Splunk Technology: Understand the role of SIEM

by Riversafe

Splunk Technology: Understand the role of SIEM

SIEM is a comprehensive security tool which makes advanced threat defence easier. With a view over entire networks of devices and apps, SIEM is designed to be an end-to-end threat security tool.

Splunk offers SIEM at scale through their Splunk Enterprise Security solution, their Splunk Security Operations Suite and other packages. With Splunk, organisations can put cyber security at the centre of their technologies and modernise their approach to digital defence.

What is SIEM and how does it work?

SIEM stands for security information and event management. It helps organisations to detect, analyse and respond to security alerts in real-time. Using intelligence gathered from applications, network hardware, and the entire IT environment, SIEM software tracks and interprets activity to help identify advanced threats.

Step 1

SIEM software works by gathering vast amounts of data points, from multiple data sources in an organisation’s cyber landscape. This includes applications, security devices, system hardware, as well as antivirus events or defensive activities. For example, firewall logs.

Step 2

This data is consolidated into one centralised platform. From here, SIEM software can categorise data points into types of activity.

Step 3

Using network security monitoring techniques, SIEM can then analyse this data for potential threats or attacks. Detected threats will further be defined in terms of their threat level based on predefined standards.

Step 4

SIEM software will automatically alert users to any detected threats while trying to reduce false positives. Using interactive dashboards and event management capabilities, users are able to investigate these threats further.

How does SIEM benefit businesses?

  • Increases security efficiency
  • Helps prevent security breaches, attacks and weaknesses
  • Reduces the likelihood of a successful attack
  • Provides holistic and comprehensive situational awareness
  • Ensures greater IT compliance
  • Enables better reporting, log management, and data analytics
  • Saves money
  • Reduces the impact of security events

What are some use cases for SIEM?

 SIEM capabilities help businesses in any sector to monitor their threat landscape, log perform management, and detect threats, both internally and externally. It allows users to detect and analyse potential threats in order to instigate effective prevention methods.

4 use cases for SIEM technology include:

IoT security:

The increase in connected devices creates an increased risk for attack because it introduces more points of entry. But many IoT solutions can be integrated into SIEM systems, which can help mitigate threats to IoT devices.

Insider threats:

Insider threats pose an equal risk as outsider threats. Whether it’s a human mistake, or malicious attack, organisations need to protect themselves from internal weaknesses. SIEM can be used to monitor internal activity and accounts. Using techniques such as UEBA, SIEM can identify irregular and potentially harmful behaviour and alert security teams.

Compliance and standardisation:

SIEM is extremely useful to support compliance for both small business and large enterprises. This is especially true as standards become more prevalent for reporting and detecting breaches.

Threat hunting:

SIEM enables sophisticated threat hunting by providing access to large amounts of security data about an entire organisation. This supports more proactive cyber security approaches, by actively searching for possible threats, attacks or breaches.

What is unique about Splunk as a SIEM?

Splunk Enterprise Security is a premium, analytics driven Cloud SIEM solution. Splunk helps users effectively log, manage, analyse, and visualise threat data in real-time as events unfold.

7 Benefits of Splunk:

  1. Flexibility – Splunk uses big data to empower security in various areas, including security operations and compliance. It can be deployed both on the cloud, on-prem or in a hybrid environment.
  2. Visibility – Splunk has excellent visibility across multiple platforms, data sources, and systems and allows cross-collaboration. It provides a wealth of information from non-security and security data and multi-cloud environments, all while removing silos.
  3. Intelligent Context – With the ability to span across multiple domains, Splunk’s SIEM capabilities provide a more holistic view of your threat landscape. It combines data from different sources for a single investigation to help streamline your operations.
  4. Value – By being based on cloud, Splunk removes any complexities in using hardware enabling a faster time to value for all users. Teams can focus on what’s important and prioritise high value security tasks.
  5. Usability – Splunk offers an enhanced GUI with customisable dashboards and graphs, allowing users to easily understand threats and explore to find specific results.
  6. Advanced Capabilities – Splunk combines both artificial intelligence with traditional SIEM functions to create a robust security solution. It offers more efficient log management, excellent root cause analysis, and instant troubleshooting results.
  7. Data – Splunk is compatible with data in many forms and from many sources. This solution exploits big data, machine-generated data, and more. With one central repository, users can access data from multiple sources in a single location.

Key features:

  • Real-time monitoring
  • User monitoring
  • Incident response
  • Advanced threat detection
  • Log management
  • Advanced analytics and machine learning
  • Threat intelligence
  • Scalability

What is the benefit of implementing SIEM with a partner?

There are several questions you need to ask before implementing a SIEM solution: Which SIEM is most suited to my industry? Will this SIEM fit into my organisation’s cyber infrastructure? What is the nature of my threat profile? Which solution is the best at my budget?

Getting the answers to these questions can be a lengthy and tiresome process if you aren’t completely familiar with SIEM or the ins and outs of your infrastructure. Also, as data volumes continue to rise and attacks become more sophisticated, it’s important that organisations choose a sustainable solution that will help them meet their future needs.

Having a partner can help you identify the exact solution you need. RiverSafe’s experts work with a range of expert market vendors and work to identify the best option for your circumstances. We prioritise getting to know your team, your system, and your internal processes so that we can make informed decisions about your security tools.

We can also help you deploy your solution and set procedures in place to ensure optimal adoption within the team and integration with the rest of your tools and software.

Get in touch with a RiverSafe consultant to find out more about how SIEM can help you.


By Riversafe

Experts in DevOps, Cyber Security and Data Operations