Security information and event management (SIEM) is a technological approach to monitoring and analyzing security event data. SIEM platforms enable continuous, real-time monitoring of security events while tracking and logging security data in a centralized location.
Modern SIEM platforms form the foundation of successful Security Operations Centers (SOCs). The ability to gather security event logs from every corner of the enterprise in a single platform and analyze them for signs of unauthorized activity offers valuable advantages to security teams.
Security information event management systems improve threat detection and incident response in three important ways:
Gartner originally coined the term SIEM in 2005. A great deal has changed since then. Early SIEM platforms were simply log management tools that included security information management (SIM) with security event management (SEM) features.
To detect threats in the enormous volume of log data collected, early SIEM platforms used a variety of static rulesets. These rules triggered security alerts when users, applications, or other assets fulfilled specific conditions.
Here are some examples of how static SIEM 1.0 rules might work in practice:
Static rules can be effective in some scenarios, but they are difficult to configure and scale in an enterprise context. SIEM 2.0 uses emerging technology and context-driven automation to radically enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and detection capabilities of security personnel.
Here are a few ways SIEM 2.0 can transform the security capabilities of a well-equipped SOC:
SIEM platforms are vital for every organization facing a growing number of threats. An average SOC might process 10,000 alerts per day, and large enterprises typically deal with more than 150,000. This simply too many alerts for a team of security analysts to investigate manually.
As cybercriminals develop increasingly sophisticated tactics, techniques, and procedures, the importance of every single alert only increases. Security leaders know that one alert could mean the difference between detecting unauthorized activity early on and missing a catastrophic data breach entirely.
SIEM solutions give security teams a more efficient way to triage incoming alerts and investigate them effectively. Sophisticated SIEM 2.0 solutions provide additional tools for making the most of your security team’s capabilities.
SIEM technology used to be exclusive to large-scale enterprises that could afford to implement the most complex security solutions. However, technological advances and new managed service capabilities have made SIEM implementation accessible to organizations of all sizes — including small and mid-sized businesses.
Security leaders in every industry rely on SIEM technology to capture, analyze, respond, and report on security events in real-time because it dramatically improves their organization’s security posture. When implemented as part of the SOC Visibility Triad, it becomes the cornerstone of operational security excellence.
SIEM systems gather security data in the form of logs. Every asset in the enterprise tech stack generates these logs when performing routine operations. Your SIEM aggregates the log data and categorizes them so analysts can address high-severity security events first.
Capturing security event log data from every asset on the network requires the SIEM be connected to every asset on the network. SIEM implementation is the process of creating these connections so that every device and application in the organization sends valid, usable security data to the SIEM.
A typical enterprise SIEM use case scenario can involve a huge number of individual connections. You might need to connect your SIEM to:
By aggregating all of this event data and analyzing it in one place, security teams gain deep visibility and contextualized insight into the organization’s security posture and risk profile. Context is critical for discerning between harmless false positives and potentially devastating data breaches.
Your SIEM provides a single, unified solution for analyzing log data from across your organization. However, it does not come with infinite storage space for holding log data not currently in use.
Many organizations make the mistake of storing all their log data in their SIEM. While undoubtedly convenient, it’s an unsustainably expensive approach that costs more and more as the organization grows.
Some SOC personnel delete old logs to make space for new ones. This stop-gap solution can lead to significant risks — like accidentally deleting logs urgently needed to investigate a long-term security threat that has been ongoing for months.
Deploying the proper infrastructure for efficient, low-cost log management is an important part of every SIEM implementation. Security leaders that deploy efficient security log management solutions before jumping into SIEM implementation enjoy lower costs and better outcomes than those who skip this important step.
SIEM solutions pave the way to operational security excellence, giving organizations scalable threat detection and incident response capabilities while improving three core areas of SOC operations:
The global SIEM market is expected to more than double in size between 2024 and 2029, with a compound annual growth rate of 17%. Such a fast-growing market is ripe for competition, and security leaders already have many different options to choose from.
Purchasing and implementing a SIEM platform can be especially challenging for organizations that don’t have the resources and specialist talent necessary to complete the process in-house. Most organizations fall into this category — even among large enterprises.
That means it’s not just about selecting a reliable, high-quality SIEM platform. You must also select an implementation consultant who can help you through the process of preparing your systems for SIEM integration, provide specialist expertise to conduct implementation, and configure your SIEM for optimal performance moving forward.
Many security leaders choose reputable managed detection and response (MDR) vendors to deploy SIEM capabilities through SOC-as-a-service contracts. This turns SIEM implementation into a scalable, manageable project headed by product experts who have the experience necessary to guarantee a positive outcome.
When comparing SIEM vendors, look for trustworthy brands that can deliver on the most important features and functionalities:
As your organization grows, managing its security tech stack only gets more complex. You need unlimited visibility into your security posture and 24/7 alarm monitoring and response enhanced with high-impact automation and delivered by industry experts.
Lumifi’s managed detection and response solutions make best-in-class SIEM functionality available to organizations of all sizes. We’re prepared to guide you through every step of the SIEM implementation process and manage your SIEM directly from our SOC 2 Type II-certified Security Operations Center.
Learn more about our selection of ShieldVision MDR services and find out how we can help you take control of your security posture without giving up your data.