SIEM: Understanding IT Security Data in Real Time

Security information and event management (SIEM) is a field of computer security focused on real-time analysis and swift resolution. SIEM products are used to log security data, generate reports for compliance purposes, and provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware.

SIEM solutions have been an essential security solution for large companies for years, but costs have always been prohibitive for smaller companies. Through the service provider model, they have become more accessible for emerging and midsize companies. 

By understanding the data that SIEM collects, you can better protect your organization from potential threats, so let’s jump in and see what SIEM can do for your organization.

The Building Blocks of SIEM

The most common type of data collected by SIEM products is security event data generated by applications and systems that are configured to log events. Security events can include things like:

  • Login failures
  • File accesses
  • System changes.

Another type of data that SIEM products commonly collect is network traffic data. Network traffic data includes information about the packets that are passing through your network. This data can be used to identify malicious activity, such as data exfiltration attempts.

SIEM products also frequently collect user and system information. User and system information is collected from various sources within the network to provide identity context for security events that are being analyzed by SIEM software. This can be useful in identifying threats against your organization because it allows you to quickly identify who is responsible for security events.

SIEM products are often configured to gather additional data types including vulnerability scans, asset information, and compliance reporting. With the right SIEM solution, you can quickly begin to gain valuable insight into your organization’s security landscape and better understand the data that is being collected by security tools on a daily basis.

SIEM systems provide real-time analysis of security alerts, which is important for detecting and responding to threats as quickly as possible. They also log security data, which can be used for compliance purposes. As a result, SIEM products are an important part of any organization’s IT security arsenal.

SIEM Capabilities

If you’re thinking about adding a SIEM product to your IT security infrastructure, it’s important to understand the capabilities of SIEM solutions. In addition, we recommend that you consider your organization’s specific needs and scale.

SIEM products can be divided into two categories: log management products and security event management (SEM) products. Log management products are used to collect, store, and analyze logs from applications and network devices. SEM products are used to detect and respond to security incidents that have already occurred. 

When evaluating SIEM products, it’s important to consider the different features that are available. Some of the key features to look for include: 

  • The ability to collect logs from a variety of sources, including applications, operating systems, and network devices
  • The ability to automatically detect security events and alerts 
  • The ability to generate reports for compliance purposes 
  • The ability to integrate with other security products, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems 

Once you’ve selected a SIEM product, it’s important to plan how you will implement it within your organization. You’ll need to decide who will be responsible for configuring and managing the system, and who will respond to the alerts and issues it produces. 

For any organization, implementing a SIEM product is not an easy task. It requires planning and communication between various departments. In the next blog post in this series, we’ll take a closer look at some of the specific features that are available in SIEM products and how they can be implemented by emerging and midsize organizations. Stay tuned!

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