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SIEM – Security Information and Event Management

Table of contents

What is a SIEM?

SIEM, short for “Security Information and Event Management,” is an integrated security system that collects, analyzes, and manages security data from various sources.

In contrast to traditional security systems, SIEM offers a consolidated and holistic view of a company’s IT infrastructure security. It serves as a central management system for security operations to proactively respond to threats and prevent security breaches.

The log data from nearly all devices on the network, as well as from applications and IT systems, can be collected and analyzed in real-time. The Security and Event Management identifies and categorizes incidents and events, and generates reports that help IT teams respond to potential security threats.

Advantages of a Security and Event Management

Rapid Threat Detection

  • SIEM significantly reduces the time to identify threats.
  • It provides a holistic view of the IT security environment.
  • Enables real-time threat detection and security alerts.

A SIEM system allows for centralized compliance auditing and reporting across the entire business infrastructure. Advanced automation optimizes the collection and analysis of system logs and security events.

This reduces internal resource expenditure and meets stringent compliance reporting standards. With SIEM, companies can conduct real-time audits and retrieve reports for regulatory compliance.

AI-driven automation and efficiency

  • Integration with powerful SOAR systems for time and resource savings.
  • Improved organizational performance through centralized dashboards.
  • Detects both known and unknown security threats.

Forensic investigations and data analysis

Another use case is computer forensic investigations following a security incident. They enable organizations to efficiently collect and analyze log data from all their digital assets at a central location.

As a result, they can reconstruct past incidents or analyze new ones to investigate suspicious activities. Using SIEM, security teams can conduct detailed analyses to understand the exact cause and course of a security incident and more effectively fend off future attacks.

User and application monitoring possible.

The system provides clear and consistent transparency across an entire company’s IT infrastructure. It is particularly noteworthy that a SIEM solution reliably identifies threats, regardless of the location from which access to the digital resources is made.

Cyber attacks are more securely identified by consolidating the data. This ranges from threats originating from insiders to extensive DDoS attacks. The system offers robust protection against common attack methods such as phishing, ransomware, and unauthorized data leakage, known as data exfiltration. In addition to basic functionality, SIEM systems are equipped with integrated threat intelligence feeds and use advanced AI technologies to continually optimize threat detection and defense.

SIM (Security Information Management)SEM (Security Event Management)SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)
DefinitionCollects, stores, and analyzes log data from various sources within an IT network.Monitors events in real time and enables IT teams to respond to and manage security incidents.Combines SIM and SEM to provide a comprehensive picture of an organization’s security posture.
Main functionsData aggregation, log management, compliance reporting, long-term storage and analysis of log data.Real-time monitoring, event correlation, alerting, incident response.Data aggregation, real-time monitoring, event correlation, alerting, compliance reporting, long-term log data storage and analysis, incident response.
SimilaritiesBoth are part of IT security strategies and help detect and respond to security threats.Both are part of IT security strategies and help detect and respond to security threats.Combines the features of SIM and SEM to provide a more comprehensive security solution.
DifferencesFocused on log data collection and analysis, rather than real-time monitoring and response.Focused on real-time monitoring and response, rather than the collection and long-term analysis of log data.Provides a more comprehensive solution by combining the capabilities of SIM and SEM, enabling both log data collection and analysis as well as real-time monitoring and response.

Log management in a SIEM system

Log management is a central component of a SIEM system. It refers to the process of collecting, storing, analyzing and monitoring log data from various sources within an IT network.

Central collection of log data

A SIEM system continuously collects log data from various devices and applications across the network. These can be servers, network devices, databases, applications and many other sources. Centrally collecting this data in one place provides a consolidated view of all activity on the network.

Storage and archiving

Once collected, the log data is stored in the SIEM system. This allows for long-term archiving and secures the data for future analysis and forensic investigations. Storage is typically done in a way that allows for quick searches and retrieval.

Analysis and Correlation

The heart of log management in a SIEM is the ability to analyze the data collected. The system can automatically detect patterns, identify anomalies and highlight suspicious activity. By correlating data from different sources, the SIEM system can detect complex threats that might otherwise be missed.

Alerting and reporting

Based on the analysis of log data, the SIEM system can trigger automatic alerts when certain events or patterns are detected that could indicate a security breach. Additionally, it offers extensive reporting capabilities that enable security teams to gain detailed insights into the network’s security posture and meet compliance requirements.

In summary, log management with a SIEM tool is an essential tool for organizations to effectively monitor their IT environments, detect threats in real-time, and respond quickly to security incidents.

Tools and functions of a SIEM solution

The SIEM is a tool for administrators and security managers. It is becoming more and more an integral part of modern security infrastructures and offers many functions. These are crucial for detecting, analyzing and responding to security incidents.

  • Central Log Collection: Collects and consolidates log data from various sources such as endpoints, servers and network equipment.
  • Real-time analysis: Provides the ability to respond to suspicious activity and anomalies in real time.
  • Alerting: Sends notifications of potential security breaches or suspicious activity.
  • Dashboards and Visualizations: Enables graphical representation of security data to more easily identify patterns and anomalies.
  • Compliance Reporting: Automates data collection for compliance requirements and generates reports for standards such as HIPAA, PCI/DSS and GDPR.
  • Proactively search for security threats and vulnerabilities in the network.
  • Automated Incident Response: Defines automatic processes and actions to be taken during specific security incidents.

What data sources are there for the SIEM?

  • Network devices: routers, switches, access points, hubs etc.
  • Server: Web, Proxy, Mail, FTP
  • Security solutions: Antivirus software, IDS/IPS, firewalls etc.
  • Applications: Any software running on the monitored devices
  • Cloud and SaaS solutions: Software and services that are not operated locally

The SIEM plays an important role in protecting against internal and external threats to the IT infrastructure. By consolidating and analyzing security data, the SIEM enables efficient and proactive management of security incidents.

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