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Protect Your Organization with SIEM


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Protecting Your Data: Everything You Need to Know About Today’s SIEM Technology

You have more data, from more devices, traveling across your network than ever before. So much data exists in-flight and at-rest at any given snapshot in time that it would be impossible for your IT team to parse through it all to discover and act on threats. SIEM does the dirty work for you. It aggregates event logs from all sources within your network, analyzes them, and then pinpoints and categorizes anomalies.

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Protect Your Organization with SIEM

  2. 2. 2 WHAT IS SIEM? Cyberattacks happen every 39 seconds on av- erage, according to research at the University of Maryland. Luckily for us, most attacks leverage unsophisticated brute-force methods that test systems against the most basic vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, even in 2019, systems around the globestillremainvulnerabletostraightforwardcy- berattacks. Worse, attackers can inflict substantial damage at lightning speed with only the slightest foothold into a single compromised system. On the other end of the spectrum, as software sys- tems and multi-cloud environments continue to increase in scale and complexity, attackers are us- ing a variety of increasingly sophisticated tactics to infiltrate networks and do harm. These attacks are not merely targeting the largest organizations on the planet. Every business, no matter the size or industry, is fair game. That means your busi- ness is at risk, especially during times of digital transformation. That’s where Security Information and Event Man- agement (SIEM) technology is invaluable in pro- tecting your data assets. SIEM is a real-time securi- ty management system that provides full visibility across your IT environment, including all that is occurring within your physical, cloud, and hybrid networks. It monitors everything that is going on, provides you with a history of activity, and offers that critical insight that enables you to detect threats and respond to them in real-time. Since it’s virtually impossible to mitigate all current and fu- ture cyber risks fully, a comprehensive monitoring and event management solution is a must-have. The undeniable truth is that hackers and online fraudsters aren’t going anywhere, and if any part of your network is vulnerable, they’ll find the weakness. SIEM gives you a fighting chance and allows you to stay one step ahead of them. How Does SIEM Help You Protect Your Data? You have more data, from more devices, traveling across your network than ever before. So much data exists in-flight and at-rest at any given snap- shot in time that it would be impossible for your IT team to parse through it all to discover and act on threats. SIEM does the dirty work for you. It aggre- gates the event logs from all sources within your network, analyzes them, and then pinpoints and categorizes anomalies. SIEM goes a step further than that, however. You are able to set up guidelines and processes that the SIEM will automatically follow when an anom- aly is detected. For instance, let’s say one of the anomalies is categorized as “malware.” The SIEM will detect it and then respond using the rules you haveestablished,triggeringanalertortakingsteps to thwart the activity. Some security incidents are quarantined without any human involvement - keeping your people focused on more important work. SIEM can also recognize patterns, number of events, and the timeframe of events and detect a connection between them that indicates a threat and send you an alert. The SIEM tool can then store the logs for as long as you want to hold on to them, ensuring compliance with current and future security guidelines. However, SIEM is not a perfect one-size-fits-all solution. Doing SIEM right requires significant in- vestment and organizational know-how. Ineffec- tive SIEM implementations can increase the risk to your organization. For example, Target was forced to invest over $100M to increase the security of their POS systems after their mega-breach, but al- ready had the systems in place to detect the threat that saw 40 million credit card numbers stolen.
  3. 3. 3 WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH SIEM? Challenges of SIEM SIEM technology serves as a critical component in preventing cyberattacks that could bring down your network or lead to costly lawsuits and PR disasters after breaches, but it’s not all rosy. As with all sophis- ticated technologies, SIEM presents its unique challenges: • SIEM is not cheap. You will have the initial costs of purchasing the solution and the installation of it. Then you can expect to pay for ongoing maintenance or someone to run it, which might include beefing up your staff or contracting with a provider. That can be the biggest challenge for organiza- tions, but you must weigh that cost against what a data breach could cost you. • Setting up the parameters for triggers and responses takes time. If not configured correctly, your IT team will be inundated with alerts, many of which will be false positives. That is one of the reasons why IT professionals often complain about SIEM, but if you put in the work initially, it can save so much time and effort down the road. • Results can take a while to see. It takes time to start realizing the value of SIEM. Think months, not days or weeks. Fine-tuning your SIEM system based on the individual needs of the Enterprise is critical for the long-term success and sustainability of your SIEM program. • To be effective, SIEM requires knowledgeable people managing it. That’s often the most significant and overlooked issue. Organizations don’t have someone on staff who can leverage the full value of SIEM, they don’t have the budget to hire more workforce, and lean teams don’t have the time to train multiple employees to become SIEM experts. EFFECTIVE SIEM REQUIRES A HOLISTIC, MEASURED, & TEAM-BASED APPROACH
  4. 4. 4 HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH SIEM? Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Return on Your Investment The first step is choosing a tool that meets the unique challenges and goals of your business, and that means conducting a good bit of research and sitting through plenty of sales pitches and demos. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, even beyond the tool itself, to receive the full value of your SIEM solution, you will need to: • Set explicit goals. Whether that is compliance, efficiency, or security. Know your priorities, so you can find a tool that works the way you need based on what is essential to your organization. • Ensure you have the right people. SIEM requires a dedicated effort both initially, as you set up the system, and ongoing. Your employees need the right skills and know-how to continually evaluate the solution and make adjustments and updates, as priorities and needs change. You’ll need your IT team’s buy-in and commitment to reap the full benefits of the solution. Also, remember, SIEM is a tool that can help make your IT team more efficient and your organization more secure but is not a replacement for talented employees. • Devote plenty of time upfront. The beauty of SIEM is that it can dramatically reduce time-con- suming alerts so that your IT team can focus on more value-add work, like improving your long-term security posture. However, effective automation is not possible if you don’t take the time to establish detailed specific criteria for triggering alerts and the actions the tool should take when threats are detected. Make sure you give this critical step the time and attention it deserves. SIEM is a critical tool in your organization’s toolset. SIEM excels at threat detection, enables you to re- solve issues fast, and helps you to remain compliant with industry-specific and federal regulations. It can make your organization significantly more secure while boosting the overall efficiency of your enterprise. An effective SIEM implementation might be the most crucial initiative your organization undertakes in the near-term. If you’d like help weeding through the options to find the right fit for your business, please contact me at