How does SIEM compare with SOAR?
While a SIEM solution gathers, stores and analyzes different types of data from disparate sources and provides actionable insights to the SOC team, a SOAR solution is often deployed alongside a SIEM to automate repetitive and mundane tasks. This frees up security analysts’ time, giving them the capacity to thoroughly address critical threats and other serious issues.
SIEM and SOAR both do work that would be impossible to tackle manually, as they both process and analyze data across an organization’s environment. SIEM provides a centralized platform that serves as a single source of truth for all data. SOAR complements this approach by providing automation, which helps alleviate alert fatigue, frees up the SOC team for more serious threat response, and improves your organization’s overall security posture. Many enterprises deploy SIEM and SOAR solutions in tandem to increase their resilience against increasingly sophisticated security threats.
How does SIEM compare with XDR?
XDR, which stands for extended detection and response, assists with endpoint threat detection, investigation and response. It provides a single platform that helps streamline triage, validation and response processes so SOC analysts can more efficiently perform these tasks. The biggest difference between SIEM and XDR is that XDR tools limit the data they take in, while SIEM ingests data from any and all sources. By limiting the data they ingest, XDR tools improve the scope and accuracy of their endpoint threat detections, but they may not be as well-suited, for example, to use while investigating fraud, as such investigations tend to span across multiple systems and solutions. Also, unlike SIEM, XDR solutions don’t have the capacity to provide long-term storage capabilities, so data may need to be stored elsewhere to fulfill compliance and auditing requirements. XDR systems, however, are typically more straightforward to assemble and run than SIEM platforms.
How do you get the most value from SIEM?
The best way to get maximum value from your SIEM solution is to understand the needs of your business, the risks inherent to your industry and to invest time in finding the right solution — and then working to continually improve it.
To build the solid foundation needed to realize the value of your SIEM tool, follow these best practices:
- Spend time planning and reviewing: What do you want SIEM to do for your business? Establish specific goals. This is key to ensuring that you pick the right SIEM tool to achieve what you set out to do. Do your homework. SIEM is complex and deployment can be lengthy, so don’t skimp on your initial research.
- Don’t expect to fix it and forget it: Once you’ve deployed your system, you can’t expect the tool to work if you don’t maintain it. Even the most intuitive tools require you to continually review the system and make adjustments as your business adapts to change.
- Establish procedures and monitor them closely: You must establish the criteria for generating alerts and determine the actions the tool should take in response to suspected malicious activity. Otherwise, your IT team will be overwhelmed with alerts — many of them false. Establish those procedures and keep tweaking them as needed to reduce false alarms and keep your staff focused on real threats.
- Employ experienced staff: SIEM makes life easier for your IT environment and security department, but it doesn’t replace your people. You need to train staff to implement, maintain and continually fine-tune the solution to keep up with the changing IT and security landscape.
How do you get started with SIEM?
The first step in any SIEM deployment is to prioritize the use cases for your business. What are your objectives? While most SIEM tools will provide use cases that typically apply to every customer in the form of rule sets, they aren’t necessarily the priorities of your business. The needs and objectives for manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, retail, public sector, etc., can vary widely.
As you decide how to implement SIEM in your organization, consider:
- How much and what type of data you’ll have available within the system.
- The level of internal expertise you have and the ability to train IT or security personnel to implement, manage and maintain the SIEM.
- Whether your organization is growing and at what rate.
- How large and sprawling your network is (e.g., number of remote locations and the degree of user mobility).
- Your compliance obligations.
- Your budget.
All of these factors can help guide you in your decision and implementation process.
Additionally, identify not only the immediate needs of your organization but also a path to scale up your security functionality that accounts both for projected growth and increasing security maturity. For instance, a smaller business or less mature security organization might start with basic event collection, steadily evolving more robust capabilities such as UEBA and SOAR (security orchestration, automation and response).
Outlining your use cases and security road map will allow your SOC and IT team to look at your many sources of event data and make sure that correct, complete, usable data is provided to the tool. Your SIEM can only be as good as the data you feed it.