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Security, information, and event management; SIEM tech is an exploding $2 billion technology industry. But what is a SIEM and why is it integral to your security strategy? Why is it one of the most popular IT procurements in 2022 and beyond? We’ll break down everything in this 2-minute read.

What is a SIEM?

In short, SIEM software combines events, log data and security alerts from multiple sources into a single platform for better analysis and response.

SIEM tools are an important part of the data security ecosystem: they aggregate data from multiple systems. SIEM collects security data from network devices, servers, domain controllers, and more. SIEM stores, normalises, aggregates, and applies analytics to that data to discover trends, detect threats, and enable organisations to investigate any alerts. SIEM tools provide a central place to collect events and alerts.

SIEM can help you keep up with government regulations, monitor for cyberattacks and prevent data breaches. SIEM solutions can reside either in on-premises or cloud environments. Analysing all the data in real-time, SIEM solutions use rules and statistical correlations to drive actionable insight during forensic investigations. SIEM technology examines all data, sorting threat activity according to its risk level to help security teams identify malicious actors and mitigate cyber-attacks quickly. But for most businesses today operating in a hybrid and remote workforce structure, cloud deployment makes the most sense. Your security implementation partner can help you scope and plan a SIEM rollout.

Why is it integral to your security strategy?

Stemming from Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, SIEM is now an essential part of your security matrix. On an enterprise network, SIEM systems have two primary functions. First, they act as a secure and centralised point for collecting all log entries from systems such as endpoints, servers, network devices, applications, and cloud services.

The second functionality is the applied detections rules, along with machine learning, though worth noting here that not all SIEM solutions use Machine Learning, to help correlate these log entries and detect patterns of potentially malicious activity, granting unprecedented visibility of the data to help analysts detect and respond. It’s an evolution of Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM) from previous-generation systems now together in a single interface. In addition to scanning for threats, SIEM works well as a bandwidth predictor. It helps you understand the traffic in your business and plan for any infrastructure investments.

What to look for in a SIEM

There are several impressive SIEM systems in the marketplace. We recommend you look for one with the following functionality:
  • Cloud scalability: increase visibility and accelerate investigations by harnessing all data, including high-volume, unconventional sources, and years of historical context
  • Improved detection efficacy: reduce alert fatigue with high-fidelity alerting, ML-based anomaly detection
  • Max SOC velocity: optimise incident response with the power of embedded prevention and integrations across your security tools portfolio
  • Modern SIEM architecture: leverage a true hybrid + multi-cloud deployment for a highly distributed, functionally consolidated SOC
  • Monitoring of roaming clients
The speed, scalability, and untethered nature of a SIEM are probably some of the more critical considerations. This is due to the unstructured workforces of today. A cloud-based SIEM allows you to monitor traffic and events regardless of physical location for better in-network security profile.

Challenge of managing a SIEM in-house

The biggest issue we hear from customers when they use SIEM is that it’s extremely difficult to diagnose and research security events and they struggle to understand the technology as they’re security generalists. The volume of low-level data, which can easily run to tens of millions of events per day, and the high number of alerts cause a ‘needle in a haystack’ effect, often overwhelming the security team.  And that’s where Ridgewall comes in.

Ridgewall provides additional context to the data that a SIEM collects making it easier to get more value out of a SIEM by building in-depth context, insight, and adding threat intelligence into security investigations and defences. And with our experienced team of Security Analysts, we have the expertise to get the most out of the SIEM tool and make it work hard for your business.

Deploying SIEM internally requires you to hire new employees who are 100% conversant with SIEM technology. Mostly, you do this because your current IT / security team doesn’t have any specific SIEM experience. Unfortunately, these talented individuals who can address all SIEM /SOC related issues are a scarce resource, particularly now. In today’s market SOC Analysts are rare, therefore people that understand SIEM’s capability and can setup, deploy and evolve the solution are an even scarcer resource.

Even if you opt to hire a few security experts, it will be difficult to keep them in-house due to the high costs of their salaries. Although security is critical, most organisations have a limited budget and outsourcing the SIEM/SOC is a sound strategy.

If you’d like to talk to a SIEM expert about how it can form a critical part of your data security ecosystem, then reach out to Ridgewall today.

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