What is SIEM in Cyber Security? Types, Use Cases & Benefits

Written By Sambita Panigrahy  
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh 
Published On September 8th, 2023
Reading Time 10 Minutes Reading

Every organization needs to improve security awareness of its IT environment and protect its assets from cyber threats through real-time monitoring. And, Security Information and Event Management(SIEM) exactly do that. SIEM in cyber security has been playing an essential role in maintaining records of events and logging security data for compliance and auditing processes.

History of SIEM Solution

Despite the fact that SIEM systems have been present for more than 15 years, modern SIEMs have developed from their original forms. Improve IT Security for Vulnerability Management, a 2005 Gartner research study, is credited for coining the term “SIEM” with Amrit Williams and Mark Nicolett. These “legacy” SIEMs included several integrated security measures into a single management tool, such as:

  • Systems enabling easy log gathering and centralized storage are known as log management systems (LMS).
  • Security information management (SIM): Instruments for automatically gathering log files for archiving, analysis, and reporting.
  • Technology enabling the real-time system and event monitoring and correlation with notification and console views is known as security event management (SEM).

The fundamental elements of SIEM software have remained valuable throughout time, despite changes in the competitive environment, although more thorough and sophisticated methods of risk reduction have emerged.

So, without further ado let’s take a look at  SIEM’s importance, benefits, types, process, and implementation best practices.

Importance of SIEM in Cyber Security

Combining security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM), SIEM enhances threat detection, compliance, and security incident management. 

In order to prevent potential security risks and vulnerabilities from impairing company operations, organizations might use SIEM. A mainstay in contemporary security operation centers (SOCs) for security and compliance management use cases, it surfaces user behavior anomalies. It employs artificial intelligence to automate many of the manual operations related to threat identification and incident response.

Compared to earlier log management methods, SIEM has advanced over time to become more. SIEM now offers sophisticated user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) because of the capability of AI and machine learning.  For managing risks that are continually changing as well as reporting and regulatory compliance, it is proven to be a very effective data adaption solution.

What Are the Capabilities and Benefits of SIEM Solutions?

No matter how big or small your company is, it’s critical to take proactive measures to monitor and reduce IT security risks. SIEM systems offer numerous benefits to businesses, and they are now an important component of streamlining security protocols. Here are the benefits of SIEM.

1. Modern real-time threat detection

As your business expands, SIEM active monitoring solutions throughout your whole infrastructure help to improve security posture by speeding up the process of identifying and responding to potential network vulnerabilities and attacks.

2. Auditing for regulatory compliance

The second benefit of SIEM is that it is helpful in audit and compliance. Compliance audits that are managed centrally and their associated reporting throughout the whole business infrastructure can be done by SIEM systems. Advanced automation expedites the collection and analysis of system logs and security incidents while complying with stringent compliance reporting guidelines.

3. Automation driven by AI

IT teams can manage enterprise security while saving time and costs by integrating sophisticated Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) capabilities. These technologies are able to perform sophisticated threat identification and protocols to respond to incidents in a substantial amount less time than physical teams because they use deep machine learning that automatically adjusts to network behavior.

4. Greater organizational effectiveness

Scaling interdepartmental efficiencies can be possible due to the improved visibility of IT infrastructures that SIEM provides. Teams may be better equipped to work together and address perceived events and security risks when they have an integrated SOAR and a unified view of the system data.

5. Detecting New and Advanced Threats

Another benefit of SIEM is threat detection is made easy. Organizations must be able to rely on solutions that can identify and react to both known and undeclared security risks given how quickly the cybersecurity landscape evolves. Modern security breaches can be successfully mitigated by SIEM solutions using integrated threat intelligence feeds and AI technology. Those modern threats include;

  • Insider threats. These are security flaws or assaults that come from people who have been given permission to access company networks and digital assets. These attacks may have been caused by credential compromise.
  • Phishing attacks. Social engineering attacks that impersonate reliable sources in order to steal sensitive corporate data, user information, login passwords, or money.
  • SQL injections. Malicious code is intended to evade security safeguards and add, edit, or delete records in an SQL database that is run via a compromised website or application.
  • DDoS attacks. Distributed Denial of Service attacks are aimed to flood networks and systems with uncontrollable amounts of traffic, causing websites and servers to operate so poorly that they become unusable.
  • Data exfiltration. Data theft or extrusion is frequently accomplished using network assets that have passwords that are widely used or simple to guess, or by using an Advanced Persistent Threat, or APT.

6. Reporting on and Evaluating Compliance

For many organizations, compliance auditing and reporting is a crucial yet difficult duty. By offering real-time audits and as-needed reporting of regulatory compliance, SIEM systems significantly minimize the amount of resources needed to manage this process.

How Does SIEM Work? Understand the Entire Process

SIEM works in a systematic manner. It’s important to follow the order to research data security breaches in a better way. 

Anyway, the process of SIEM goes like this.

Step-1. Collect data from various sources such as network devices, servers, domain controllers, and more.

Step-2. Normalize and aggregate collected data.

Step-3. Analyze the information to find and identify threats.

Step-4. Point out security breaches and enable organizations to investigate alerts.

SIEM solutions have the capability to collect enormous amounts of data from your whole networked environment, consolidate it, and make it accessible to humans. You may conduct as much in-depth study on data security breaches as necessary because the data is organized and readily available.

Different Types of SIEM Solutions

SIEM solution types can be categorized based on their deployment models, features, and capabilities.

Here is a list of different SIEM solutions.

  • On-premise SIEM: This type of SIEM solution is generally traditional in nature. And, usually installed and operated within an organization. However, it requires significant upfront investment.
  • Managed SIEM: Here, generally, a third-party provider manages the SIEM system. This type of SIEM offers 24/7 monitoring and threat detection measures. As a result, less burden on the internal security team of the organization.
  • Cloud SIEM: It eliminates the need for traditional on-premise hardware and cuts maintenance costs. This solution is provided by cloud service providers.
  • Open-Source SIEM: This type of SIEM solution can be easily customized and extended by organizations. 
  • Hybrid SIEM: It is the combination of both on-premise and cloud SIEM solutions. It’s best suitable for organizations that want to take advantage of cloud scalability while maintaining on-premise control.
  • Compliance-focused SIEM: This type is specially designed to help organizations that want to meet specific regulatory compliance such as GDPR, HIPAA, etc.

Differences Between SIEM and Vulnerability Management

In general SIEM and vulnerability management are complementary but distinct components of a complete security strategy. Take a look at the comparison to get more clarity.

siem vs vulnerability management

Understand the Best Practices While Implementing SIEM

Here are some of the SIEM implementation best practices you should follow.

  • Start by thoroughly comprehending the implementation’s scope. Determine which deployment strategies will help your company the most, and then put up the relevant security use cases.
  • Make your established data correlation rules, including any cloud deployments, and put them into practice across all networks and systems.
  • To better understand your risk posture, list all of your company’s compliance obligations and make sure your SIEM solution is set up to audit and report on them in real time.
  • Organize and categorize every digital asset in the IT infrastructure of your company. This will be crucial for controlling log data collection, spotting access abuses, and keeping an eye on network activity.
  • Establish BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that can be tracked when connecting your SIEM system, as well as IT settings and restrictions.
  • Tune your SIEM configurations frequently to make sure you’re lowering the number of false positives in your security alerts.
  • To ensure that teams can react swiftly to any security problems that call for involvement, it is important to document and practice all strategies to respond to incidents and protocols.
  • Automate where you can by utilizing security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) tools, and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Consider whether you should spend money on a managed security service provider (MSSP) to oversee your SIEM deployments. The complexity of your SIEM setup, as well as routine management and upkeep of its continuous performance, may be best handled by MSSPs depending on the particular demands of your business.

What Are the Features Involved in SIEM Solutions?

There are several features embedded in SIEM solutions. Such as;

1. Data Log Management

The foundation of security information and event management is to collect log data. Eventually, productivity and efficiency are increased by real-time data collection, analysis, and correlation.

2. Network Exposure

The SIEM analytics tool may discover information about resources, IP addresses, and protocols. It is done by looking at packet captures for visibility into network flows. And by this malicious files or the data exfiltration of personally identifiable information (PII) flowing across the network can be spotted.

3. Threat Assessment

To identify and counteract current vulnerabilities and attack signatures, both proprietary and open-source intelligence streams must be included in the SIEM solution.

4. Analytics

Different SIEM solutions offer varying degrees of data analysis. Solutions utilizing cutting-edge technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, aid in the investigation of more complex and sophisticated threats.

5. Real-time Alerting

Through the use of pre-defined, tiered alerts and notifications distributed across several teams, real-time alerting SIEM systems may be tailored to meet business demands.

6. Reports and Dashboards 

It’s possible for organizations to have hundreds or even thousands of network events per day. It’s crucial to comprehend incidents and report them in a customizable view with no lag time.

7. IT Conformity

Organizations have quite different standards for following regulations. Despite the fact that not all SIEM technologies offer thorough compliance coverage, firms in highly regulated industries prioritize auditing and on-demand reporting over other tasks.

8. IT & Security Integrations

A SIEM that interacts with pre-existing investments in security and IT infrastructure will be beneficial to established organizations. Integrating the SIEM with security and non-security log sources is the first step toward achieving organizational visibility.

SysTools’ Integration With Google Chronicle SIEM

SysTools integrated with Google Chronicle SIEM, a part of Chronicle Security Operations, delivers modern threat detection and investigation with integrated threat intelligence at extraordinary speed and scale, and that too at a disruptive and predictable price point.

The detection, investigation, and hunting of threats are unmatchable. It not only strengthens enterprise security posture but also helps organizations manage all the complexities of their security operations processes from one unified platform.

For more information on cybersecurity-related solutions, contact our experts now!