Log management has come a long way over the years. Initially, it did exactly what the name suggests; log management capabilities alone. However, technology advances and modern cyber security protocols and threats have required that log management be more robust. Now security incident and event management tools have become an imperative part of the log management software. Below, we are going to take a look at security incident and event management (SIEM) tools in further detail, providing you with more information on the benefits associated with using log management tools like this.
Related: Working with SIEM Vendors
What are SIEM tools?
Before we can look at the benefits of seeking security incident and event management tools, it is important to understand what these sorts of solutions are able to do. SIEM software is a combined of security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM).These tools have the ability to monitor threats and provide real-time alerts regarding security. This enables you to boost your company’s compliance. On its own, SIM tools will collect data for analysis and reporting. On its own, SEM will centralize interpretation and store logs. When it comes to effective log management, you are going to need to use both of these tools, and they are often combined in SIEM software, rather than having to be used on an individual basis.
Why do you need to use SIEM tools?
Now that you have a good understanding of what SIEM tools are, let’s take a look at some of the different benefits and features that make them instrumental today:
- Compliance – There is only one place to begin, and this is with compliance. SIEM tools present a great way for you to make sure that your business is compliant. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should assume compliance is a given no matter what solution you choose. Make sure you go for one that comes with a compliance assurance. After all, there is no getting away from the fact that there are going to be rules and regulations that you need to adhere to, no matter what industry you operate in. The consequences of not being compliant include massive legal costs because of a lawsuit, loss of sales, and a damaged reputation. This is why it is so important to invest in log management tools that provide you with a compliance assurance so that you can have full peace of mind.
- Data aggregation – IT environment visibility is one of the main benefits of SIEM for enterprises today, even when it is used in its most basic form. Because of the log management capabilities of SIEM, visibility is assured. Under normal circumstances, as businesses scale, they start to lose visibility over their devices, users, databases and applications. This means that third-parties can create dark places in your environment. This is something you do not have to worry about with SIEM because it basically enables you to turn the lights on, so to speak. All security information from your network will be monitored and centralized in one location.
- Data normalization – The data that you collect throughout your IT environment can come with a number of different challenges. This is where data normalization, a key benefit associated with SIEM, comes into place. Think about all the different components in your IT environment including everything from your devices and databases to login portals and applications. All of these are going to generate plain text data, potentially terabytes of it every few weeks. Collecting all of this data can be difficult in itself. Nevertheless, you then have to account for the fact that each one will generate, format, and send data profoundly in a number of ways. It is a mammoth task to try and make sense of all of this and to correlate it to security incidents. This is why these log management tools are so critical because SIEM will collect and normalize data for you. It will also present the data in any manner that is right for you and your business.
- Security alerts and threat detection – Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, it is important to use log management tools that come with security alerting and threat detection. Usually, SIEM tools are going to connect your IT security team to a number of different feeds regarding threat intelligence. This ensures you are up-to-date with everything that is happening in the world of cyber security. You have the power to secure your enterprise against data breach threats in the most effective manner possible. Moreover, your tools are going to be able to analyze potential threats by using the data it has collected and normalized, as they will be able to spot any data that looks misplaced and could indicate a security threat.
- Data storage – Last but not least, another key feature and benefit associated with the log management tools that are out there today is data storage. You need to be able to store your data in a secure manner whereby it can be normalized and organized, as well as being easy to retrieve whenever needed.
So there you have it: hopefully, you now have a better understanding of two of the most important log management tools. There is no denying that technology has advanced dramatically over the years. We are now better positioned to handle the security threats that come our way than ever before. However, this is only going to be the case if you have the right log management tools in place. We hope that this guide has helped to shed further light on that for you.
As you would expect, there are several companies and products available that can provide SIEM services. We have listed the top in the industry below. Please note that we have evaluated and worked with several of these and our experience has been that LogRhythm is hands down the best. For the investment and the security.
- LogRhythm. The LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform eliminates blind spots across the enterprise, giving you complete visibility into your IT and OT environments.
- Splunk. Comprehensive log management system for macOS, Linux, and Windows.
- Fluentd. Cloud-based hub for log file information gathered by an agent on your system.
- Loggly. A cloud-based log analyzer that transfers data to remote servers for analysis.
- Graylog. Free, open-source log file-based system for Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, and SUSE Linux.
If you have any questions about our SIEM-as-a-Service or you would like more information about our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We would be more than happy to provide you with greater insight into our processes and how they work.