12:14 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Quick Hits
Connect Directly

Does SIEM Make Sense For Your Company?

Ten questions to ask before implementing SIEM technology -- and how to choose the right system for your enterprise

[Excerpted from "Does SIEM Make Sense For Your Company," a new report posted this week on Dark Reading's Security Monitoring Tech Center.]

If there’s one thing that sets good incident-response teams apart from not-so-good ones, it’s planning. It may sound like an oversimplification, but ensuring you’ll have what you need before an incident happens makes all the difference. And nowhere is this more critical than when it comes to easy access and availability of log data.

Log information represents the only sensory input we have for past activity on our networks. And no matter how much real-time information any security data management system claims to provide, the bulk of any incident investigation will be spent dealing with events that have already transpired. The ability to store information and to access it in a meaningful way will be what makes or breaks incident response capabilities.

The only way to know what’s normal on a network is to gather as much information as possible on day-to-day activity and then look for anything that demonstrates deviation. This type of data monitoring, sorting, filtering, and correlation requires a highly specialized system known as SIEM, or security information and event management. SIEM is a welcome combination of what used to betwo separate product categories: SEM (security event management), which dealt with security event monitoring, correlation, and notification, and SIM (security information management), which dealt with the long-term storage and analysis of security data.

SIEM products are designed to serve as a warehouse for all the security alerts and logging information from a company’s disparate systems, providing both real-time access to current alert information and the ability to correlate recent incidents with others over time. Companies considering a SIEM product should ask themselves the following questions:

1. What do we expect from a SIEM system?
The worst thing you can do when purchasing any security product is to allow the vendor to define your requirements. Before you let a salesperson through the door, clearly define your expectations for a SIEM system.

Are you planning to use it as the cornerstone of a 24x7 security monitoring system? Will it be used to manage insider threats? Are you aiming to correlate attacks against your borders at multiple facilities? Is it simply a means of checking off some boxes on a compliance audit?

If compliance is a driving force in your search for a SIEM system, you probably have even more homework to do. SIEM systems vary widely here: Some fully embrace compliance with sets of built-in compliance-specific correlation rules, reports, and dashboard-type functionality; others include a few basic reports and claim they’ll support your compliance initiative.

To read the other nine questions -- and to get some advice on how you can store security data without breaking the bank -- download the full report on evaluating and implementing SIEM technology.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
12/3/2012 | 5:13:54 PM
re: Does SIEM Make Sense For Your Company?
True, start with a good SIM as it's 80% of the job. Then use a good SEM that allows you to pay as you go. Now there are tools out there that can do both like Secnology.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2014-07-10
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in group/control_panel/manage in Liferay Portal 6.1.2 CE GA3, 6.1.X EE, and 6.2.X EE allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) _2_firstName, (2) _2_lastName, or (3) _2_middleName parameter.

Published: 2014-07-10
The File Transfer feature in WebEx Meetings Client in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server and WebEx Meeting Center does not verify that a requested file was an offered file, which allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a modified request, aka Bug IDs CSCup62442 and CSCup58463.

Published: 2014-07-10
Heap-based buffer overflow in the file-sharing feature in WebEx Meetings Client in Cisco WebEx Meetings Server and WebEx Meeting Center allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via crafted data, aka Bug IDs CSCup62463 and CSCup58467.

Published: 2014-07-10
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in in the Dialed Number Analyzer (DNA) component in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an unspecified parameter, aka Bug ID CSCup76308.

Published: 2014-07-10
The Multiple Analyzer in the Dialed Number Analyzer (DNA) component in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote authenticated users to bypass intended upload restrictions via a crafted parameter, aka Bug ID CSCup76297.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marilyn Cohodas and her guests look at the evolving nature of the relationship between CIO and CSO.