September 8, 2021
Like most things, it always comes down to time, money and resources. All three are required for a proper SIEM solution, and most small to mid-size businesses simply don’t have enough of one or all to invest. And that’s where MDR comes into play. Leveraging MDR allows a provider to quickly deploy its own hosted SIEM for your organization.
Alternatively, you can purchase the SIEM outright, and the provider then deploys and scales the solution specifically for your environment. In both instances, it’s a much more hassle-free solution, and you’ll see the results far more quickly than you would otherwise from doing it all on your own.
What is SIEM?
SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management is a set of tools and services offering a holistic view of an organization’s information security. SIEM tools provide:
- Real-time visibility across an organization’s information security systems
- Event log management that consolidates data from numerous sources
- A correlation of events gathered from different logs or security sources, using if-then rules that add intelligence to raw data
- Automatic security event notifications (Most SIEM systems provide dashboards for security issues and other methods of direct notification.)
SIEM works by combining two technologies:
- Security information management (SIM), which collects data from log files for analysis and reports on security threats and events
- Security event management (SEM), which conducts real-time system monitoring, notifies network admins about important issues and establishes correlations between security events
What is MDR?
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a service that arose from the need for organizations who lack the resources to be more aware of risks. Essentially, an MDR improves their ability to detect and respond to threats. MDR vendors not only detect and analyze threats, but also stop them. When a threat is detected, they will first verify if it is a real threat before informing you to take action to avoid the scare of false alarms. MDR providers can help your organization deal with advanced attacks that even traditional managed security service providers might not be prepared for.
What does MDR have to do with SIEM?
SIEM platforms make up the “core” of MDR. The entire SIEM process can be broken down like this:
- Data collection – All sources of network security information, e.g., servers, operating systems, firewalls, antivirus software and intrusion prevention systems are configured to feed event data into a SIEM tool. Most modern SIEM tools use agents to collect event logs from enterprise systems, which are then processed, filtered and sent to the SIEM. Some SIEMs allow agentless data collection. For example, Splunk offers agentless data collection in Windows using WMI.
- Policies – A profile is created by the SIEM administrator, which defines the behavior of enterprise systems, both under normal conditions and during pre-defined security incidents. SIEMs provide default rules, alerts, reports and dashboards that can be tuned and customized to fit specific security needs.
- Data consolidation and correlation – SIEM solutions consolidate, parse and analyze log files. Events are then categorized based on the raw data and apply correlation rules that combine individual data events into meaningful security issues.
- Notifications – If an event or set of events triggers a SIEM rule, the system notifies security personnel.
In recent years, cybersecurity has seen a rise in malicious activity. This has revealed how important it is to have professionals in your corner. Solutions like MDR and SIEM can save your business a lot of time and money while keeping you safe.