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5 Essential Elements of an Effective SIEM Strategy

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Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) has risen to prominence as one of the most sought-after web security tools by many organizations around the world. There are already many platforms offering SIEM as a service, and it can be hard to choose the best for an organization. 

Nevertheless, some elements or features should always be present for a SIEM system or strategy to work effectively. Below, this article will take a comprehensive look at the meaning of SIEM and some of the elements that help to make it effective. 

What is SIEM, and How Does it Work? 

SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management, a more holistic way of looking at web security in many organizations. It involves monitoring, creating policies, detecting security threats, responding, and deriving means of stopping future occurrences. Another way of explaining this concept is that it is a real-time monitoring of all the networks in the organization to detect malicious activity when it is still in the early stages. 

SIEM cyber security definition functions both as a concept and as a solution. In other words, it is an idea that web networks should be consistently monitored to ensure no breach. Also, it can be a platform or a solution that helps provide web security to a business or company. Nevertheless, for SIEM to be effective, an organisation’s SOC (Security Operations Center) needs to be acquainted with all the necessary details. 

The SOC (Security Operations Center) of an organization is the segment that is usually responsible for overseeing the cyber security of such an organization. Hence, some of their functions in organizations are monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and preventing data and security breaches. They can work with many web security tools, including SIEM, such as those of Stellar Cyber, in their bid to react swiftly to any brewing cyber attack. 

How Does SIEM and SOC Work Together? 

For any SIEM strategy to effectively improve an organization’s security, there must be a close relationship between the two. In the most basic definitions of the relationship between these two, SIEM identifies web security issues while SOC responds to them. 

Going into more detail, the relationship between the two is more than just one identifying threats and the other responding to them. For instance, during the log management stage of SIEM, the data collected helps the SOC have a holistic idea or overview of the organization’s web security situation. In the event correlation stage, the SIEM helps to differentiate between normal and abnormal activity, while the SOC uses the analytics from this in their investigations. 

5 Essential Elements of an Effective SIEM Strategy 

Below are some of the elements or requirements that, when met, help in creating a very formidable or effective SIEM strategy:

  • Continuous Monitoring and Tracking 

The major highlight of SIEM is monitoring and identifying web security threats. There are even some forms of traditional or legacy SIEM solutions that don’t go beyond monitoring for malicious activity. Hence, one can say that the continuous monitoring and tracking of networks is a major pillar or element in any SIEM strategy. If a SIEM strategy can’t guarantee the continuous monitoring of an organization’s digital footprint, it can’t be termed effective. 

There are many activities within a network a SIEM has to consistently monitor to detect a wide range of breaches at the early stages. Some of the activities that a SIEM should consistently monitor to be effective are system behaviours, application interactions from users, network performance, the volume of data transferred, and many others. 

  • Log Management 

Log management is the fundamental element that must be present for any SIEM strategy to be successful. These are all the processes involved in the collection of data, analyzing the data, and using such data to form the basis for normal and abnormal activities in an organization’s network. 

  • Device Compatibility 

When an organization is creating an SIEM system or strategy, the compatibility of devices is a critical aspect that should be present. This means that any effective SIEM system or strategy should be compatible with the devices available in an organization. For instance, devices/protocols such as firewalls, VPNs, routers, Windows servers, gateways, and anti-virus systems should be compatible with the SIEM strategy. 

There’s a reason this is very important. As mentioned above, data/log collection and management are crucial to SIEM. Hence, one of the primary functions of any SIEM solution is collecting data from several devices, such as those mentioned before now. However, when the SIEM system or strategy is not compatible with the devices in an organization, it renders it ineffective. 

  • Integration of Threat Intelligence 

Threat intelligence is the backbone of SIEM, as it basically helps in detecting whether there’s malicious network activity or not. Allowing the integration of additional internal or external threat intelligence tools will help enhance the effectiveness of threat detection in any SIEM strategy. 

There are many sources of threat detection, such as those from international cyber security communities, web security companies, and even researchers. Allowing the collection and integration of data from these sources allows new web security threat trends to be identified at the right time. This will allow an organization using SIEM to make necessary adjustments concerning security policies. 

  • Straightforward Incident Response Pathway 

One of the things that differentiates an effective SIEM strategy from the rest is how it responds to web security breaches. An effective SIEM system and strategy such as those of Stellar Cyber has a transparent step-by-step process of reporting incidents and responding immediately. When there’s a straightforward incident response pathway, it helps improve or enhance the MTTD (Mean Time To Detection).

Wrapping Up 

Above, we discussed the meaning of SIEM. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a web security solution concerned with monitoring, detecting, analysing, and responding to cyber threats. For an effective SIEM strategy, some elements must be present, or some inefficiencies will surface along the line. 

Continuous monitoring and log management are fundamental factors that are indispensable in a SIEM strategy. Other elements that can be found in this list include things like straightforward incident response pathways, device compatibility, and integration of threat intelligence.