A Beginner’s Guide to SIEM Tools

by Riversafe

Have you been building up your cyber security systems? Are you exploring new security tools? Or maybe you’ve noticed a rise in security threats and need to strengthen your infrastructure?

SIEM is a great cyber security tool for businesses big and small. It will help you spot threats and understand your landscape so you can build stronger networks. Here is our beginners guide to SIEM, answering all the key questions you may have.

What is SIEM?

Security information and event management software has evolved from log management practises. It combines the disciplines of security event management (SEM) with security information management (SIM), to create an overarching view of them both.

This software tracks and records all activities within the IT landscape. It analyses this log and event data to provide cyber security services like real-time threat monitoring and incident response.

What is SIEM in network security?

These solutions play an integral role in understanding and monitoring your network devices. It empowers organisations with oversight and data about all activity within it. This is primarily useful for threat detection and the proactive identification of any security issues.

Using this information organisations can strengthen their security, understand weak points, and identify potential security incidents in advance.

How does SIEM work?

The technology gathers information from all corners of your cyber landscape. It analyses this information and categorises different types of events or incidents.

Using these as a baseline, SIEM products identify unusual behaviour which could be indicators of potential cyber attacks or data breaches. It also supports organisations with in-depth reports on their activity, status and security. Some tools may also send automated responses or security alerts when unusual behaviour is detected.

What are managed security services?

Managed security services (MSS) is the process of managing your security services and systems within an organisation. This can be out-sourced to an external provider, or performed in-house. Overall, it involves overseeing your network security and information security.

Tools can be used to support this process and help create more seamless, technology supported systems for achieving it.

What type of company uses a SIEM solution?

SIEMs are most commonly used by large enterprises and mid-sized organisations who benefit from the compliance support. In contrast, many smaller businesses don’t believe SIEM is worth the investment.

This is because SIEM solutions often out-price this market – with high annual running costs. However, this doesn’t lessen the importance of SIEM for these businesses. SaaS services – which are gradually becoming more accessible – are the perfect solution for businesses looking for a more budget-friendly alternative.

Why are SIEMs so expensive?

This is a question we hear often and is a frustrating challenge to encounter.

SIEMs are a sophisticated technology which can require large, expert teams to manage. Because SIEMs were historically enterprise-level solution this wasn’t necessarily an issue.

Some SIEM pricing models can be based on fluctuating metrics which may end up introducing unexpected costs down the line. For example, if your data capacity demands increase or you need to reconfigure your solution this can be costly.

While these facts can be true, there are many solutions out there that address cost in a more efficient way.

What are the newest trends in SIEM technology?

Cost challenges is something that cyber security providers are starting to address with several innovations.

Cloud-hosted solutions allow for more flexibility and less configuration costs, so you can adapt without the usual expense. Many security and data tools are transitioning to the cloud and the most up-to-date ones should have this option.

Automation is another prominent trend in the cyber security space helping – including SIEM. Many tools can automate threat monitoring, incident response and other intensive tasks. This helps cut down your human resource requirements and reduces overheads.

How does SIEM work in the cloud?

Cloud-based SIEM software hosts your security tools and data in the cloud. You’ll generally still have all the same features as your on-prem solution, but with a few added benefits:

  • More infrastructure flexibility
  • Less user management
  • Adaptable data capacity
  • Fewer overheads
  • Easily integrates with other cloud services

What is the future of SIEM tools?

Overall, cyber security tools like SIEM are becoming more integrated and connected, with greater capabilities than previously available. Cyber security tools are encompassing much more than they used to – moving from historically IT issues to strategic business concerns.

These tools are equally becoming more intelligent. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are quickly becoming an embedded feature to help efficiency and proactive security.

There’s also a clear need to make SIEM tools more accessible. To open up more advanced capabilities to non-enterprise organisations. Cyber security is increasingly important for all sectors, industries, and business sizes. Deployment options should there reflect this – and there are signs of this across vendors – with adaptable and cost-effective packages.

How to choose the right SIEM for you

Ultimately, finding the right SIEM means putting in the research. Packages are becoming more tailored, meaning organisations should be able to find an option that suits them. Third parties can be a great help in helping you understand your requirements and what you can get within your budget.

Some key features to look out for in a SIEM solution:

  • Integration abilities
  • No hidden costs
  • Deployment support
  • Management support
  • Flexible data capacity
  • A full suite of capabilities
  • Integration-friendly infrastructure

Find out more about our SIEM services and how we can help you implement and optimise your environment.


By Riversafe

Experts in DevOps, Cyber Security and Data Operations