Due to the widespread and increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, customers and vendors have realized that traditional approaches and tools of cybersecurity have not been keeping up with the latest threats. Global supply chains and private organizations, which are already in a precarious state due to the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing an increased risk of cyber-attacks as a result of geopolitical instability. In this fast-paced environment, building a strong security foundation while implementing the right tools is essential for organizations.
In times of crisis, resilience and business continuity are fundamental. Large organizations, whether they are part of critical infrastructure or not, need to be able to detect and respond to incidents by monitoring security and analyzing real-time events. Consequently, many organizations are setting up or expanding their Security Operations Centers (SOCs). Most of these SOCs have been using Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions to collect, store, and investigate security events across multiple sources and provide monitoring and alerting capabilities.
The term SIEM was coined by analysts in 2005. Although traditional SIEM tools were hailed as the ultimate solution to security challenges, many early users reported that the high number of false positives made it difficult to determine which alerts should be followed up. Moreover, in addition to alert fatigue, legacy SIEM solutions also had issues with high deployment and maintenance costs, failures to respond to threats in real-time, and lack of scalability. Essentially, legacy SIEMs failed to cope with new threats as IT infrastructures became more complex and sophisticated.
Over the past decade, however, SIEM solutions have improved significantly. By incorporating technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR), Network Detection and Response (NDR), and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), modern SIEM tools have solved many of the shortcomings of their predecessors. The latest generation of SIEM solutions incorporate innovative intelligence and automation capabilities that create more streamlined and automated workflows for dealing with security incidents.
As opposed to traditional SIEMs, next-generation solutions should not require a team of trained security experts to operate, relying instead on actionable alerts understandable even to businesspersons, a high degree of workflow automation, and ideally provide a complete end-to-end solution for a SOC. Modern SIEM tools should provide threat hunting capabilities, include risk scores and other useful metrics, and integrate with other security devices to make forensic investigations easier for SOC analysts. Therefore, to remain secure and compliant, organizations must actively seek out new ways to assess and respond to cyber threats while providing SOC analysts with the right tools.
Despite the long and arduous journey, SIEM solutions remain a core component of modern enterprise security architectures. Although the market is experiencing strong pressure from alternative approaches such as specialized security monitoring products for different attack surfaces and unified XDR solutions; the SIEM market continues to evolve, with solutions expanding their capabilities, integrating previously standalone tools, and, last but not least, modernizing. With the right implementation, a SIEM solution can play a significant role in strengthening the security posture of an organization.