Security information and event management (SIEM) technology is transforming the way IT teams identify cyber threats, collect and analyse threat data and respond to security incidents. But what does that all mean? To better understand SIEM, let's take a look at SIEM technology, how it works and its benefits.



What Is SIEM?

SIEM technology is a combination of security event management (SEM) and security information management (SIM) technologies. IT teams use SEM technology to review log and event data from a business' networks, systems and other IT environments, understand cyber threats and prepare accordingly. Comparatively, IT teams use SIM technology to retrieve and report on log data.


How Does SIEM Work?

IT teams use SIEM technology to collect log data across a business' infrastructure; this data comes from applications, networks, security devices and other sources. IT teams can then use this data to detect, categorize and analyze security incidents. Finally, with security insights in hand, IT teams can alert business leaders about security issues, produce compliance reports and discover the best ways to safeguard a business against cyber threats. 


What Are the Benefits of SIEM?

SIEM technology frequently helps businesses improve threat detection and data protection, with 76 percent of cyber security professionals reporting their organisation's use of SIEM tools resulted in a reduction in security breaches. Additionally, 46 percent said their organization's SIEM platform detects at least half of all security incidents.

Most SIEM tools also provide compliance reporting – something that is exceedingly valuable for businesses that must comply with the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data security mandates. SIEM tools often come equipped with compliance reporting capabilities, ensuring IT teams can use these tools to quickly identify and address security issues before they lead to compliance violations.

SIEM tools help speed up incident response and remediation, too. A cyber security talent shortage plagues businesses worldwide, but SIEM tools help IT teams overcome this shortage. SIEM tools are generally simple to deploy, and they often can be used in combination with a business' third-party security tools. As such, SIEM tools sometimes reduce the need to hire additional cyber security professionals.


Is SIEM Right for My Business?

SIEM technology is designed for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. If a mid-sized retailer wants to protect its critical data against insider threats, for example, SIEM technology can help this business do just that. Or, if a globally recognised bank requires a user-friendly compliance management tool, it can deploy SIEM technology as part of its efforts to meet industry mandates. SIEM tools can even help businesses protect their Internet of Things (IoT) devices against cyber attacks, proactively seek out cyber threats and much more.


How Can I Select the Right SIEM Tool for My Business?

The right SIEM tool varies based on a business' security posture, its budget and other factors. However, the top SIEM tools usually offer the following capabilities:

  • Compliance reporting
  • Database and server access monitoring
  • Incident response and forensics
  • Internal and external threat identification
  • Intrusion detection and prevention system, firewall, event application log and other application and system integrations
  • Real-time threat monitoring, correlation and analysis across multiple systems and applications
  • Threat intelligence
  • User activity monitoring


Go Beyond SIEM with Unified Security Management


Single-purpose SIEM software and log management tools provide valuable security information, but often require expensive and time-consuming integration efforts.

Unlike other SIEM software, AlienVault Unified Security Management (USM) combines powerful SIEM and log management capabilities with other essential security tools—including asset discovery, vulnerability assessment, and intrusion detection (NIDS and HIDS)—to give you centralised security monitoring of networks and endpoints across your cloud and on‑premises environments–all from a single pane of glass.

AlienVault USM also enables you to centralise the storage of all your log data in the AlienVault Secure Cloud, a certified compliant environment. This alleviates the burden of having to manage and secure logs on-premises, while providing a compliance-ready log management environment.


For more information on AlienVault USM visit the full product page here where you can access the free online demonstration portal.



Credit: AlienVault