Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Forum

Rhea Rapps
Content Specialist
IT Central Station
May 07 2019
There are so many SIEM solutions out there and so much vendor hype in the market. Conducting an effective trial is really important! A number of community members are currently evaluating solutions. Do you have any advice for them about the best way to conduct a trial or POC?  How do you conduct a trial effectively?  Are there any mistakes to avoid?
reviewer813081I agree with Chris and would like to elaborate even more. Understanding your own use cases before the POC is key to then generate the test cases you would like to evaluate. 1) What data sources are required to collect from to support this use case? Does the SIEM support collecting from these data sources? Does the SIEM only present raw log data or generate additional contextual information from these data sources? 2) What built in analytics are available in the SIEM to support my use cases leveraging these data sources? How easily can I customize the analytics aligned to my specific needs or environmental/organizational nuances? 3) How easy is it to interpret results and to differentiate from other observations/alarms generated by the SIEM? 4) How actionable are results? Meaning, how quick/easy is it to advance the investigation to the next step? How easy it it to pivot on search results and/or lookup additional contextual data (what is the reputation of the external IP? what is the role of the host and its vulnerability state? who is the user? etc) 5) What guidance/capabilities does the SIEM have to lead or even automate steps of the investigative process for my use case? 6) How can I perform a retrospective on how the use case was fulfilled? Does the SIEM capture the details of the investigative process to be able to self-assess and improve?
Gary Kennedy1. Understand your environment: Segments, microsegments etc. Know where everything is. 2. Understand what your trying to do: Why are you monitoring, regulations? Compliance? 3. Understand your retention requirements: Storage Cost!!! Your capturing events per minute, and it gets expensive. 4. Understand how you want to use the SIEM: Is it part of your SOC or NOC? How will your Security Analyst use it? Will it be monitored 24/7? Have a game plan on who and what to do with alerts. 5. There are two basic ways you will pay for it: Either by the amount of traffic, or by the # of employee’s in the company. Splunk uses the amount of traffic across the wire, Exabeam is by # of Employees. 6. Should you use VM’s or buy hardware. Hardware is cheaper in the short run, but in the long run, VM’s are cheaper and more versatile with storage. 7. Do you have C level buy in? This will cost, so if you don’t have that level of buy in you will not get what you want. 8. Narrow your choices down to three vendor/solutions and ask each to do a pilot program with no promise to purchase for 90 days if possible, shorter if needed. This will give you an idea of the amount of data you will be monitoring and give you a better idea of the cost. Set each solution on a different subnet of the network and then review the success or failure of the solution with those that have to use it. Don’t forget to get management to give their two cents worth. They will give you honest feedback on reports required etc. also, include your Auditing Dept. to make sure the solutions will meet their requirements. 9. After the test, evaluate the solution with the same criteria for each solution: Make a list of requirements and grade them all with the same criteria. 10. Check the cost against what you can afford, and remember, the cost will go up 10-20% each year due to the newer technology will give you more visibility into the network. 11. After running the system for a year, re-evaluate the solution: Did it do what you thought it would? Does it meet your needs? Do you need to enhance it?(buy more modules) etc. or do you need more training.
Siddhant MishraHi Rhea, When it comes to evaluating a SIEM solution, there is a bit of research and evaluation required from the customer or your end as well - these mostly includes answering questions like: What is the business objective that you want the SIEM to fulfill? Is it compliance? or threat hunting? Do you have enough resources to man the SIEM? and many more....there are few things that you need to evaluate on your end before going all out on vendors as to what there solution is capable of. Here are some resources that will help you plan or evaluate a SIEM vendor in the most effective manner and help you answer the Why, What and How for your SIEM deployment: - How much does a SIEM Cost: - Why you need a next gen SIEM:
Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
IT Central Station
May 03 2019
One of our community members wrote that what's important is  "compatibility with diverse sources, including the ability to adapt to unknown ones, performance, and the ability to do multi-level correlation." What do you think? See other excellent answers below. Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!
Michael SCHLEICHBased on my experience with SIEM, 7 years I worked with ArcSight on a daily basis. I would say that there are 3 mains points. 1) Objectives What you would like to do with the SIEM. What you have to achieve? This is very important. If you just need a solution to manage your logs and make searches for incident investigation. I will use Splunk If you need to build security monitoring use case with automatic notification I will use ArcSight or QRadar. 2) Perimeter to monitor What is the size of the infra to monitor? How many AD users? How many logs per day Which logs to collect? How many different vendors or logs type If you have a big environment to monitor You have no other choice to choose ArcSight If it less QRadar could be used. 3) Security Team Who will work with the SIEM? This is highly critical because if you don't have a dedicated team with specific skills I will not recommend ArcSight because it is very complex and custom use is not enough documented. You need an Expert on site to be able to use this tool correctly and efficiently to increase usefulness. QRadar is less complex but for sure it will be less flexible. If you want to use other SIEM solution or open source, you need to answer first to the 3 above points then you need to check if the solution can be able to collect, process, parse and categorize the logs you have to choose for your Use Cases You have to verify how to build correlation, what are the limits You have to check if you can build automatic notification You have to check the evolution, what will be the new features You have to ask the roadmap. You shouldn't choose something that won't be developed anymore. It is a lot of resources and time to build a SOC in using a SIEM To configure the SIEM Infra completely It is wrong to say that you can migrate easily to another solution. Completely wrong. The last point, you need to verify the documentation and the support. Very important for bugs, issues or important missing features. I hope this answer will help you. You can contact me if you have a precise question.
it_user331212Real-time threat analysing and reporting capabilities
Stephen HockleyAbility to quickly extract information when required (forensic). The ease at which you can integrate your devices which are logging(agnostic) . Ability of the device to capture all your required logging and maintain it for a reasonable time frame (capacity).
Chris Poorte
Computer & Network Systems Administrator at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Mar 13 2019
My organization has one last piece to the puzzle in our completion for NIST 800-171 compliance. I know nothing about Network Security and Event Management. I have a team of two Systems and Network Admins that already spend a lot of time ensuring the organization is running smooth, dealing with any technical issues, and ensuring the infrastructure is performing well. What solution is recommended for something that can automate and run with little to no interaction, but ensure the requirements and needs are met? Is there a solution that does not require heavy configuration, one that can give you an overview of the network and tell you exactly what is going on inside the network, and if needed any penetration alerts, if they exist?
David BurtonThere are many good SIEM products on the market today. Our company evaluated several SIEM products, LogRhythm, Splunk, AlienVault, Fortinet, and EventTracker. They all are great products. We settled on EventTracker and purchase the licenses through a 3rd party. Because these companies have internal teams of trained security analysts. They take on the heavy lifting of reviewing alerts, threat analysis, etc. The required manpower is a critical piece when evaluating SIEMs.
Perry JurancichAs David mentioned above, there are many good SIEM products available. The challenge is, in the environment as described, is getting the value out of it if you run it yourself. There is a lot of overhead when it comes to running a SIEM, especially for the uninitiated and non-cyber minded folks. This question is interesting because I had this very conversation with a customer yesterday. My company provides consulting services to myriad companies around the world. Under 800-171 section 3.3 (800-53r4 AU controls), you have to demonstrate you retain logs for your cybersecurity environment (3.3.1), review logs on a regular basis (3.3.3), have the ability to 'audit' the logs (3.3.5) and alert events (AU-6). IMHO, the best solution for an organization that has limited staff and time, a hosted version of SIEM services is best. Not just a hosted SIEM, but have an AI/ML behavioral analysis processing engine with 24x7 'eyes on glass' (not just automated systems monitoring) certified cybersecurity analysts to evaluate all alerts, then only advising the company of an issue to be addressed. It totally takes the heavy lifting off of any company, and the benefit of (in effect) staff augmentation. Bringing a SIEM in-house for small organizations is a challenge at best, a recipe for failure at worst, plus it may not meet 800-171 requirements. TIG ThreatWatch, ArticWolf SOCaaS and SecureWorks are a few in the space. Be careful, make sure you have full access to your data, ability to run reports to generate artifacts for audits and live alerts and you only plug in security devices into the monitoring for 800-171 requirements. Be sure to use one that doesn't cost you by volume of logs, it should be by log source, regardless of volume. Best of luck!
itsecuri350985I have been working with SIEM Technology for more than 10 years. LogRhythm no doubt is one of the best for a small to mid size company.
Rhea Rapps
Content Specialist
IT Central Station
Jan 07 2019
One of the most popular comparisons on IT Central Station is SolarWinds LEM vs Splunk. One user says about SolarWinds LEM, "It allows us to monitor access and pull cyber reports quickly. No more searching through logs on each server. There was not much customization, which we had to do with Splunk."Another user says about Splunk, "Splunk has helped our organization mainly on our increased use of the security side. We use Splunk to monitor all machine logins (both successful and unsuccessful) and actions taken on those machines under each user." In your experience, which is better and why?
Johney ShadeComparing SolarWinds to Splunk is unwise. One responds to active monitoring where as the other uses stored data to analyze trends and can alert on events stored in the Log Files.
Chingiz AbdukarimovI would prefer SolarWinds LEM for environments with high log volumes (e.g. network equipment at local providers, because with LEM you pay for nodes). And I would choose Splunk for wide network of any connected devices, if I need to dig logs later (because with Splunk you pay for GBs per day)
MS AlamSolarWinds is good for network monitoring but analyzing for critical logs splunk is best. As my opinion splunk is best.

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