When evaluating Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), what aspect do you think is the most important feature to look for?


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?

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36 Answers
Siddhant MishraConsultant

When it comes to "features to look for in a SIEM" the answer is not simple and straightforward - as the saying goes: "one size fits all" doesn't work in this case.

Many infosec experts would argue that when it comes to security implementations, having a SIEM in place is the only way to go. That’s because a traditional SIEM, without fail, significantly increases visibility into vulnerabilities. However, these platforms still struggle with collecting and correlating logs in siloed data stores (the various security point solutions throughout the enterprise) which is an overkill when it comes to providing an enterprise-wide insight to security teams. Here are some resources that you might explore to better evaluate as per your cybersecurity requirements:

Resources you might find useful:

> Ebook - Why you need a next-gen SIEM - http://bit.ly/2UZxwHn

> Blog - How to make the most of your next-gen SIEM - http://bit.ly/2UTzcC8

03 May 19
Sasha VelednitskyReal User

Reducing false positives.

05 June 18
Michael SCHLEICHVendor

Based 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.

05 June 18
Jeffrey RobinetteUserTOP 20

Ease of deployment and building dashboards for people to use. Usability is a big issue for me. No product is good unless people can use it. I like out of the box dashboards. I also like to deploy from a central console. The issue of storage and parsing can be solved thru systems engineering. Some products, splunk does have a nice ability to fragment the logs into chunks, I think the call them coolers, so you can partition the data off for backup and recover plus parsing. Not sure if SolarWinds LEM offers this. I like the SolarWinds LEM out of the box dashboards.

05 June 18
Roland GriederUser

Well, actually very much to say.

To boil it down:

- What’s the scope of your responsibility? If all IT operations, most can be achieved.
- Standard adapters: To configure log parsers and to care for updates is a kind of work to be avoided.
- Predefined correlations (multi-level) that you may adapt. Doing all that work yourself is quite much. More and more anomaly detection gets mature as a complementing, general concept. Good, if the vendor has such a module under development.
- Performance
- Coverage: Who many other tools are needed? Try to get one that does the job for log centralisation and alarming and audit trails and console tracking and…
- Flexible UI and alarming concept. Ability to trigger and evaluate immediate, automated actions (mostly in case in intruders detection…).

05 June 18
Head - Information Security at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employeesUserTOP 10

Ability to perform Advanced Context Correlation is one of the key parameter.

05 June 18
Radhi ShatobVendor

I think the best SIEM should enable users to easily setup alarm triggers based specific log, also vendor list of logs that should be monitored would be very helpful, I have seen some SIEM products are very powerful but need an expert to setup triggers, at the end of the day monitoring is the main job of SIEM

05 June 18
Perry Jurancich Cissp, Ccsp, Pmp, Lss Bb, AcpReal UserTOP 20

To me, the answer to 'what aspect do you think is the most important to look for?' is RESULTS. Does the system (be it self-managed or MSSP) give you what you need? Cost aside, if it doesn't provide you the information or capabilities to let you be successful in obtaining your business outcomes, then it's a waste of money. Even if the system costs only $1 and you spend a lot of time either figuring it out or trying to get it to behave the way you want/need, then that costs too much! Forget all of the other nonsense, focus on the business outcomes and user experience, and you will get to the right tool. THEN you can look at the different tools that meet the criteria. (Just my $.02)

04 June 18
Raul LapazVendorTOP 20

Data On boarding and usability of the tool is the most important thing. It has to be an easy tool to manage every day and of course, data onboarding has to be also an easy part of the process, even with unknown data sources.

04 June 18

Dynamic interface for log/event collection; elastic storage; intuitive rule generation; api support for orchestration and threat intelligence integration; dashboard support for KRIs.

04 June 18
Salvador PenganonUser

Here is my take:

1. Integration to several log sources

2. Ease of access and deployment

3. User, Behavioral and network analysis

4. Ability to compress logs (Compression ratio)

5. Detailed reporting for Regulatory Compliance requirement

6. Security Intelligence capability

7. Database retention

04 June 18
Stephen HockleyReal User

Ability 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).

04 June 18
Deva ChakrvaratyUser

I believe the most important consideration are 1) deployment model which should be in a distributed environment where there will be Logger, Reporting, Processor & the console because if there all in one it can create database issue after some point of time, 2) Asset discovery and Inventory, 3) Network visibility & Netflow information. (When we are considering SIEM we will be concentrating on Server, network, FW etc. nobody thinking about the client machine ; so if you dont have any IDS/IPS then you have no control and visibility on user machine so to get this we should consider to collect real time flow information from LAN Coreswitch, MPLS link flow information, Internet link flow information or VPN link flow information etc ), 3) Flexible reporting and various export (CSV or PDF)option to prepare report or pull out alerts information also alert notification, 4) Check for correlation rule (Event Based, Rule Based, Anomaly Based, Risk Based)availability in the SIEM toolset, 5) Incorporate with Service desk ticketing tool support, and integrating with Nessus/NMAP in to the SIEM portal to perform on demand scan on target, 6) Multiple dissimilar type of log colletion and correlation etc.

04 June 18
Jordan FrenchConsultant

Prebuilt content that is easily and intuitively integrated into my environment.

18 April 18
David BurtonConsultantTOP 20

The biggest cost for most SIEM products is labor.

28 March 18

Real time monitoring and reporting, protection, system realibility

28 February 18
Nurul Huda MustaqimReal UserTOP 20

performance, workflow integration and reporting

11 February 17
Sr. Network Admin at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal User

Real-time threat analysing and reporting capabilities

20 October 15
petro hagenauwUser

Combine information from several sources do intelligent queries on it and all within an easy to use environment

14 October 15
Deputy General Manager with 1,001-5,000 employeesUser

Most important criteria is Log and Packet analizing.

03 October 15

Real time security related logs & incidents reporting, relates with risks and possible damages to the infrastructure

21 September 15

Search Performance / capable to parse any logs format / price.

08 September 15
User with 1,001-5,000 employeesUser

Finding the balance between the costs and benefits of the solution.

12 August 15

Compatibility with diverse sources, including ability to adapt to unknown ones. Performance. Ability do multilevel correlation.

10 August 15

Correlation and search performance.
... and price.

05 August 15

Threat intelligence and engine analytics

04 August 15
Mikael TakeoConsultantTOP REVIEWERTOP 5

It all depends on the purpose of the purchase.
Security Information and Event Management can be used to so many thing.

If its purpose is auditing/compliance it need to secure the chain of evidens or audit trail.
If its purpose is security it need to be abel to correlate the data.
In all purposes it need to be abel to receive data from all the sources you are using.

You need to think of the SIEM as a umbrella over all of your IT including physical surveillance equipment if needed.

27 July 15
salim bechiriConsultant

Strong use cases implementation capabilities

07 July 15

The Real-time Gathering of Logs, and Reporting. Stability, and Price! Ease of use. Notification event Triggering.

26 June 15

Being available special Event Collectors with different environment is most important criteria.
Real time gathering logs from systems and Log Correlation is also very important

09 June 15
Security aadministratorUser

Real time threat analysing and reporting

26 May 15
Tecnical Security Analyst/Engineer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employeesReal UserTOP 10

From bitter recent experience, gaining easy access to evaluation software. Some main vendors make obtaining even limited license period packages very difficult - no names no pack drill here but one is 2 letters ending in a P.
My clients want vendor agnostic advice and as a small independent evaluator, I cannot afford to buy packages from all the disparate SIEM providers.

04 May 15

That it is top rated and applies secuirty indepth. Must be easy to deploy, configure and use. Must complement and mix well with others, e.g., run QualysGuard along with Arcsight, Symantec endpoint and HBSS (McAfee).

23 April 15

Alerting and workflow integration

26 February 15

Sletting and workflow integrasjon.

26 February 15
Carel CramerReal UserTOP 20

Working with Identity and Acces Management, is at the first place a controlled release and registration of all personel that is working in our department. From the beginning of the HR department, the provisioning of the roles and privileges, till they change job, department i.e. from Amsterdam to The Hague, of even die, you must be auditable of the amout of people the have role a, of permission z.. The SOLL situation must be updated frequently.
At our company, there is a bifurcation between the technic Department, an the Central Administration, owner of the data.
There is a good cooperation between the data owner and the technics.

21 February 15
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