January 24, 2019 / by J Burks / In siem , security-analytics /

How SIEM can protect your business from cyberthreats

In today’s demanding security landscape, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) has become an essential part of every SOC’s toolbox, helping businesses across the globe to protect themselves from cyber threats.

What SIEM systems do

The core purpose of every SIEM system is to consolidate large volumes of data and enable SOC teams to make use of it. This information comes from a variety of sources, such as log files and threat intelligence providers. Given the variety of vendors and products in use in any given SOC, each source typically provides this information in its own format — which means that assembling and analyzing it manually is time-consuming and impractical.

While the task of turning all that information into something usable may sound daunting for a human, it’s no challenge for a good SIEM solution. Armed with an extensive array of filters, a SIEM solution can accept a constant stream of data forwarded to it from multiple sources. As it parses the data, it all gets filed into a centralized database for analysis. It can also help you with analysis, using machine learning techniques to automatically find correlations between data gathered from a variety of sources. Compared with traditional, fully manual analysis techniques, this approach saves time and gives analysts the freedom to focus on more pressing matters that require their attention.

How SIEM can help you

SIEM doesn’t stop at just storing and correlating data. For example, the ability to import and store large volumes of data over time gives you the opportunity to incorporate historical analysis into your security strategy. By comparing recent data to data gathered weeks, months or even years ago, your analysts can identify trends and easily spot outliers. Additionally, profiling features let you develop and update statistical models based on a variety of data. These models can then serve as baselines for normal activity, so outlier detection is quick and reliable.

Using a SIEM solution makes it easier to detect, respond to and understand a wide range of threats, including those that rely on tactics like phishing and social engineering. A carefully targeted phishing attack, for instance, may be difficult to spot if the attacker uses the victim’s personal email address. While the malicious email is nowhere to be found on your organization’s mail server, a SIEM solution can reveal the attack and give you the information you need to put an end to it quickly. A similar approach is also effective against advanced persistent threats — with years of security data on hand and a SIEM system to make sense of it all, your SOC team can rapidly spot threats that would once have gone undetected for months or years. This is a vast improvement over traditional systems, which often were wholly unable to detect APTs. With SIEM, you can also make the most of resources like external threat intelligence. A SIEM solution can use this external data to enrich your internal data, adding context and making it easier to derive actionable insights from the data you already have. This integrated approach to data collection and analysis strengthens your organization’s defenses, making it possible to respond to emerging threats efficiently and effectively.

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Advanced technologies featured in modern solutions can go even further in simplifying security operations in your organization. Today’s next-generation SIEM systems can harness the power of machine learning for malware detection, working in concert with antivirus software to make investigating malware-related incidents fast, easy and rewarding. Built-in automation cuts response times down from hours to seconds: an endpoint can be isolated from the network as soon as suspicious activity is detected, reducing the pressure on analysts and giving them the freedom to focus on other critical tasks.

Using versus having

As with any security technology, it’s important to keep in mind that merely having a SIEM system in place doesn’t make your organization invincible. For your SIEM solution to be effective, it needs a steady stream of reliable data, as well as a team of trained analysts who know how to interpret the data and respond appropriately. A security information and event management solution can’t magically replace your SOC staff, but it can make them more productive and efficient. Given a large volume of data and an expert team of analysts, SIEM can really shine.

Know more on how to select the right security tool for your business.

DNIF: a next-gen SIEM solution

If you’re considering adding SIEM to your SOC’s toolbox, DNIF’s modernized storage architecture and near-instant query response offer you significant advantages over more traditional SIEM systems. It also uses machine learning for intrusion detection; paired with security automation features, DNIF can respond to many security events without requiring human intervention, reducing the pressure on your analysts. There’s never been a better time to get started using SIEM.

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