Security information and event management, or SIEM, is a type of security technology used to log, monitor, analyze, and respond to security events within an organization’s IT infrastructure. This technology generally consists of a combination of security information management and security event management software programs. SIEM software is designed to detect and protect against a wide range of threats, including internal threats, external threats, and malicious activity. SIEM is typically an importance piece to cybersecurity risk management.

What Is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)?

SIEM looks for abnormalities in data and system behavior and can provide protection against all types of threats by alerting IT and security personnel of suspicious activity. SIEM can also be used to track activity across networked systems and cloud services. Further, it can be used to detect and respond to a variety of security events, such as unauthorized access attempts, malicious code injections, and unauthorized data access.

The most important aspect of SIEM is its ability to aggregate security data from a variety of sources in order to provide a global view of an organization’s security posture. This includes data from network logs, antivirus programs, firewalls, and endpoint sensors. By combining this data, IT and security personnel are able to quickly identify and respond to suspicious activity. This feature increases visibility into security incidents, enabling IT and security personnel to respond quickly and efficiently.

In addition to its core functionality, SIEM software offers a variety of reporting capabilities. This allows IT and security personnel to create custom reports that detail information such as who accessed what files, when and from where, and other details such as user behavior. This reporting feature also helps IT and security personnel assess the impact of an event and develop remediation plans.

SIEM is an essential security technology that helps organizations gain visibility into their security posture and rapidly respond to potential incidents. It is a powerful tool that should be part of every organization’s security strategy.

Why Is SIEM Important?

In today’s world of cybersecurity threats, SIEM has become an integral part of a system’s security. Security events, such as authentication failures or suspicious data flows, are monitored and analyzed throughout the network. The resulting intelligence allows an organization to quickly respond to malicious or suspicious activity, identify potential issues, and prevent further damage or loss.

A SIEM system provides a number of important functions, including logging and alerting to malicious activities. It also assists in incident response and investigations. By collecting and storing events from various sources in a centralized location, it serves as an important tool for predictive analytics. With the ability to store and analyze massive amounts of security data over time, it generates valuable insights into current and future trends, allowing for proactive security management.

In addition, SIEM can help organizations comply with many different regulatory compliance standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), SOC 2, and ISO 27001, 27017, and 27018. By providing real-time visibility of network resources and user activity, users can see what changes have occurred in their network and what the potential risks are. In addition, organizations can also detect insider threats or malicious activities by monitoring user activity.

SIEM is an important tool for detecting, responding to, and preventing security incidents. By providing real-time visibility of activities and threats, it helps organizations protect their systems and data, remain compliant, and identify anomalies before they become a major issue.

How Does SIEM Work?

SIEM leverages a set of core functionality that combines log management, event correlation and analytics, incident monitoring, and reporting tools. This helps organizations to better protect their networks, protect information assets, and maintain compliance with regulatory mandates.

Log Management

Logs are used to monitor and aggregate data from different systems across an organization. SIEM solutions can collect and store log data from edge devices, network devices, applications, and databases. This data can be analyzed in real time for security insights, compliance reporting, and to detect suspicious activities.

Event Correlation and Analytics

Event correlation and analytics allow organizations to analyze data from multiple sources to detect patterns, correlations, and anomalies. Correlation algorithms can detect patterns and activities that suggest a security incident and can generate security alerts. The analytics capability can also provide more meaningful insights, such as trending and anomaly detection.

Incident Monitoring and Security Alerts

Security alerts are based on events or activities that have been identified as suspicious or malicious. SIEM systems can provide an automated response to potential threats by sending notifications to personnel or taking other predetermined actions.

Compliance Management and Reporting

Compliance management and reporting allow organizations to meet compliance requirements by collecting and storing relevant data, managing user access, and providing reports on security incidents. Reports can be generated in real time or on a scheduled basis to provide detailed and up-to-date information regarding system changes and potential threats.

The Benefits of SIEM

SIEM is an important technology and strategic asset for organizations of all sizes. It can provide far-reaching benefits to an organization’s security and compliance initiatives, as well as overall operational efficiencies.

Advanced Real-time Threat Recognition

SIEM utilizes advanced analytics to detect potential threats in real time—and ultimately provide organizations with the ability to take preemptive action to protect their networks from malicious actors. This includes the ability to analyze traditional security events, such as failed logins, as well as added levels of analytics, such as deep packet inspection, to identify suspicious activity that may be related to malicious use of networks or applications. By leveraging advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), SIEM technology can enable faster and more effective incident response for organizations.

Monitoring Users and Applications

SIEM allows organizations to monitor, analyze, and report on user and system activity. This activity can include data stored in the cloud, on-premises, or across multiple systems. By leveraging SIEM, organizations can identify user behavior and system logins that may be out of compliance or with suspicious activity. This can be particularly helpful when organizations need to audit and report on their regulatory compliance throughout their environment.

AI-driven Automation

SIEM can provide AI-driven automation abilities to further streamline compliance auditing and automate incident responses. Not only can this increase the speed with which organizations can meet regulatory compliance, but it can also help to reduce the manual effort of security and compliance staff.

Improved Organizational Efficiency

Improved organizational efficiency can be achieved through the use of SIEM. Organizations can leverage the analytics, reporting, and automation capabilities of SIEM to increase the efficacy of their security and compliance initiatives. This can not only help to better protect an organization’s networks, but also help to reduce overhead costs associated with manual audit processes and compliance evaluations.

Regulatory Compliance Auditing

SIEM also helps organizations with regulatory compliance auditing. By collecting and analyzing data from various sources, SIEM tools can help organizations assess their compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, many SIEM tools provide tools for reporting on compliance, ensuring that organizations can effectively demonstrate their adherence to regulatory requirements.

The benefits of SIEM for security and compliance initiatives, as well as operational efficiencies, are tangible. SIEM can provide organizations with a strategic asset that can ultimately lead to a more secure and compliant organization.

SIEM Implementation Best Practices

When deploying a SIEM, organizations need to following implementation best practices that include:

1. Start Planning for SIEM Implementation Early

SIEM implementation is a complex process that requires significant planning and coordination. Begin by assessing your organization’s security risks, including identifying the various events that can present a threat. Create a plan of action to address each of these risks and develop a timeline for implementation.

2. Leverage an Integrated SOC and SIEM Platform

Implementing SIEM together with an integrated security operations center (SOC) platform simplifies the collection and analysis of data, enabling a comprehensive view of the security posture. Such an approach allows security teams to meet the requirements of different auditing and regulatory requirements and adapt to the changing risks.

3. Focus on the Right Data

Your organization probably already has a wide range of data sources, including endpoint devices, servers, and cloud applications, each one producing a vast amount of logs. Review the data sources and determine which ones are most important for your security posture.

4. Use Automation to Streamline SIEM Implementation

Automation provides a cost-effective way to collect, process, and analyze data from the various sources, ensuring that the data is up to date and accurate. Automation also improves the efficiency of the SIEM implementation process and helps to reduce the risk of errors.

5. Ensure Event Collection Is Solid

Collecting the right data is essential for SIEM implementation. Develop a comprehensive strategy for collecting, filtering, and enriching data. This includes using data normalization techniques and incorporating artificial intelligence for log enrichment and anomaly detection.

6. Establish the Right Thresholds, Alerts, and Responses

Clearly define your security objectives and establish thresholds and alerts that enable the system to react quickly to any potential threats. Design your responses to threats based on their severity and the potential damage they could cause.

7. Implement Effective User Access Management

A key element of SIEM implementation is determining who has access to the system and what level of access they should have. Create policies and procedures for granting and revoking access and ensure that those policies are followed.

8. Document the System and Policies

Create a log for all the data collected, including the source, type, and date of the log. This will help you audit the system and ensure all the data is being properly collected, filtered, and stored. Document all of the system policies as well, so everyone is aware of what to expect.

9. Train Your Staff

Training is essential for successful SIEM implementation. Make sure all relevant staff are aware of the system, the data it is collecting, and the various ways to access and use the data.

10. Monitor the System and Adjust Accordingly

Once the system is up and running, regularly monitor it to ensure it is collecting and analyzing data correctly. If it’s not, take the time to review and adjust the system to ensure it is meeting your organization’s security objectives. Additionally, review the system periodically to ensure it is keeping up with the changing security landscape.

Feed Kiteworks Audit Log Data Into Your SIEM

The Kiteworks Private Content Network unifies, tracks, controls, and secures sensitive content communications into one platform. Audit log data is aggregated into one data stream that can be fed into your SIEM. This automates alerts, logging, and event response through integrations with IBM QRadar, ArcSight, FireEye Helix, LogRhythm, and others.

Key SIEM integrations in the Kiteworks platform include:

Security and Compliance

Kiteworks utilizes AES-256 encryption for data at rest and TLS 1.2+ for data in transit. Kiteworks’ hardened virtual appliance, granular controls, authentication and other security stack integrations, and comprehensive logging and auditing capabilities enable organizations to achieve compliance efficiently.

Audit Logging

With Kiteworks’ immutable audit logs, organizations trust that the system can detect attacks sooner while maintaining a correct chain of evidence to perform forensics. Since the system merges and standardizes entries from all the components, its unified audit logs and alerts save security operations center (SOC) teams crucial time while helping compliance teams prepare for audits.

Single-tenant Cloud Environment

Implement file transfers, file storage, file sharing, email sends, and file collaboration on a dedicated Kiteworks single-tenant cloud instance; deployed on-premises, through a secure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) hosted deployment, hosted as a secure Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) deployment, or as a FedRAMP Authorized cloud hosted deployment. This means no shared runtime, databases or repositories, resources, or potential for cross-cloud breaches or attacks.

Data Visibility and Management

Kiteworks’ CISO Dashboard, which is part of the Kiteworks Private Content Network, provides an overview of an organization’s data: where it is, who is accessing it, how it is being used, and if it complies.

Request a demo today to learn more about SIEM integrations in the Kiteworks Private Content Network.

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