Security threats are on the rise and hackers’ attack methods are becoming more sophisticated each day.

According to the recent Verizon Data Breach Report, “Sixty-eight percent of breaches took months or longer to discover, even though eighty-seven percent of the breaches examined had data compromised within minutes or less of the attack taking place.”

This means attackers are using techniques that go unnoticed by security operations centers (SOCs). In many cases, data breaches are detected by a third party who notifies the business; the business then commissions a forensic investigation. Though a considerable number of attacks take very little time to steal targeted data, the intrusion method, the lateral movements within the network, and the route through which data is stolen are dug out only months later. By this time, the data is long gone.

These attacks leave traces, even if the SOC fails to connect the dots. With the advent of stringent compliance mandates such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) coming into effect, the IT security landscape is changing. Organizations are looking for solutions that detect and address incidents before they become critical, and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions are the best way to do it.

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for SIEM elaborates on the capabilities required for a SIEM solution. Read the report.

Three reasons why you need a SIEM solution:

  • In-depth visibility into network incidents: Chances are, you’re using a handful of security solutions in your network. These solutions range from firewalls, IDS/IPS, vulnerability scanners, antivirus and anti-malware applications, and so on. What you need is a consolidated view of all the security events happening in your network so you can easily connect discrete information that indicates a possible attack. A SIEM solution collects log data from across the network, extracts meaningful information from those logs, correlates different events to detect attack patterns, and helps you search log data for root cause analysis, providing in-depth visibility into what’s happening in your network. This helps in preventing or containing security attacks as quickly as possible.
  • Continuous auditing is key: When it comes to detecting and containing security attacks, you should never set it and forget it. Though you set critical security policies such as firewall rules, access control lists, group membership permissions, and so on, you need to constantly watch for any changes to these configurations. A SIEM solution offers regular reports that help you continuously audit events to validate policy enforcement and detect critical configuration changes or unusual user behaviors to keep threats in check.
  • Security orchestration: Organizations use various solutions to ease their IT operations. For instance, help desk software is used to handle IT requests and network operations. A SIEM solution should integrate with such solutions to make security operations as efficient as possible. Integrating with help desk solutions will increase the speed of incident resolution and ensure accountability.

Read this year’s Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for SIEM to learn more and compare the capabilities of different players in the market.

In the second part of this series, we will discuss the criteria you consider while choosing your SIEM solution.