Cygilant Blog

Top 5 Things to Look For In Your Next SIEM Solution

Posted by Lydia Dwyer on Apr 25, 2018

Your Next SIEM SolutionWhether you already have a SIEM in place that’s not providing value or you’re looking for your first SIEM solution, we’ve put together a list of five things you should be sure to look for in your next SIEM solution. All too often, organizations purchase expensive SIEM technology without considering all the aspects necessary to make the SIEM deployment successful. The technology alone will end up as shelfware if you don’t have the trained staff to deploy and manage the solution, and a 24x7 SOC team to monitor and respond to potential incidents. It’s also important to integrate the SIEM into your overall security program and have a thorough plan for how you will respond to incidents. The combination of people, process, and technology are the key to a successful SIEM implementation that will help your organization reduce risk, prevent data breaches, and be compliant. Here are five things to look for in your next SIEM solution:

  1. It comes with deployment assistance

Whether or not you currently have a SIEM tool, you probably know how difficult deploying complex systems can be. SIEMs are complex tools that need to access a large number of diverse systems, and even with good documentation things can go wrong without deep existing knowledge of the tool. When looking for a SIEM, don’t just take taglines like “no long deployment” at face value. Instead look for vendors offering deployment assistance and guidance with their SIEM, because they no matter how “easy” their system is to deploy, things can go wrong, and it is best to offer assistance to ensure customer success. Also, be wary of vendors who provide deployment assistance only as an expensive professional services upcharge.

  1. You can get effectively get the data out as easily as it was put in

For a long time, SIEM vendors focused on figuring out how to efficiently ingest and store the vast amounts of log data coming from systems on the network. Most became very good at this… at the expense of being able to get the information back out of the system. Some well-known systems are notorious for practically needing a PhD to retrieve information from them. When looking for a SIEM solution, seek systems that make it easy (or at least less complicated) to get the log information and context you need during investigations back out of the system. Aside from difficulties with information retrieval, more modern cloud-native SIEM solutions often charge a premium to store and/or search on more than 7 days worth of data, so make sure to investigate this thoroughly.

  1. It will accommodate your organization’s network architecture

Any SIEM solution you consider must support the devices, applications, and systems in your IT environment. In addition to supporting the systems themselves, a good SIEM solution also must work with the way your environment is architected. For most organizations, any worthwhile solution should support hybrid on-premises and cloud infrastructures. You must find out what collection methods could be used, whether the collection requires installing agents or can be done remotely, the ports that will be needed, and the connections needed within your network and to/from outside your network. A SIEM solution must work with your organization’s unique environment and network controls.

  1. Its not just a sandboxed SIEM, but an integrated Security Operations and Analytics Platform

A valuable SIEM solution cannot exist in a silo, it must offer integration with other critical security, operational, and analytics tools to form a security platform. When evaluating SIEM options, consider if there are useful integrations with ticketing services, vulnerability scanners, or operational hygiene tools like patch management software. A mature security program needs all of these tools working together in a comprehensive platform. Even if your organization only needs a SIEM right now, you should always be planning for success and considering the needs your mature security program will have.

  1. It will work with your risk management process – or help you build one

Making an organization secure is not a finite project, it is an ongoing process of evaluating and managing risk to the business. A SIEM solution must work with your organization’s risk management process. If your organization is still evolving its risk management process, you should consider SIEM solutions that will help build up the process with pragmatic best practices. Aspects of working with your risk management process include integrated ticketing/task-tracking systems, meshing with your incident response steps, and prioritization mechanisms that take your unique environment into account.

These five things to look for will help you find the right SIEM solution for your organization. Cygilant’s Security Monitoring service offers a robust SIEM solution packaged with 24x7 support and monitoring by our global SOC team. Our customers find that our round-the-clock service helps them detect Incidents faster and respond more effectively than they did with a DIY SIEM solution. Request a demo today to see how Cygilant can help your organization.

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