The Five Most Common Enterprise SIEM Errors Today

The Five Most Common Enterprise SIEM Errors Today

What are the five most common enterprise SIEM errors? How can you avoid them or otherwise mitigate them? What can this do to make your business-oriented cybersecurity stronger overall? 

Of all the branches of enterprise cybersecurity, SIEM possesses a reputation for complications. Indeed, SIEM requires more attention and management than cybersecurity solutions of the past. However, the benefits of SIEM prove overwhelming, especially in the modern discourse of detection and remediation. It can help you locate missing databases, provide you with improved threat intelligence, and scan your logs for dwelling threats.

Your enterprise needs SIEM, and to accomplish that you need to avoid common enterprise SIEM errors. Fortunately, you can prevent these common enterprise SIEM errors with few changes in strategy. Here’s how: 

The Five Most Common Enterprise SIEM Errors     

1. The Biggest SIEM Errors Begin With Not Deploying It

The most dangerous and most pernicious enterprise SIEM errors begin with outright failing to deploy it. In fact, both small businesses and enterprises alike fall prey to this mistake. Many enterprises believe SIEM is too expensive, resource consumptive, or time-consuming to deploy. Instead, they stick to legacy solutions or solutions which don’t provide the right threat detection. 

Unfortunately, small businesses tend to suffer the most severe consequences of enterprise SIEM errors like this. Often, small businesses believe the media attention on large business data breaches means hackers only target such enterprises; why would they bother with a smaller target. Yet between 58% and 61% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Additionally, 60% of data breaches end up causing the attacked small business to permanently close about six months later.

Here’s why this happens: most enterprises believe they can still deflect cyber attacks with their digital perimeter. In reality, digital perimeters can’t defend against 100% of all cybersecurity threats. Eventually, a hacker or threat will breakthrough and begin causing damage. With the threat detection provided by SIEM, these attacks can linger for months if not years, compounding the attack. As a result, this can make the reputational damage, loss of customers, and compliance fees much worse.

Thankfully, the solution here is simple—deploy SIEM on your network. Of course, you shouldn’t rush this decision. Instead, you need to determine your individual use-case and find the solution which fits your needs.  

2. Using SIEM Without the Right Intelligence

Another source of enterprise SIEM errors is the failure to incorporate sufficient threat intelligence or human intelligence. More importantly, many enterprise SIEM errors involve failure to integrate threat intelligence and human intelligence. 

Regardless of your SIEM solution, you need next-generation threat feeds to supply your IT security team with fresh intelligence. This intelligence helps your team to modify their detection and remediation efforts, allowing them to better defend your enterprise. 

Additionally, you do need a human IT security team to facilitate your SIEM solution. SIEM can perform many functions autonomously, it does need human intelligence to perform the majority of the investigative analysis. Also, only humans can truly conduct an incident response with coordinated efforts among other departments. They can also change the correlation rules to fit with the threat intelligence received by the SIEM threat feeds. 

Of course, other enterprise SIEM errors involve issues with action and alert intelligence. Legacy SIEM solutions, in particular, have a reputation for false positives. These false positives occur when the security correlation tool mistakes legitimate activities as security incidents. As a result, your IT security team wastes time and resources investigating a non-existent threat. No wonder so many IT security members undergo burnout. 

To deal with these problems, you need a next-generation SIEM solution which can provide your alert contextualization. Contextualization presents data on each alert including the users involved, the time of the incident, etc. With this information in hand, your IT team can determine whether the alert constitutes a false positive or merits further investigation. 

Also, modern SIEM can provide your team with actionable insights. If your team determines the alert to indicate a legitimate security incident, they can follow the actionable insights to quickly remediate or mitigate it. 

3. Rushing Your Enterprise’s SIEM Deployment

None of the enterprise SIEM errors prove quite as insidious as the temptation to rush into their deployment. Enterprises become tempted to feed your SIEM security-related data results to get more accurate alerts. 

However, as a result, enterprises keep trying to deploy SIEM across their networks all at once. This causes a massive data influx, leaving your IT team scrambling. Unfortunately, more information can create more alerts and thus more false positives and investigations. It can also make setting up correlation rules much more difficult.  

Instead, your enterprise needs to judiciously pick the most sensitive areas of your network which require greater visibility. You can then deploy your enterprise’s SIEM solution in those areas first to observe your correlation rules in action. Thus, you can observe potential issues and unique normalization processes before you expanding on it.

4. Incorrect Correlation Rules

We alluded to enterprise SIEM errors like this above, but it requires a deeper dive. As a rule (pun intended), SIEM relies on its correlation and log collection rules for optimal performance. After all, your correlation rules determine what your solution considers security events and alert thresholds. Poor correlation rules cause alert fatigue through more false positives. Alternatively, strong correlation rules can help streamline your alerts and facilitate prompt investigation and remediation.  

In addition, your log collection rules determine how and from where you draw security data. As discussed above, optimized SIEM draws security event data from only key network areas. Therefore, your IT security team needs to enact strong and accurate correlation rules. More importantly, they need to consistently evaluate these correlation rules to make sure they remain accurate. As you expand your SIEM’s reach, as your network scales, and as new databases form, you need correlation rules to match. 

5. Enterprise SIEM Errors Result from Visibility Issues

SIEM needs to facilitate your visibility. In fact, your cybersecurity needs strong visibility to function properly; you cannot protect what your can’t see, as the common saying goes. As an example, your SIEM solution can’t fix vulnerability issues if your enterprise can’t detect them. Also, how can you mitigate dwelling threats if you can’t find them? 

Next-generation SIEM uses its log management to help find new areas of the network and record the activity of databases. It shines a light on the darkest areas of your IT infrastructure and brings them under the watchful eye of your cybersecurity. 

You can learn more about enterprise SIEM errors in our 2019 Buyer’s Guide or our Vendor Map

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