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SIEM Users Seek To Drill Deeper Into Security Data, Study Says

Security monitoring, data warehousing, and business intelligence are on integration path, according to Forrester Research
If you have security information and event management (SIEM) technology, then you're probably mining the data it collects in an effort to identify threats and measure risk, according to a study published Monday.

The study, conducted by Forrester Research and sponsored by SIEM vendor SenSage, suggests that enterprises are increasingly using their security log and event data to get a closer look at the attacks that take place each day, and the risk associated with new exploits.

IT and security organizations are seeking to apply traditional business intelligence and analytics tools and processes to IT security data, helping them to identify advanced persistent threats, trends in online attacks, and the risks they might pose to the business, according to Forrester.

In the study of IT executives in more than 80 large enterprises, more than two-thirds of respondents (67 percent) said that "increasing our use of business intelligence and decision support tools and services" is a high priority (48 percent) or a critical priority (19 percent).

IT organizations are following the same path as many large businesses, which began their data mining efforts by building large data warehouses and then applying business intelligence tools to mine them for useful trends or anomalies, Forrester says.

"The intersection of SIEM, data warehousing, and business intelligence resonates throughout the IT organization and is driven by three powerful forces: vast amounts of data being generated by IT systems; sophisticated and difficult-to-discover new threats; and the added complexity from mobile device proliferation, IT consumerization, and cloud computing requirements," the report says. "This combination creates a perfect storm for even the most advanced IT organization."

More than 40 percent of the companies surveyed had SIEM systems in place or were planning to implement them in the next 12 months, according to the report. Most of the respondents said their top priorities for SIEM are incident investigation (88 percent "important" or "very important"), compliance and reporting (86 percent), and event correlation (78 percent).

Interestingly, 61 percent said they use their SIEM tools to "demonstrate the effectiveness of our security program" to outside organizations.

"What we're finding is that many organizations are using their SIEM tools for a lot more than what they originally thought they would," says Joe Gottlieb, CEO of SenSage. "They've had their systems in place for a while, and now they're looking to do a deeper dive on the data."

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