What Is SIEM And What Is It For?
The ever-evolving information technology makes it easier to do business, however, as usual, there is another side to the coin. The constantly increasing number of information flows does not allow you to manually monitor all processes and ensure information security in the company. Without a properly configured network tracking system, the corporate network is under constant threat.
Protection systems always keep pace with the times, and now, leading antivirus developers are developing their SIEM solutions that help add another layer of protection to the network.
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Security Information and Event Management. It is a system that monitors all data flows and activities on the network, preventing cyber criminals from stealing important data. In the modern world, hackers do not act directly but try to obtain important corporate data using hidden methods, due to equipment vulnerabilities or network topology.
The principle of operation of SEIM systems is quite simple. The program collects data from various sources cyclically and analyzes them. If necessary, the system can block data transmission if it considers that the actions were unauthorized. Also, the system collects and organizes the database, analyzes user behavior, compares them with past actions, and thus highlights dangerous actions, issues warnings, and alerts. A separate stage of development is the introduction of SIEM into anti-virus solutions, thus the network perimeter becomes even more secure.
Any SIEM system consists of modules and components that are responsible for certain actions:
Access control and authentication. This module keeps track of who and when gets access to information.
DLP. Such systems track whether there have been attempts to bring important data outside the network perimeter.
IPS / IDS. The modules track network attacks and pass them on to the next level, which must fight such attacks.
Antiviruses. They send notifications about found threats to the system.
Firewall/firewall. Collect information about dangerous activities on the network, and find malware.
Equipment. Performs traffic accounting and controls user access to data streams.
The main task of SIEM is to analyze data on the network, summarize them, and compare statistics with past periods. So, for example, with a certain action, a script is launched. The system tracked its launch, and the next time this script is run, an event will be generated that will be considered suspicious. After that, the data is transferred either to the responsible employee or immediately to the anti-virus software.
What is a SIEM system for in an enterprise:
- Detection of cyberattacks, external and covert.
- Detection of point attacks.
- Detection of attempts to obtain unauthorized access to files or information streams.
- Detection of data leaks, and corporate fraud attempts.
- Finding weak points in network security.
- Detection of targeted attacks to steal corporate data.
In the cybersecurity market, there are many systems from various manufacturers. We highlight the McAfee Enterprise Security Manager solution. It is a solution from the world’s leading cybersecurity leader. In addition to all the advantages inherent in any SIEM, this solution integrates seamlessly with the company’s antivirus software, has excellent scalability, and covers the full range of tasks, thanks to the ability to connect various modules.
You can evaluate the benefits of SIEM according to such criteria.
The number of event sources that the system is capable of handling.
The more sources a system can handle, the more efficient it will be. But at the same time, it is important that each source has an individual approach. Increasing the efficiency of the system is possible by dividing events into categories, and creating separate rules for each category. After updating the network configuration, or adding equipment, categories can be updated independently of each other. The advantage, in this case, will be an automatic mode of finding changes in the network, and automatic updating of rules based on heuristic analysis and artificial intelligence. Also, the advantages of the system are multilevel analysis and multithreaded scanning. This makes the system faster, more efficient, and easier to adapt to new software.
Collecting incident statistics
The system will be effective if it is able to quickly and accurately combine, analyze and filter emerging incidents. Also, the advantage of the system is the ability to store raw events. At the same time, it is important to take into account that the speed of such event processing has little effect on the efficiency of the system. In addition, monitoring network traffic will not be deprived in such a system. You can check the effectiveness only in real mode, and sometimes manufacturers provide a trial version for such purposes.
Correlation of events
A good system is able to analyze data in real-time, and then conduct behavioral analysis and compare it with previously recorded data. A good SIEM system has manual analysis capabilities, as well as the ability to work in multi-threaded mode.
Reporting and data visualization
Reporting in SIEM systems is data displayed in tables, graphs, etc. Usually, the user can output reports in popular formats xls, pdf, rft, HTML, CSV. An advantageous difference among other systems, in this case, will be the Russified interface.
Ease of configuration and use
Also, an important criterion is a clear visual interface and a cloud-based control panel, through which an information security specialist can react to emerging events at any time. The centralized control panel also allows you to conveniently change privacy policies, templates for reports, etc.
It is also important to consider how the technical support from the manufacturer of the selected system works. Getting fast and professional support is sometimes critical.
You can evaluate a SIEM system according to the main available characteristics, after compiling a list of the required functionality, but a deeper implementation of the system into the company’s IT infrastructure will be the most profitable solution. To do this, it is better to get advice from trusted and certified specialists who will help you select the necessary modules and deploy SIEM, taking into account all the nuances of a specific network.