In this internet-savvy era, enterprises need to protect themselves against cyber threats and successfully identify these attacks.
By making Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools a core part of your organization, you can successfully achieve network safety.
Not only do these tools help in preventing unscrupulous cyber attacks on the web, but they also help in reducing and preventing unnecessary downtime.
What is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)?
SIEM tools allow security professionals in any enterprise to gain insight into cyber activities and record these activities in their IT environment to identify, resolve, manage, and prevent any harmful cyber threats and attacks.
SIEM or Security Information and Event Management has been in existence for over a decade and has combined Security Event Management (SEM) and Security Information Management (SIM).
The SEM analyzes log and event data in real-time to facilitate threat monitoring, incident response, and event correlation, and SIM collects reports and analyzes log data.
Although a SIEM system isn’t foolproof, it can still be a clear indicator that an organization’s IT infrastructure clearly defines cybersecurity policy.
Security programs offered by products other than SIEM products generally operate on a micro-level and address more minor threats but miss out on the bigger picture.
For example, an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) can only monitor data packets and IT addresses, and service logs can show user sessions and other configuration changes. But, SIEM products can do all of this and provide a complete overview of security incidents using event logs analysis and real-time monitoring.
SIEM Key features
Every SIEM product has the following basic capabilities:
- Normalization – Normalizing the collected logs into the standard format.
- Threat response workflow – handling past security events.
- Notifications and alerts – Alerting IT personnel with security threat identification.
- Log collection – Collecting logs from the network.
- Security Incident Detection – Identifying any security issues in the network.
Other features include asset discovery, investigation and Incident management, IDPR and EDR, automated risk prioritization, threat intelligence integration, unified management, etc.
How does SIEM work?
The SIEM system works by collecting, aggregating, analyzing, and maintaining log data throughout the organization’s technology infrastructure.
1. Collect and aggregate log data from host systems, applications, security devices such as antivirus and firewalls in the organization’s network.
2. Identify and categorize these incidents and events to analyze them.
3. Generate reports related to security incidents and events and tag them as malware activity, successful or failed logins, or other possibly malicious activities.
4. Alert the security team for activities indicating potential security issues when run against predetermined rulesets.
SIEM vs. SIM vs. SEM – what’s the difference?
|Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)||Security Information Management (SIM)||Security Event Management (SEM)|
|Overview||The capabilities of SIM and SEM are combined in SIEM.||SIM collects and analyzes security-related computer logs and data.||SEM analyzes real-time threats, incident response, and visualization.|
|Features||It is complex to deploy but contains complete capabilities.||It is easy to deploy and has strong log management capabilities.||It is more complex to deploy but is excellent at real-time security monitoring.|
|Example Tools||Splunk Enterprise SIEM||OSSIM||NetIQ Sentinel|
Why is SIEM Important?
Cybersecurity has become a core security component of many modern organizations, which has brought SIEM into the limelight.
Any hacker who attacks a system usually leaves a virtual trail in the network’s log data, which can be used by a SIEM tool to gain insight into past events and attacks and identify how and why the attack happened.
To keep up with the technology, organizations maintain very complex IT infrastructures instead of the good old firewalls and antivirus packages.
The SIEM tool is used because attacks like zero-day cannot be stopped by firewalls and antivirus no matter how strong.
SIEM software can distinguish a malicious attack from legitimate use and increase its incident protection without affecting the system or damaging its virtual appliance.
A SIEM tool can also help companies keep up with the industry cybersecurity regulation by providing transparency in log management and generating improvements and clear insights.
What is the SIEM process?
SIEM tools are essential to any organization’s data and cybersecurity management strategies. This is called the SIEM process.
The data security standards and compliance requirements dictate how the tools will be integrated with the working practices.
What is SIEM as a Service?
Software as a Service (SaaS) generally refers to any cloud-based software that runs on a cloud server and uses it to store log data.
SIEM is also a form of SaaS known as SIEM as a Service (SIEMaaS). As you go for higher SIEM plans, you can find the provision of expert data analysts and various other IT resources.
What to look for in the top SIEM tool?
There is multiple SIEM software in the market offered by companies ranging from IBM to ManageEngine and some even smaller. Some of these SIEM products are open source, and some might cost a little too much.
So, depending on your needs and pocket, the best SIEM tools might differ from business to business.
Here are a few features that can be kept in mind while choosing the best SIEM tool for your organization:
- Deployment: The SIEM system you select must integrate with your environment and be deployed with ease successfully.
- Detection: Along with offering a high percentage of threat detection, the SIEM tool must also provide quick response capabilities to user opinions and emerging and advanced threats.
- Ease of use: If you have a less or inexperienced security team or SMBs, then choose a SIEM tool that is easy to use.
- Management: The IT security team of your organization must have control over a wide range of attack vectors and surfaces, and they must be able to do it with ease.
- Response: The product that you choose must have a quick response towards defect detection and should be able to quickly send security alerts to security teams and remove the threats or guide the team towards eliminating them.
- Support: The support team of the SIEM software must be responsive and be able to resolve your queries shortly and efficiently.
- Value: This does not only mean price. Your chosen SIEM product must provide advanced features and high security at a cost less than its competitors. The product must also protect your organization from costs in data breaches and reduce the time invested in defect detection by security staff.
15 Best SIEM Tools & Software
Here we have listed the top SIEM security products from third-party vendors that can perform data and security management for your organization.
1. Splunk Enterprise SIEM
Splunk is a SIEM software used to provide security operations such as asset investigator, incident review, customizable dashboards, incident classification and investigation, and statistical analysis.
This tool can work with any machine data irrespective of whether it is from on-premises or cloud and offers quick detection of malicious threats.
It has features like risk scores, threat detection, automated actions, alert management, workflows, etc., and offers a quick and accurate response to possible threats.
This tool offers a free trial that differs according to the products. You can get the enterprise license at $6000 for 500MB per day and a term license for $2000 per year. The tool is best for small, large, and medium businesses.
The AI and machine learning provide actionable and predictive insights and allow dashboards and visualizations to be customized.
With capabilities like event sequencing and providing security services to healthcare, financial services, and public sectors, Splunk is a fantastic tool for enterprises.
2. Micro Focus ArcSight
Micro Focus ArcSight (ESM) Enterprise Security Manager is a fantastic tool for source ingestion due to its support for data analysis with over 500 device types.
By combining distributed cluster technology with the SIEM correlation engine, Micro Focus ArcSight ESM provides distributed correlation.
You can integrate it with various intelligence platforms and machine learning platforms and use agents or connectors by supporting over 300 connectors.
ArcSight ESM offers scalability according to the security requirements and is excellent at the performance (100000 EPS) and blocking threats.
It comes with a free trial, but the pricing of ArcSight is according to the number of security events correlated and data ingested per second.
It is best suited for large, small, and medium businesses and can be accessed through Microsoft Azure and AWS in the cloud and via appliance and software.
3. OSSEC (Open Security HIDS SECurity)
OSSEC or Open Security HIDS SECurity is a leading, free, and excellent open-source HIDS (Host-based Intrusion Detection System).
Based on the log files’ information, OSSEC detects evidence of intrusion and monitors the file checksums to detect any tampering. However, sometimes advanced hackers alter these log files to remove their presence from the system.
OSSEC is owned by Trend Micro, which is a commercial operation. There are specific policies available in the user community forum that dictate the analysis of activity signatures in log files.
OSSEC supports various operating systems such as Mac, Linux, Windows, and Unix, on which OSSEC can examine event data logs and registry access attempts.
OSSEC can communicate across the network to consolidate log records in a single location, i.e., a central SIM log store. There is no need to install the OSSEC in multiple locations.
4. RSA NetWitness
NetWitness is a complete network analytics solution platform that is a type of middle-of-the-road SIEM option that is best for the large organization due to its extensive collection of tools.
The software offers comprehensive user documentation to help you install RSA NetWitness and make it easier for you to go through the installation’s time-consuming initial steps.
RSA NetWitness is supported on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system and offers key features such as analytical tools, network monitoring, and analytical tools.
NetWitness is not suitable for complete beginners, and the installation guides are not completely thorough. They are a simple guide to help you put different pieces of the software together.
5. IBM QRadar Security Intelligence Platform
Offered by IBM, QRadar Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a security intelligence platform that offers advanced threat detection and protection using a unified architecture to integrate SIEM solutions.
The IBM QRadar offers consolidated log events and network flow data collected from thousands of endpoints, devices, and applications distributed across your network.
This consolidated information is then aggregated into single alerts based on related events to accelerate incident analysis and remediation processes.
The IBM QRadar allows security teams to detect and prioritize network threats across the organization. It also provides intelligent insights into the network to support the teams in operating a quick response that can reduce the impact of incidents.
This full-featured and easy SIEM tool is scarce as it appeals equally to both advanced security teams and beginners looking for an easy and valuable solution.
Securonix competes with IBM and LogRhythm to provide value for money, ease of use, detection, response, management, and deployment. However, in terms of support to users, the tool is average.
Securonix is a cloud-delivered service with pricing based on its number, thereby making it one of the simpler pricing schemes with data and incident volume predominating the market.
Although the pricing model is stable, you need to invest extra for features such as IDPS, forensics, asset discovery, and EDR.
7. McAfee Enterprise Security Manager
Website: McAfee ESM
The Enterprise Security Manager is a SIEM system offered by McAfee is an easy-to-use platform that provides an automated response.
It is one of the three vendors alongside Splunk and Exabeam that offers ease of usage, no minor consideration for SMBs and less experienced enterprise security teams, automated response features, deployment, and response detection and management.
McAfee Enterprise Security Manager is average in terms of support and value, and the behavior analytics requires improvement.
Although this SIEM tool offers solid product capabilities across the board, the data residency monitoring isn’t par. Also, the users are required to pay extra for enjoying features such as EDR, IDPS, and file integrity monitoring.
An excellent tool for all businesses ranging from small to large, Exabeam is a sophisticated and easy tool with a modular approach.
Exabeam offers excellent support and is easy due to its automation features and many add-on capabilities that make it an ideal product for enterprises’ security teams.
The tool offers robust behavior analytics and machine learning features along with a broad range of deployment options and modular approaches such as cloud, incident response, analytics, and threat hunting, all of which provide Exabeam with a perfect balance between usability and security.
Exabeam offers a user-based pricing model which enables simplicity and transparency.
However, the tool could have provided a more straightforward deployment and a few standard features such as vulnerability monitoring, IDPS, EDR, etc.
Fortinet is a fantastic choice for customers who are looking for solid security. This tool has undergone numerous third-party testing for breach and intrusion systems, EDR capabilities, and gateways – all of which have been tested by NSS Labs.
FortiSIEM is a full-featured SIEM system that offers strong Response, Detection, and Management functionalities compared to any other vendor. The tool is especially recommended for Fortinet customers.
Apart from the 34 features offered by Fortinet in its SIEM software, the customers are required to pay extra for vulnerability monitoring, EDR, and IDPs.
Fortinet SIEM offers compliance, threat intelligence, easy deployment, usability, real-time network monitoring, and asset discovery as part of its robust features. However, it needs some improvement in behavioral monitoring and support capabilities.
10. AlienVault USM
Currently known as AT&T Security, AlienVault Unified Security Management (USM) is excellent for small businesses and offers multiple SIEM capabilities and features.
Some of the SIEM features include SIEM event correlation, vulnerability assessment, automated asset discovery and inventory, email security alerts, compliance reporting, log management, intrusion detection, and response management.
The tool also boasts of automated asset discovery usage in a dynamic cloud environment and lightweight sensors and endpoint agents, which help with the continuous security monitoring of the endpoints for possible threats and configuration issues.
The tool’s deployment is faster along with offering capabilities of competent working, identification of AWS configuration and vulnerabilities issues, and automatic threat hunting.
AlienVault can be deployed in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid environment.
The tool offers three pricing plans Essentials that is best for small IT teams is priced at $1075 per month, Standard that is best for IT security teams are priced at $1695 per month, and the Premium is best for IT security teams wanting to meet PCI DSS audit requirements is priced at $2595 per month.
EventTracker is a SIEM platform that offers log management, vulnerability assessment, security orchestration, automation, compliance reporting, user and entity behavior analysis, and threat detection & response.
The tool generates rule-based real-time threat alerts and performs real-time processing and correlation to help behavior analysis and correlation.
EventTracker allows you to pre-configure alerts for various operational and security conditions with 1500 pre-defined security and compliance reports.
EventTracker can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud. It is best suited for any business ranging from small to large and can be used in multiple industries such as healthcare, legal, higher education, finance & banking, retail, etc.
It comes with a customizable dashboard, automated workflows, scalable views for SOC displays and small screens, and a single pane of glass for faster elastic search, optimized responsive display, and SOC.
Rapid7 has provided us with a cloud SIEM solution called Insight IDR that uses the cloud-based insight platform for data collection and search. The SIEM tool can automatically create corresponding tickets for alerts generated or managed by Insight IDR.
The tool supports centralized log and event management and provides attacker behavior analytics. It conducts user behavior analytics by continuously baselining healthy user activity.
The tool is best suited for all businesses ranging from small to large enterprises.
It can easily detect threats like stolen credentials, phishing, and malware using features like deception technology, user and attacker behavior analytics, file integrity monitoring, centralized log management, etc.
Rapid7 scans endpoints for real-time detection and visibility for which it uses an Insight agent. It does not require ongoing management and can make smart and quick decisions using endpoint data, uniting log search, and user behavior.
13. LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform
LogRhythm is one of the first SIEM solution sectors with features ranging from behavioral analysis to log correlation and artificial intelligence used with machine learning.
The deployment manager looks after most of the configurations for settings, making it easier to pinpoint what is going on with your network.
LogRhythm is compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems, making it compatible with an extensive range of log types and devices.
LogRhythm is best suited for medium-sized businesses in need of new security measures due to its price range.
The instruction manual of LogRhythm is quite extensive and complete, with hyperlinks to various features that make it simpler for beginners to get the hang of the software.
14. ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer
Website: EventLog Analyzer
EventLog Analyzer is SIEM software by ManageEngine that focuses on gleaning security and performance information by managing logs. It is best for systems with Windows and Linus operating systems.
The tool is not just a log server. It can perform analytical functions to inform users of any unauthorized access to company resources and assess the performance of critical applications and services such as databases, DHCP servers, print queues, and web servers.
This software has a live intrusion detection system, log analysis, and excellent alert mechanism. It gathers windows event logs and Syslog messages.
The logs and Syslog messages gathered by EventLog are then organized into files, rotating to new files where they are stored in meaningfully-named directories to facilitate easy access.
EventLog Analyzer comes in three editions, of which one is a free version gathering up to five sources. ManageEngine also offers customers a 30-day free trial in the Premium edition and Distributed edition, a network-based version.
The software contains auditing and reporting modules that prove extremely helpful for demonstrating compliance to data protection standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, GLBA, SOX, and FISMA.
15. SolarWinds Security Event Manager
Website: SolarWinds SEM
SolarWinds Security Event Manager (SEM) is an entry-level SIEM tool that embodies all core SIEM features along with extensive reporting and log management features.
The SEM tool offers a detailed and intuitive dashboard design with simplicity in using the visualization tools to identify anomalies.
SolarWinds offers automated log searches for any breaches, real-time system alerts, historical data analysis, and live anomaly detection.
The tool offers a 30-day free trial in which you can enjoy its beautiful interface and lots of graphical visualizations. The device runs on a Windows server and can be used on systems with Windows operating system.
You can get a detailed real-time incident response that can help exploit Windows event logs to support active management of network infrastructure against future threats.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are SIEM tools?
SIEM or Security Information and Event Management are security software that provides various features such as security information management, log management systems for security logs, event management, and security event correlation. SIEM tools offer 360-degree protection to enterprises.
Is Splunk a SIEM tool?
Yes. Splunk enterprise security is SIEM software used to provide security operations such as asset investigator, incident review, customizable dashboards, incident classification and investigation, and statistical analysis.
This tool can work with any machine data irrespective of whether it is from on-premises or cloud and offers quick detection of malicious threats.
What is SIEM? How does it work?
The security software that provides real-time detection and analysis of cyber threats generated by network hardware and applications is called Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools.
SIEM tools gather security log data from multiple sources such as security devices (antivirus and firewalls) and host systems and convert the data into a standard format.
After this, the data is analyzed to identify and categorize events and incidents, and alerts are generated for possible security issues.
Q4. What devices should SIEM monitor?
All network devices, user activities, network data, firewalls, compliance regulations, threat intelligence feeds, routers and switches, partner information, etc., are all monitored by SIEM.