Here’s a little trick to help you determine whether your managed SIEM is a mature solution: ask your service provider what the ‘M’ in SIEM stands for.
What you may not know is that ‘SIEM’ could be two separate acronyms entirely. There’s a “Security Incident Event Monitoring” service… and there’s a “Security Incident Event Management” service.
Not much of a variant. Just that last word. That ‘M’. And the difference between Monitoring and Management can’t be all too different… right?
Well, it’s actually a pretty good indicator of how mature your SIEM service is, and of how protected you might be should any malevolent activity happen on your network.
How A Managed SIEM Is Supposed To Work
A SIEM software works by collecting data from the different technologies within your system, monitoring and analyzing that data for deviations and possible security risks, and then taking the appropriate action against those threats.
As a system, it was conceived to monitor entire IT networks and keep an eye out for anomalous activity or unusual behaviors, affecting organizations’ internal or external systems.
SIEM systems have been so effective at what they do that organizations of all types have begun implementing them to protect against advanced and persistent threats against their systems, including ransomware, SQL injection attacks, and data breaches.
SIEM: Monitoring vs Management
If all your managed SIEM provider is using your SIEM software for is to monitor for threats, and alert you to their presence, it’s a sign that their service is immature.
A SIEM service focused on Monitoring is just observing the SIEM software, and relying on the software to do the threat detection heavy lifting. And software, like any tool, is only as good as the person who’s using that tool
A mature managed SIEM focuses on threat Management as well as monitoring. The SIEM is being used by experts who understand the context of your business, and can thus act appropriately toward anomalous activity that occurs on your system.
A managed SIEM that is dedicated to threat management doesn’t just watch and alert… they remediate any existing security threats, respond to activity as it occurs, and employ threat mitigation to keep the threats from affecting your system again.
Threat Remediation In A Mature SIEM
A good analogy for cybersecurity threat remediation: think about mold.
Mold usually sneaks in unseen and can spread, causing damage and putting your household at risk for health issues. In the same way, security threats can sneak in and put your sensitive data at risk before you even know there’s a problem.
A managed SIEM should catch that threat. But the difference is what happens afterwards.
Let’s say you suspected mold in your house, so you call in the mold experts. They inspect your house. They tell you that there’s mold present… and then they leave. They expect you to fix the problem yourself. And then they send you a bill.
In the same way, you don’t want a managed SIEM service that alerts you to threats… and then leaves you hanging. Not only should your SIEM provider be able to detect the threats that happen on your network, they should be able to stop them in their tracks.
Threat Mitigation In A Mature SIEM
Ransomware. Fishing emails. Software hijacking.
There are a lot of threats out there that can affect your system. The good news: a mature SIEM can identify the traits of those threats.
A mature managed SIEM knows what to look for. Which means that it can effectively shut down threats before they can access your important data.
In order to do this well, a mature managed SIEM service will broadly and deeply look across your entire digital environment to determine your business’ digital context.
Your SIEM provider can provide superior protection against threats… if they’re taking the time to understand your organization’s unique fingerprint. How you do business, who you do business with, and what activity patterns are normal for you.
A real business partner will take the time to uncover your business’ data fingerprint.
If they don’t take the time to meet with you regularly and really thoroughly understand what your logs should look like, they may miss odd behavior in the logs.
Some logs that aren’t being reported on may end up being malicious. And you don’t want that malicious activity to go completely undetected.
A mature SIEM will build a holistic view of your systems so you can make data-driven decisions when it comes to questions like “How can we make online enrollment safer?” or “How do we know our customer/vendor portals are safe?” Once it learns that, it can use increased adaptive learning to make sure that you have even more protection in the future.
In short: a mature SIEM gets smarter by being in your environment every day.
Is Your Managed SIEM Immature?
There are a few red flags to keep an eye out for when working with a managed SIEM service, which might indicate that your SIEM is immature.
Red Flag #1: Your Managed SIEM Sends Alerts With No Action
Any managed SIEM service worth its salt will send you alerts if something goes wrong. But it’s what happens after that which really defines the quality of their service.
Do they have a plan of action? Have they already stopped the threat? If not, you may be working with an immature SIEM.
Red Flag #2: Your Managed SIEM Doesn’t Collect All Your Data
One of the values of a SIEM is that is aggregates logs from all your data collection points and makes them easier to monitor and manage. If your SIEM service only collects data from select points in your system, they are working with incomplete information.
Remember: bad information in, bad information out. If your SIEM provider isn’t taking all your logs, they may not have a mature solution for your security issues.
Red Flag #3: Your Managed SIEM Leaves You With Questions
If, at the end of the day, you have to do any homework to respond to your SIEM provider’s reports… you are probably working with an immature provider.
You should know the total status of your system at all times. After all, that’s why you invested in security in the first place! Be sure you’re working with a SIEM provider that partners with you to understand your business and proactively answer all of your questions.
Bitlyft: A Mature Managed SIEM Solution
If you’re looking for a mature SIEM provider to work with you to securing your business’ digital presence, consider Bitlyft Cybersecurity. Our most important priority is the security of your organization’s sensitive data, your employees’ sensitive data, and your clients’ sensitive data.
Bitlyft Cybersecurity will meet with your team regularly to make sure we stay on top of your organization’s unique data fingerprint and proactively seek out potential malicious activity. You always have access to your data. And we always stay on top of your integrations.
Request a demo today, and let us show you what we can do.