6 Enterprise SIEM Questions (You Were Afraid to Ask)

5 Enterprise SIEM Questions (You Were Afraid to Ask)

The editors at Solution’s Review constantly proclaim the evolution of the cybersecurity paradigm. In the earliest days of Information Security (InfoSec), professionals emphasized prevention. Keeping databases and digital assets safe, so the experts said, simply required erecting a strong digital perimeter with powerful firewalls. The threats stayed outside the network and only legitimate actors or programs entered; it couldn’t be more simple.

However, this paradigm no longer reflects the modern threat landscape enterprises face every day. Hackers frequently update their threats to penetrate enterprises’ digital perimeter or evade their initial detections. The proliferation of fileless malware alone should convince enterprises that prevention can’t protect them.

Therefore, threat detection and remediation takes especial prominence in modern cybersecurity. Moreover, enterprises need process and analyze their data logs (which could total in the terabytes) for security events. These can correlate with possible breaches or other digital compromises.  

As a result, many enterprises turn to SIEM solutions to provide the log management, threat detection, and threat remediation they need to survive this new cybersecurity world.

However, IT decision-makers often label SIEM as complicated compared to other cybersecurity solutions. What’s worse is they may be right, it certainly raises plenty of what we can call SIEM questions: How can enterprises determine if they need a SIEM solution? How do they make sure they deploy it properly to avoid serious issues later on?  

Fortunately, we identified the 6 most common and most pertinent SIEM questions for enterprises, and provide our answers to those SIEM questions.  

What is SIEM?

A fair question; how can you know whether you should get SIEM or how to answer SIEM questions if you don’t know SIEM?

SIEM began as an amalgamation of two different cybersecurity solutions: Security Event Management (SEM) and Security Information Management (SIM).  

SEM served as a threat management tool designed primarily to fight threats in earlier network environments and incident response support. Meanwhile, SIM offered log management, historical analysis, and forensic capabilities.

In other words, SIEM combines SEM’s and SIM’s capabilities into one solution for enterprises.

Does SIEM Differ from Log Management?

Log Management solutions (LEM) allows enterprises to monitor user activities and process huge data volumes. Most SIEM solutions offer log management as one of their key capabilities, although SIEM also offers the security alerting, threat detection, threat remediation, and security event correlation necessary to cybersecurity.

Log Management isn’t enough by itself to ensure your strongest cybersecurity posture, although it is essential to ensuring regulatory compliance for many use cases.   

What Key Capabilities Should I Look for in SIEM?

Of course, no list of SIEM questions would be complete without diving into the key capabilities of the solution. While oversimplification can pose a danger to more complete understanding, we can break down SIEM’s key capabilities into three component categories: Log Management, Threat Detection, and Compliance.

Compliance

Early adoption of SIEM stemmed from a need for compliance among large enterprises. However, almost any enterprise in any vertical must meet certain regulatory mandates, whether governmental or industrial; the need for SIEM has certainly expanded in recent years.  

SIEM’s data processing and compilation allow for easy compliance reporting fulfillment. In fact, SIEM can help your enterprise achieve major compliance initiatives like HIPAA.

Log Management

As described above, log management grants enterprises the architecture to process huge amounts of data. This seemingly simple task offers huge benefits to your enterprise IT security team.

For example, your team can perform data normalization, allowing them to adequately analyze data from disparate sources around the network without hassle. Further, they can correlate security events from those disparate areas of the network, allowing them to quickly identify patterns indicative of a threat.

Additionally, log management lends your enterprise search functions (ideally with multiple query options, filters, and classification options). It should also allow for data storage, preservation, compression, encryption, and archival functions.

Threat Detection

Of course, SIEM helps enterprises improve their threat detection by improving their network visibility. The rule of thumb in cybersecurity is you cannot protect what you cannot see.

Additionally, SIEM can connect your enterprise to diverse threat intelligence feeds, which supplements your detection and response. Threat detection capabilities enable enterprises to find digital threats dwelling on their networks. They cut down on attacker dwell time, prevent private data compromises, reduce recovery expenses, and improve customer trust.            

Is SIEM Only Suitable to a Large Enterprise?

Among the most pertinent SIEM questions for small-to-medium sized businesses. Once it may have been true that only large businesses could benefit from SIEM. But with the cybersecurity paradigm changing so rapidly, SMBs need SIEM as well.

However, your enterprise IT decision-makers should take the time to investigate different SIEM solutions to make sure their capabilities fit your enterprise use-case. Some SIEM solutions may prove more suitable to your industry or your business size.

On the other hand, if you are an SMB, you may also want to ensure your SIEM solution can scale if and when your business grows.

How Should I Deploy a SIEM Solution?

Carefully and deliberately. SIEM can prove difficult to deploy properly if you try to enforce SIEM everywhere on your network all at once. Plus it can cause some serious adoption issues and possible integration issues, overwhelming your IT security team.

Therefore, you should prioritize your SIEM solution deployment. Pick your most precious, valuable, and sensitive databases and deploy the solution there first. Monitor how the solution fits your enterprise network, and determine where adjustments might prove necessary. From there, deploying out to the rest of your databases shouldn’t pose as much of a challenge.        

What Will SIEM Require?

Many enterprises ask SIEM questions, but few remember to ask this.

All of cybersecurity is a two-way street. Having the right solution absolutely constitutes half of the equation. For the other half, however, your IT security team and your employees must participate in its optimal performance.

SIEM requires good correlation rules for its security alerts; your IT security team must monitor and update these correlation rules on a regular basis. Additionally, you need to ensure your SIEM solution integrates with your other cybersecurity solutions; an integration issue could result in greater costs and security holes.

But beyond that, your employees need to embrace cybersecurity best practices. Regular cybersecurity training should become a major part of your employees’ skills development programs.  

We hope these help answer your SIEM questions. If you’d like to learn more, you can always download our SIEM Buyer’s Guide!

 

 

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner

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