Changing SIEM From Reactive to Proactive with Threat Hunting

Changing SIEM From Reactive to Proactive with Threat Hunting

What does it mean to change your SIEM solution from reactive to proactive? How does threat hunting help that transition in business cybersecurity and SIEM

SIEM provides critical capabilities to organizations’ cybersecurity policies. In fact, it offers the power of effective log management; this collects security events from disparate network locations and compiles them in a centralized database. Additionally, it often normalizes this data, facilitating security analysis and monitoring. Therefore, SIEM can help find cyber incidents hiding among the security events across the IT environment. 

Moreover, upon detecting a potential security event, SIEM solutions generate a security alert. These alerts direct IT security teams to investigate and possibly discover ongoing breaches, speeding their incident response. 

However, as effective as this can prove, this still means business use SIEM reactively. What does it take to transition SIEM from reactive to proactive? 

Threat Hunting Changes SIEM From Reactive to Proactive

Here’s the problem with reactive cybersecurity; it always leaves your IT security team on the backfoot. Preventative tools like firewalls and antivirus often prove ineffective against barring malware and other external threats; thus your IT security team may face a deluge of threats on any given day. 

Also, the typical SIEM solution may generate dozens if not hundreds of alerts each day, which may stress out IT security teams. They could slog through an unknown number of false positives before ever uncovering a legitimate threat, wasting their time or resources. In other words, because SIEM is often treated as reactive rather than proactive, your IT security team faces greater challenges. 

How does threat hunting help the transition to proactive? First, by its nature, threat hunting works to discover threats prior to an alert triggering. Additionally, focusing on threat hunting changes the attitude of your cybersecurity culture. It embraces an attitude that your enterprise has already been hacked, rather than waiting for an attack. This mentally can improve your security posture and how you treat potential signs of a security incident; your team may take “unusual” occurrences much more seriously if they automatically assume it indicates a breach. 

Above all, threat hunting aggressively tracks and eliminates digital attacks in corporate networks that reduce potential data exposures and overall risk. 

How to Facilitate Threat Hunting

First, to do threat hunting optimally, you need a team of threat hunters. You can operate this out of your security operations center or in a more decentralized fashion, depending on your resources. However, you do need to invest resources to help your hunters. This may involve providing your team with the proper tools via SIEM, and it may involve more human considerations. For example, cybersecurity is a 24/7 responsibility, but humans don’t function that way. You may wish to consider flexible hours and schedules, benefits, and other perks to keep your team’s morale high. 

More technically, you need to ensure you have the tools to make threat hunting possible. This includes in-depth monitoring and patch management. Next-generation SIEM can also cut through false positives, which reduces the noise faced by many threat hunting teams. 

You can learn more about SIEM and the transition from reactive to proactive, in 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