM tools to get the company operations back online and back to business as fast as possible. They need access to logs, events, security incidents to figure out the root cause and resolve issues as quickly as possible. A good SIEM solution can provide quick answers all bundled in one platform.
- Security Team – Primarily SIEM solutions are for the security personnel of an organization because it provides them all the information, alerts and automation necessary to face all emerging threats.
- Compliance Team – The handling of data has a growing number of rules from industry and government regulations (GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS for example).
Where it differs from a Log Management platform?
Both log management and SIEM platforms are categorized under the computer security field, as they include both software and products that assist firms in managing secure information and security events.
Log Management Platform such as Logstail.com offers a wide range of capabilities such as:
- Log collection
- Centralized log aggregation
- Long term log storage and retention
- Log rotation
- Log analysis
- Log search and reporting
The common factor is the fact that logs are essential both to Log Management and SIEM. And the more types of logs from as many sources as possible that a company can feed to both platforms, the more actionable insights are generated.
Log Management is focused on infrastructure while SIEM is focused on security. Both aim at helping the company or organization to quickly solve any issues and restore its operations.
Effective SIEM solutions rely on logs from all critical components of a company’s business and network. These often include firewall logs, Intrusion Detection Systems, and antivirus logs. Also, a SIEM solution can include logs from servers, like key application and database servers along with the active directory server and web server logs. And of course, in order to acquire the full picture of the security posture of the organization, a Network Traffic Analysis must be conducted.
The effective SIEM today is in the cloud
Let’s say that your company wants to install a Log Management or a SIEM platform. The on-premise solution has to offer some advantages but many drawbacks. Especially if this company belongs to the Small Medium Enterprise category, the cloud (or hybrid cloud) solution seems to be the best approach. The benefits of this solution are the increased efficiency and cost reduction, the scalability, and the flexibility that the cloud offers. Plus the fact that you will have to hire or to train the specialised personnel needed to operate the SIEM platform (globally there is a big lack of high-skilled personnel in cybersecurity).
Logstail.com offers today a great Log Management platform with advanced features utilising the functionality of ELK Stack. Our vision is to give value to your log files and convert your data into actionable insights. The next big step for us is to offer you a cloud Security Information and Event Management platform. This new functionality will give our customers even more value from their data. We are working really hard to release it soon, but until then you can sign-up for a free demo in order to realize the power of Logstail.com Log Management platform.