Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions have been around for years, helping to identify and escalate critical security events. SIEM solutions have become integral to many organizations’ security portfolios. In fact, according to the 2021 SIEM Report by Cybersecurity Insiders, 74 percent of respondents ranked SIEM as very to extremely important to their organization’s security posture. SIEM solutions show every sign of remaining prevalent for years to come, with 68 percent of respondents already using SIEM, and 22 percent planning to incorporate it in the future. So what makes SIEM such an effective tool and why should you be using it? In this blog, we’ll go over three key benefits of SIEM, and the impact they can have on your overall security stance.
1. Better Visibility into Threats.
Since organizations have so many different types of assets that are creating constant streams of data, most security teams get seemingly endless alerts of security events. Not only are these notifications endless, they also often come in different formats and with few details. While many of these alerts will end up being meaningless notifications, there are also true threats that could lead to or cause serious damage if not attended to. But determining what each event is takes an investigation, and without proper context, it’s difficult to know which are more likely to be a true threat. Not only that, data feeds come in different formats, so it takes time to figure out what event you’re being notified of.
A SIEM takes these vast data feeds and aggregates, normalizes, and interprets them. It translates data from diverse streams into a common, readable format, and provides full event summaries that contain information including the type of event that occurred, where it happened, and who initiated it. Additionally, by centralizing these data streams, it is easier to find correlating events, which show how a single event can be related to other logged events. Having this further insight provides more evidence for analysts investigating an event. Providing clear information and adding context allows security teams to more confidently determine if an event is a true threat, which may be evidenced by 68% of respondents of the 2021 SIEM Report citing a reduction in security breaches.
2. Faster Detection and Response.
When it comes to cybersecurity, time is of the essence. The longer an infection lingers, the more damage it can do. Many SIEMs have real time detection, rapidly processing event data and looking for threats from the different assets within an IT environment. 84 percent of respondents said that security events are detected within hours, and more than half (55 percent) reported detection within minutes.
However, detection is only half the battle. Once an event is discovered, the right person needs to be notified in order to investigate whether it’s a benign event or a real threat. Many SIEM solutions have automated escalation, with notifications rapidly sent to exactly the right security team members, allowing them to quickly prevent or neutralize threats. If it’s determined an event poses real risk, a course of action can be taken to work the issue to resolution. The combined ability to both swiftly detect threats and notify the appropriate personnel with actionable insight makes it clear why 76% of respondents reported that SIEM improved their ability to detect threats.
3. More Efficient Security Operations.
As mentioned earlier, a SIEM can consolidate any number of data streams, enabling event correlation. Some SIEM tools, like Event Manager, even allow for integration of unique or unusual data sources, like a homegrown database. This also enables more centralized management, allowing a SIEM to become an organization’s primary security monitoring tool.
Businesses regularly add more tools, increasing complexity and causing console fatigue for security teams having to click back and forth between screens. Integrating these tools with a SIEM makes it easier for organizations to add more resources without dramatically increasing the workload. Respondents to the 2021 SIEM Report reported integrating multiple assets, including intrusion prevention and detection systems, endpoint detection and response solutions, next-generation firewalls, and anti-malware tools. Being able to monitor these resources from a primary dashboard streamlines security and demonstrates how SIEM solutions can scale as a company continues to grow.
Finding a SIEM that Suits Your Needs
Of course, these are just a few of the ways that SIEM can help bolster security. Other benefits respondents noted included better threat analysis, reduced staff workload through automation, better reporting of threat management, and better collection of threat data. Since SIEM solutions have been around for some time, there are plenty of options available, so no matter your organizations size, budget, or requirements, there is a SIEM solution that is right for you.