Security Information and Event Management results are not often the same in different organizations. This is because the application of this security tool in many organizations might differ from each other. Some organizations employ the best SIEM practices while implementing this solution, while others lag behind.
Some actions and policies initiated by an organization can significantly improve the results they get from Security Information and Event Management. This article will give you a well-detailed insight into the best practices an organization can employ to improve its SIEM strategy.
What is SIEM?
The full meaning of SIEM is Security Information and Event Management, and it is the real-time monitoring and detection of cyber threats trying to breach an organization’s network. It combines data collection from several sources, correlation, and detection of threats. This is a web security tool that is becoming very popular in today’s world due to the capabilities and features it offers.
Many organizations have realized that a SIEM solution is much better, by a wide margin than standalone web security tools. Integrating SIEM into a web security architecture brings more collaboration between other standalone tools. Apparently, in responding to detected cyber threats, SIEMs such as Stellar Cyber can provide instructions on what to do to standalone tools such as firewalls.
How Does SIEM Work?
Understanding what is SIEM and how it works will seriously improve the web security of any business operating online. Without the technical details, SIEMs operate using straightforward steps, moving from collecting log data to threat response.
The first step in SIEM operations is collecting log data, and some of the sources it collects this data from are firewall logs, network data, cloud server data, and many others. Upon collecting this data, the next objective is aggregating the data and trying to find patterns.
In other words, the SIEM will try to establish a baseline that will help differentiate normal and malicious activity. Establishing a baseline allows the real-time monitoring to start, and this is when the SIEM can tell if an activity is a cyber threat, followed by a response.
6 Best SIEM Practices For an Organization
Below are some of the best practices that an organization can adopt if they want an excellent implementation of SIEM:
An Organization Should Have a Clear Objective of What they Want
One of the things organizations don’t do right in implementing SIEM is that they don’t often have a clear objective of what they want. Having clear objectives helps an organization to know exactly where they are to start and the type of SIEM strategy they need.
Some of the things that need to be within the objectives of SIEM are what the organization plans to monitor, how they plan to monitor them, and how they will respond to threats. Another thing that might be in the objective is the type of security alerts they would like to receive from their SIEM solutions. Note that an organization’s objective regarding SIEM must align with its business needs.
Have a Test Run of a SIEM Strategy
One of the mistakes businesses and companies make is trying to implement SIEM strategy in every area of the company without first doing a test run. Also known as a pilot run, it is a way of testing the SIEM strategy or solution using a smaller company segment.
For instance, an organization can start implementing an SIEM strategy in the IT department before expanding to other departments. The benefit of having a test run before implementation is that it will help detect potential weaknesses and help make changes where and when necessary.
The Collection of Data Should be Extensive
An important factor, or what can be considered as the pillar of SIEM, is the collection of data logs. Apparently, the more data that is available to them, the more effective a SIEM solution tends to be. SIEM depends on data to make certain decisions, such as establishing the baselines between normal and malicious behavior.
Hence, the more data a SIEM can collect, the more likely it is to make the right decisions and provide more context. There are certain data sources that one should ensure are available to SIEM for efficiency. Some include system configuration data, network data, serve data, scanner results, and access information. In fact, it should be able to collect data from unique devices such as IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
Centralization of Data Should be Implemented
Once an organization can provide and collect as much data as possible, the next step should be to provide a central location for such data. For instance, all the data logs collected from different departments should be stored at a central location. The benefit of this is that it helps to champion efficiency as the bit of data is made available when needed.
Proper Data Retention
One of the best practices for SIEM doesn’t only stop at collecting or storing data; it also involves how an organization can store data. This is very important as some regulatory or compliance requirements often need data, even after some time. Hence, a crucial SIEM practice should retain data for as long as possible.
A Comprehensive Incident Response Plan Should be Made Available
A proper SIEM practice isn’t only about monitoring or collecting data but also about how an organization responds to threats. A tool like Stellar Cyber offers a straightforward response plan, but that doesn’t mean organizations shouldn’t create one for themselves or modify the existing one to fit their business needs. In the creation of an incident response plan, a lot of things need to be addressed.
One of them is the roles certain people in the web security team play assuming there’s a security breach, and now they do it. Other things can include the format of the breach report, which can be text or email, and disaster recovery solutions.
SIEM is a web security solution that collects data logs from several devices, creates baselines of normal activity, and then tries to monitor and detect threats. When organizations use SIEM, some best practices can significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their SIEM strategy.
Some of them include having a test run of an SIEM solution before full-blown usage and having clear objectives. Other additions include extensive data collection, data centralization, data retention, and a comprehensive incident response plan.