What Is Security Information and Event Management?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is software that improves security awareness of an IT environment by combining security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM). SIEM solutions enhance threat detection, compliance, and security incident management through the gathering and analysis of real-time and historical security event data and sources.


SIEM capabilities and applications / How SIEM works?

SIEM has a range of capabilities that, when combined and integrated, offer comprehensive protection for organizations. A SIEM supports the incident response capabilities of a Security Operations Center (SOC), which includes threat detection, investigation, threat hunting, and response and remediation activities. This is also made easier and more efficient by being brought together into one dashboard. SIEM provides enterprise security by offering enterprise visibility - the entire network of devices and apps.

A SIEM collects and combines data from event sources across an organization’s IT and security framework, including host systems, networks, firewalls and antivirus security devices. The software allows security teams to gain attacker insights with threat rules derived from insight into attacker tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and known indicators of compromise (IOC)s.

The threat detection element itself can help to detect threats in emails, cloud resources, application, external threat intelligence sources and endpoints. When an incident or event is identified, analyzed and categorized, SIEM works to deliver reports and notifications to the appropriate stakeholders within the organization. This can include user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) which analyzes behaviors and activities to monitor for abnormal behaviors which could indicate a threat. It can also detect behavior anomalies, lateral movement and compromised accounts.

This is similar to the security analytics component which detects anomalies in data to derive inform hunting for previously unseen threats.

Five benefits of a SIEM solution

1. Threat Hunting and Detection

The use of an intelligent SIEM is the key to managing the strategic, tactical and operational aspects of threat hunting – none of which can be ignored in today’s threatscape. Effective integration of SIEM as the centerpiece working with threat investigation tools is crucial to gaining improved visibility into potential threats.

2. Reduced Response Time Using Enhance Situational Awareness

SIEM can harness the power of global threat intelligence to enable rapid discovery of events involving communications with suspicious or malicious IP addresses. Attack paths and past interactions can be quickly identified, reducing response time for more rapid disposition of threats to the environment.

3. Integration & Real-time Visibility

Integration across your security infrastructure delivers a level of real-time visibility into your organization’s security posture

4. Security Staffing and Resources

Facing increased variety and volume of threats, staffing security operations teams continues to be a concern. A single SIEM server can streamline workflow using multi-source log data to generate a single report that addresses all relevant logged security event. An analyst-centric user experience offers increased flexibility, ease of customization, and faster response to investigators. Enterprises continue to seek external service support or managed services for their SIEM. Businesses with limited cybersecurity resources find SIEM’s threat management attractive to larger clients or partners.

5. Compliance Benefits

SIEM also provides beneficial compliance tasks such as simplifying audits and governance.

SIEM best practices

Set Your Scope – Determine the scope of your SIEM implementation. Build policy-based rules defining activities and logs your SIEM software should monitor. Use that policy and compare its rules to external compliance requirements to determine what type of dashboard and reporting your organization requires.

Fine-tune Correlation Rules – SIEM software presents its own set of pre-configured correlation rules. Your security team can fine-tune the software to your organization’s needs by enabling everything by default, observe the behavior, and identify tuning opportunities to increase detection efficacy and reduce false positives.

Identify Compliance Requirements – Meeting compliance requirements is an important benefit to most organizations using SIEM. An organization should analyze a software’s ability to support specific compliance mandates as required to meet organizational auditing requirements.

Monitor Access to Critical Resources – A SIEM tool should monitor various aspects of critical resources including privileged and administrative address, unusual user behavior on systems, remote login attempts and system failure.

Defend Network Boundaries – All vulnerable areas on a network should be monitored by SIEM including firewalls, routers, ports, and wireless access points.

Test Your SIEM – Important alert metrics and the need for SIEM reconfiguration can be produced when conducting test runs of your SIEM implementation and assessing how it reacts.

Implement Response Plan – Security incidents can only be dealt with in a timely manner using an incident response plan. Organizations should plan how it will alert staff following a SIEM alert.

Next gen vs legacy SIEM

SIEM has been around since 2005 but has evolved significantly since its genesis.

As technology advanced, attacks evolved and SIEM had to evolve with it, following are few such capabilities and benefits:

  • Open, ‘big data architecture’ allows quicker integration with enterprise infrastructure including cloud, on-site and BYOD which is also scalable
  • SIEM can also integrate threat intelligence from custom, open-source, and commercial sources
  • Real-time visualization tools understand the most important, high-risk activities to prioritize alerts. This includes the ability to measure status against regulatory frameworks such as PCI DSS) for risk prioritization and management
  • Behavior analytics can understand event context and recognize intent within specific scenarios. By using thiscUser Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) the software is able to highlight significant changes in behavior
  • Next-gen SIEM is also customizable to allow security teams to build tailored workflows based on their unique situation

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