Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software has been in use in various guises for over a decade and has evolved significantly during that time. SIEM solutions provide a holistic view of what is happening on a network in real-time and help IT teams to be more proactive in the fight against security threats.
What is unique about SIEM solutions is that they combine Security Event Management (SEM) - which carries out analysis of event and log data in real-time to provide event correlation, threat monitoring an incident response - with Security Information Management (SIM) which retrieves and analyzes log data and generates a report. For the organization that wants complete visibility and control over what is happening on their network in real-time, SIEM solutions are critical.
How Does SIEM Work?
SIEM software works by collecting log and event data that is generated by host systems, security devices and applications throughout an organization's infrastructure and collating it on a centralized platform. From antivirus events to firewall logs, SIEM software identifies this data and sorts it into categories, such as malware activity, failed and successful logins and other potentially malicious activity.
When the software identifies activity that could signify a threat to the organization, alerts are generated to indicate a potential security issue. These alerts can be set as either low or high priority using a set of pre-defined rules. For example, if a user account generates 20 failed login attempts in 20 minutes, this could be flagged as suspicious activity, but set at a lower priority as it is most likely to be a user that has forgotten their login details. However, if an account experiences 120 failed login attempts in 5 minutes this is more likely to be a brute-force attack in progress and flagged as a high severity incident.
The Benefits of Using SIEM
SIEM solutions provide a powerful method of threat detection, real-time reporting and long-term analytics of security logs and events. This tool can be incredibly useful for safeguarding organizations of all sizes.
Benefits of SIEM include:
- Increased efficiency
- Preventing potential security threats
- Reducing the impact of security breaches
- Reducing costs
- Better reporting, log analysis and retention
- IT compliance
Because SIEM solutions are able to collect event logs from multiple applications and devices, they allow IT staff to identify, review and respond to potential security breaches faster. Identifying a threat in its early stages ensures that the organization suffers only minor impact if any at all.
In a nutshell, SIEM allows IT teams to see the bigger picture by collecting security event data from multiple sources in one place. A single alert from an antivirus filter may not be a cause of panic on its own, but if traffic anomaly alerts are received from the firewall at the same time, this could signify that a severe breach is in progress. SIEM collects all of these alerts in a centralized console, allowing fast and thorough analysis.
SIEM is Great but Risk-Adaptive is Better
SIEM’s ability to bring together security tools and give a comprehensive look at real-time threats as they happen is dependent on static rules. Many bad actors have learned how to get by these rules whether by evasion techniques or otherwise.
With a Forcepoint’s Dynamic Data Protection, security teams can forget broad, sweeping rules and instead rely on adaptive security informed by behavior-centric analytics. Dynamic Data Protection uses variable risk-scoring to give continuous and proactive security enforcement with individualized security controls. With Dynamic Data Protection’s automated policy enforcement, security teams can reduce manual-decision making and overall alert volume to achieve a more productive and secure organization.