What Is SIEM Software and How Does It Work?

The fight against security threats has been a hot topic since the earliest days of the internet.

Today’s security solutions are evolving to take a holistic approach to monitor networks in real-time. Known as SIEM software, this technology has the ability to transform and improve your network’s security.

But there’s one problem. Very few businesses are receiving full value from their SIEM software. The reason is many companies don’t know how to use SIEM software to its full extent.

Do you already have SIEM software or are you planning to add it to your company? Here’s everything you need to know about SIEM software and how it works.

What Is SIEM Software?

SIEM stands for security information and event management. The purpose of this software is to allow security IT professionals to track network actives. They can use the software to keep a track record of all network activity while allowing them to view activity in real-time.

SIEM software, or some variation of it, has been around for over a decade. SIEM is a mixture of security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM).

SEM is a process of analyzing logged and event information in real-time. SEM provides IT professionals with event correlation, threat monitoring, and incident response.

The SIM side of SIEM software collects, analyzes, and reports computer-generated records known as log data.

The SIEM software collects this information from all devices on the network. These devices include servers, network devices, and domain controllers, to name a few.

From there, SIEM software will record and analyze the data. SIEM tools will find trends, detect threats, and allow IT professionals to investigate alerts. 

How Does SIEM Software Work?

The event and log data collected by SIEM software come from several applications, host systems, and security devices. The SIEM software will gather all of this information and place it on a central system.

SIEM will categorize all of the collected information based on the type of malicious activity. This includes failed and successful logins and malware activity.

If the software identifies an activity as a potential threat, it will sound an alert to notify IT, professionals.

IT managers can customize the threats into different levels of priority.

Let’s take a failed login as an example. A series of 10 to 20 failed user login attempts in 20 to 30 minutes could be suspicious activity. In most cases, this is likely to be a company user who forgot their login information.

A series of 20 failed login attempts occurring within a few minutes is likelier than a brute-force attack. You could set the former example as a low-priority alert and the latter as a high-priority alert.

Large companies and enterprises have found significant value in SIEM software. The customization of SIEM software will improve security efficiency. In turn, this practice will save time as companies won’t have to deal with false alerts.

SIEM Security Methods and Applications

SIEM offers a comprehensive level of protection for businesses. The key to making security protection effective is by combining and integrating its capabilities into one dashboard.

From the dashboard, you can manage enterprise security and access network visibility across your entire enterprise.

SIEM software works by using threat intelligence feeds to collect and analyze security data. This process works as a form of supplemental threat detection.

SIEM offers many more advantages in addition to threat detection:

  • Generates industry compliance and regulatory reports
  • Collects and combines security data from your IT environment
  • Collects log information from your existing range of applications, software, and hardware
  • Connects security events and detects potential causes of breaches
  • Real-time data analyzing
  • Presents detection indicators in a way that’s easy and efficient for IT professionals to understand

Think of SIEM solutions as the string that ties all of your security platforms and application together. It pulls in all of your company’s various security and activity data information into one centralized location. From there, SIEM software converts the gathered information into digestible reports.

This, however, is only a small view of what SIEM software is and what it’s capable of doing. Let’s take a closer look at SIEM’s many capabilities.

Log Management Tools

Log management is the process of collecting and organizing information from different hosts and applications. SIEM solutions will use log management to pool this information into one centralized location.

The log management tools will reformat the collected data to add a level of consistency. IT professionals will be able to read and analyze the data with ease.

The benefit of this is your IT professionals can access the information with ease in one place. The entire log management saves time and speeds up tedious work.

Threat Intelligence Connections

To make the most of your SIEM software, you need to stay updated on the evolution, proliferation, and resolution of threat intelligence. This is the most effective way to keep your company or enterprise safe.

SIEM is capable of connecting to multiple threat intelligence feeds. It connects well to solution provider threat intelligence feeds as well as third-party feeds.

Each type of feed has the ability to contain unique data that may be different from other feeds. Drawing from multiple feeds will give you the greatest visibility and help you make the most of your SIEM solution. 

Security Event Correlation

One of the essential pieces of SIEM technology is the ability to correlate security events. SIEM technology will take the information gathered and analyze it for signs of possible threats and breaches.

These analyzing tools can help IT professionals differentiate between a minor issue and a major threat. SIEM is the connection between data that gives you the greatest insight into your network’s activity.

Security Alerts

Security alerts are essential for keeping IT teams up to date on any possible threat. These alerts should warn IT professionals of threats via email alerts, text alerts, or dashboard alerts.

Without alerts, your IT team could miss a serious threat that could compromise the security of your company’s information.

SIEM software gives IT professionals the ability to customize and prioritize different security alerts. This unique feature prevents IT professionals, from wasting time on low-priority issues.

Presentation of Reports

Even the most experienced and SIEM-savvy IT professionals don’t want to spend hours deciphering complex reports. These reports will be almost worthless if the rest of your IT team can’t read and understand them.

SIEM solutions should reformat the security data they collect into easy-to-read reports. The report presentation should use a clean layout with optional graphics and clear content.

If you’re planning to add SIEM technology to your IT security, you and your IT team need to search for a user-friendly solution.

If the reports and dashboard are too complex to read, your IT professionals will find the benefits of SIEM useless.

Meeting Compliance Standards

Many enterprises follow specific standards and regulations in terms of reports and processes. SIEM solutions can take the gathered data and events and reformat them into compliance reports.

This is helpful for any business needed to follow specific regulations. The added benefit is it can save your IT team money and time.

Machine Learning

AI or artificial intelligence is percolating throughout all facets of the technology world. It’s proving to be a valuable asset in the automation and effectiveness of IT security.

Machine learning allows SIEM solutions to automate the process of finding threats and adapting to new information. This improves efficiency and gives IT professionals more time to focus on other IT and security needs.

Make the Most of Your SIEM Solution

Make the most of your SIEM solution by integrating it with your existing security technologies. This integration allows your SIEM solutions to automate the first steps in incident response. Automating these early steps saves valuable time in the event your security software detects a threat.

SIEM also uses UEBA or user and entity behavior analytics. UEBA is the process of differences between normal activities and behaviors and abnormal ones that could signal a threat.

UEBA can learn the normal (and abnormal) behaviors of human users and machines on the network.  This offers a high level of security threat detection.

Benefits of SIEM Software

SIEM technology is a great security solution for companies of all sizes. SIEM solutions offer more benefits beyond its analytics and log data security.

Other SIEM benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Prevents serious security threats
  • Saves money
  • Less severe security breaches
  • Improved analytics, reports, and retention
  • Meets IT compliance standards

These benefits allow IT professionals to detect and prevent possible threats before they become a serious problem. With the advent of machine learning, IT professionals can automate security processes.

Is SIEM Technology Right For Your Business?

SIEM software is a valuable tool in improving the security of your company’s network. As long as your know how to use it.

By integrating SIEM technology into your existing security methods, you’ll be able to enjoy a more efficient and higher level of security.

Have questions or want to learn more about SIEM software solutions for your business? Let us know. We’re happy to help you with your IT needs. 

Interested?

Fill out this contact form.