What is a SIEM tool?
Your SIEM tool is the software that acts as an analytics-driven security command center. All event data is collected in a centralized location. The SIEM tool does the parsing and categorizing for you, but more importantly, it provides context that gives security analysts deeper insight regarding security events across their infrastructure.
SIEM technologies vary in scope, from basic log management and alerting functionality to robust dashboards, machine learning and the ability to conduct deep dives into historical data for analysis. Leading solutions may provide dozens of dashboards, including:
- An overview of notable events in your environment that represent potential security incidents.
- Details of all notable events identified in your environment, so you can undertake triage.
- A workbook of all open investigations, allowing you to track your progress and activity while investigating multiple security incidents.
- Risk analysis that lets you score systems and users across your network to identify risks.
- Threat intelligence designed to add context to your security incidents and identify known malicious actors in your environment.
- Protocol intelligence using captured packet data to provide network insights that are relevant to your security investigations, allowing you to identify suspicious traffic, DNS activity and email activity.
- User intelligence lets you investigate and monitor the activity of users and assets in your environment.
- Web intelligence to analyze web traffic in your network.
Nontraditional tools are also making their way into the SIEM space, particularly user behavior analytics (UBA). UBA, also called user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), is used to discover and remediate internal and external threats. While UBA is often seen as a more advanced security use case, it’s increasingly folded into the SIEM category. For instance, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for SIEM considers information about UBA/UEBA offerings.
It’s the ability to slice and dice data, providing greater insight and more robust threat detection, that sets a modern SIEM tool apart from legacy solutions. This type of analysis would be nearly impossible to perform manually, but a SIEM tool can make it happen with just a few clicks.
Modern SIEM solutions can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment, and most are designed to scale as your business changes and grows.