Many businesses today find themselves at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to keeping their data safe and secure. As threats grow smarter and stealthier, attack surfaces grow larger and more difficult to defend — thanks to the proliferation of the IoT, mobile devices and cloud computing. Add to that ever-evolving compliance regulations and it’s clear businesses need help – leading many to evaluate security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

What is SIEM?

The idea behind SIEM is that it gives organizations a bird's’ eye view of their entire technology infrastructure, helping to better pinpoint and address issues problems arise. At a high level, SIEMs take in logs and data from a variety of tools and applications, correlate them in real-time and present them to show a clear, accurate picture of a business’ security and compliance posture. When correctly implemented and managed, SIEMs provide four key advantages:

  1. Better data protection: Manually correlating alerts across different security toolsets to determine whether a breach is happening is no simple task. A SIEM automates and streamlines the process — taking in the data, normalizing it and correlating it to provide historical and real-time context. Its single-screen view of the whole network ensures that when suspicious anomalies occur, they can be detected and confirmed quickly and dealt with efficiently to protect data from even the stealthiest threats.
  2. Improved compliance: Because it helps protect corporate data no matter where it resides on the network, SIEM is also a key component of a strong regulatory compliance program. Instead of constantly performing internal audits to validate and verify compliance requirements are met, a SIEM provides the requisite proof and assurance, not just at audit time, but all the time.
  3. Easier certifications: Organizations looking to achieve industry certifications like the ISO 27000-series, ITIL and COBIT know the time, expense and manpower required to gather the requisite data, establish the right processes/procedures, attain certification and maintain it over time. A SIEM’s ability to provide a complete, holistic view of the environment, end to end, and track it over time helps ease the process. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, procedures are standardized and certifications stay current.
  4. Validated policy enforcement and violations: Every security manager knows employees are the weakest link in their cyber-defense, but conducting regular security awareness training goes only so far. With a SIEM in place, staffers can correlate alerts from various systems to produce customized reports and uncover common policy violations. SIEMS can also track violations over time to identify chronic violations or repeat offenders that might require policy changes or extra training time.

A SIEM is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition, however. Organizations must continually re-assess their environment, adjust inputs and build new use cases to ensure they align with their technology and business environment as it changes over time. SpartanTec can help you leverage the capabilities of an advanced SIEM solution. Learn more.