Businesses today face multiple cybersecurity threats. SIEM enables organizations to better monitor and detect threats by collecting and analyzing log data in a centralized location.
Security teams can then respond to threats quickly. Choosing a SIEM solution with customizable, predefined correlation rules and a dashboard that displays real-time data visualizations is essential.
Security Operations Center (SOC)
SOC teams analyze technology infrastructure 24/7/365 to spot anomalies that might signal a cyberattack. They use security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to aggregate log data from multiple sources, including host systems, networks, cloud resources, applications, security devices, antimalware and antivirus software, threat intelligence platforms, and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA). This data is then analyzed using customizable, predefined correlation rules, which help filter out false positives and prioritize events by severity.
The SOC team also reduces the organization’s attack surface by implementing vulnerability assessment solutions, patching system software and operating systems, identifying misconfigurations, and installing and deploying patches and updates to keep the business secure. They are also responsible for minimizing the exposure of sensitive consumer information and reporting breaches to regulators.
A SOC’s greatest asset is its team of security experts who oversee protective software and set priorities. After a cyberattack, the SOC responds quickly to limit damage and protect consumers by shutting down affected systems, disconnecting compromised endpoints, suspending accounts, disconnecting mobile acquisition hardware, deleting infected files, and running forensic analysis software to identify vulnerabilities that may have contributed to the breach. They are also tasked with restoring systems to normal operations with minimal disruption to the business. This includes wiping and reconnecting disks, resetting identities, restarting applications, and cutting over to backup systems.
So, what is SIEM in cybersecurity? SIEM collects data from servers, systems, and security devices across the network and collates it in a centralized platform. The system then analyzes the data to find patterns. If the design appears to be a threat, it alerts security staff to investigate further. This information can help a company identify and respond to a cyber attack, potentially preventing further damage.
Detecting threats requires more than just identifying signs of malicious activity—it’s also about understanding an attacker’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to prevent them from returning. The latest SIEM solutions leverage machine learning to understand the TTP of attacks, enabling defenders to detect and respond to them more effectively.
TTP-based detection also reduces the number of false positive alerts that security teams must receive. For example, an SIEM solution with artificial intelligence can automatically determine whether a user has entered the wrong password multiple times or is trying to download illegal files. This can reduce the number of security alerts that users receive and prevent them from desensitization to the alerts.
To further reduce the volume of alerts, a modern SIEM solution should have pre-processing capability that filters out irrelevant log data. The solution should also provide a unified report that addresses all logged security events. This helps to streamline workflow, allowing security staff to focus on serious threats.
Identify your organization’s specific security needs and requirements before selecting and deploying an SIEM solution. Ensure it provides real-time, bird’s-eye monitoring and a clear path to scale functionality as your business grows or matures. Evaluate partnering with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to support and maintain your SIEM deployment.
The most valuable capability of a SIEM is event correlation. It enables IT teams to identify patterns and relationships that indicate the presence of a cyber threat or an incident that requires action.
A SIEM ingests log data from multiple sources, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software. Then, it sorts and indexes the data for searches and event connections. It also identifies vulnerabilities and suspicious events by applying predefined rules or machine learning algorithms to the data.
Detection capabilities include detecting attack patterns like lateral movement and identifying critical assets within the network. Next-generation solutions can go beyond relying on rules and correlation to learn from data to detect anomalies automatically. They can also integrate with SIEM platforms to perform automated actions like containing infected devices or launching a targeted response. This significantly improves the mean time to detect and reduces the time to resolution for IT security teams.
As cybersecurity tools become more complex, enterprises need a way to identify and interpret the alerts they generate. The volume of security data produced can overwhelm understaffed IT security teams. Without the ability to quickly analyze this data, analysts cannot detect abnormal behaviors that could indicate an active attack or threat.
A good SIEM solution will have a fast search engine that can process massive amounts of event data to surface security incidents and anomalies. The system should also be able to prioritize log sources to reduce processing and storage costs by indexing the most important fields for use by the rules engine and familiar analyst searches. This will help prevent overtaxing the system from a performance perspective.
Another critical detection capability is monitoring and detecting changes in normal behavior over time. This is accomplished by establishing a baseline of activity in the technology infrastructure and then identifying deviations that could indicate a potential security incident. For example, if an administrator tries to log in to a critical application 100 times in 10 minutes, that could mean a brute force attack.
Using automated processes for detecting and responding to threats can significantly reduce the time attackers have to impact business operations and data integrity. The best solutions will also be able to integrate with other security tools and platforms to automate responses to some attacks, such as ransomware.