SIEM Alerts Guide [Everything You Need To Know]

SIEM Alerts Guide [Everything You Need To Know]

When it comes to protecting a business, SOCs most frequently make use of a technology known as a SIEM alert. SOCs put their faith in this form of automated technology to ensure the dependability of the processes on their IT systems since it alerts them to any potential problems that may arise.

Security Information and Event Management, also known as SIEM, is a software system that combines and analyzes activity across your whole IT infrastructure from a wide variety of resources.

The usage of a SIEM system helps ensure that your compliance needs are satisfied, that customer data is carefully protected, and that any problems can be corrected swiftly before they affect your end users. I’ll discuss all of these benefits in more detail later in this article. So, better let’s begin with the introduction!

What exactly is a SIEM?

It is a system that combines older tools known as SIM (Security Information Management) and SEM (Security Event Management) and goes by the acronym SIEM (which stands for Security Information & Event Management). These days, modern SIEM solutions also contain technology like SOAR and UEBA, which may detect dangers based on aberrant behavior and automate the process of responding to threats, respectively.

Together, they offer a quicker identification and reaction to any security events or incidents that may occur within an information technology environment. It offers a complete and centralized view of the security posture of an IT infrastructure and gives cybersecurity experts insights into the activities that take place within their own IT environments.

Why Security Integrated Event Management (SIEM) Alerts are so Crucial?

SIEM alerts are critical for security because they provide early warning of potential security threats or malicious behavior within a network or system. This allows for more time to respond appropriately. They make it possible for enterprises to promptly notice and respond to security incidents, allowing them to avoid major injury or damage that could otherwise be caused. SIEM alerts are issued whenever the system identifies an aberrant activity, such as unsuccessful attempts to log in, unauthorized access, or suspicious network traffic. These notifications are then forwarded to security teams, so that they may examine the issue and take the right actions to prevent any additional damage.

Without SIEM alerts, security teams would not be able to monitor the huge amount of data generated by network and security devices effectively, nor would they be able to identify and respond to security issues promptly. This could lead to major data breaches, network outages, and other incidents linked to security, all of which could have a detrimental effect on the organization’s reputation as well as its financial well-being. SIEM alerts can not only provide early warning of security events, but they can also assist businesses in discovering patterns of activity that could suggest a more severe security concern. This is in addition to the early warning of security incidents that they provide.

Use Cases for the SIEM Alert System

SIEM alerts have a wide range of applications that can be used to improve the security posture of an organization. Some of these applications include the detection of malware and suspicious activities on a network, the monitoring of user activity, compliance monitoring, threat hunting, and incident response.

The following are some examples of popular SIEM alert use cases:

  • Compliance Monitoring: Compliance with rules and industry standards, such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, or GDPR, can be monitored with SIEM systems thanks to their ability to be used in this capacity. SIEM alerts can be used to assist in the detection of policy violations, such as unauthorized access or data breaches, which can put an organization in danger of not complying with applicable regulations.
  • The Elimination of Potential Dangers: SIEM alerts can be used to look for potential security risks and vulnerabilities in advance, rather than waiting for the system to find them first. This is preferable to the alternative of waiting for the system to find them. The process of leveraging SIEM alerts to hunt for potential security threats, sometimes known as “threat hunting,” entails searching for potentially dangerous patterns of activity or behavior.
  • Incident Response: SIEM alerts can be used to facilitate incident response by giving real-time notifications and contextual information about security events. This can be accomplished by using the SIEM alerts to provide information about security incidents. This can assist security teams in responding to security incidents in a timely and effective manner, hence reducing the potential damage that can be caused by a security breach or other occurrence.
  • HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulates that patient information must be protected using appropriate security measures, including network security, physical security, and administrative security. HIPAA compliance requires unique user IDs, data encryption, and decryption mechanisms to be employed. When it comes to auditing for hardware and software activity, organizations are also needed to follow appropriate reporting practices to comply with the requirements. From the standpoint of SIEM, security mechanisms need to be put into place so it can be determined whether any HIPAA-related data is being safeguarded adequately. This can involve setting up warnings for situations in which data is accessed unlawfully or in which there is a breach in the system.
  • Collaboration among stakeholders: Managing information technology infrastructure and managing security events both require the participation of various stakeholders. An unusual occurrence related to network security could be reported to the NOC management. They may wish to engage with the SOC team to have an understanding of the resolution pathway that is most suited to their needs. You should make it easy for various stakeholders to interact, share information, and manage connected workflows between different systems with the SIEM solution that you choose.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an important piece of data privacy legislation in Europe that mandates specific safeguards for the personal information of European individuals. For instance, personal information must not be divulged to unauthorized third parties and must also be stored safely. Because businesses are required to keep a Personal Data Breach Register, you will need a technology that can inform you if there have been any data breaches that have happened.
  • Abuse of Privileged Access: In a similar vein, abuse of privileged access is another reason why companies should employ SIEM products. When a hostile attacker gains access to your systems, the accounts that have high levels of access or administrative privileges are typically the ones that are targeted. It is essential to keep a watch on system access, privileges, and account activity to stop privileged access abuse before it happens.

The Best Practices for SIEM

After you get your tool set up, there are a few best practices you need to follow to guarantee that your program is operating in the most efficient manner possible.

  1. A unified solution for all DevSecOps: In many cases, the ownership of various cloud resources, apps, and data is partitioned between multiple organizations by their organizational structure. This may be a significant challenge from a security point of view because end-to-end visibility and control may be hampered as a result, and compliance may also be negatively impacted. The absence of a centralized security plan can result in major security flaws, which in turn puts sensitive data and other resources in jeopardy. Cloud SIEM solutions are an essential component in overcoming these difficulties because they offer full-stack visibility, enabling the visualization of logs, metrics, and performance data to guarantee reliable delivery.
  2. Machine learning leverage: For outlier detection, anomaly detection, log reduction, and time comparisons of states for threat detection at a large scale, on unknown and new sources, Cloud SIEM systems utilize machine learning models. In addition, Sumo Logic’s patented Log Reduce and Log Compare pattern analysis may be used to unearth root causes from hundreds of log lines, and its Outlier Detection feature can be used to identify abnormal patterns of behavior.
  3. Audit and compliance requirements: Maintaining an up-to-date record of what your compliance standards entail is the best approach to guarantee that your scope and correlation rules are valid at all times. A member of your legal, audit, or IT team should always have a clear concept of, for example, what PCI compliance procedures you need to conduct, and they should be on top of any legal or regulatory changes that affect your company. This is especially important if your business handles credit card information.
  4. Proper deployment: If the SIEM tool you choose is not correctly implemented, it won’t be of much value to you even if you chose it. Ensure that you have all the necessary infrastructure and operating equipment set up before beginning the operation. In addition, make sure that the deployment site has been meticulously prepared so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
  5. Sufficient scope: You should always plan and scope your security needs before using your SIEM product to ensure that it functions effectively. Conduct a detailed study to identify the key threats facing your company, select which systems, people, networks, and apps will be monitored, and think carefully about whether aspects of your company’s operations or data are particularly sensitive. When you have the right scope, you can ensure that everything important is being watched without having to collect a significant amount of data that isn’t necessary.
  6. Rules for an appropriate correlation: Establish your correlation rules by what was covered above to link them with the various security concerns you face. For instance, if you have significant HIPAA compliance demands, your correlation rules should be set up for common SIEM alerts relating to HIPAA issues. This allows you to be notified of difficulties involving the access and storage of health data.
  7. Complete possession: Executive leaders understand, maybe better than anyone else, that risk cannot be transferred from one entity to another. In the case of Acme Corporation, I made a point of emphasizing that the company had entered into a services contract with a third-party provider to do alert analysis and backend management. Although this may appear to be the safest and most convenient way to proceed for many teams, the reality is that the more control is removed from the security team, the more friction will be experienced by the team in both day-to-day operations and during times of emergency. This is true regardless of whether the team is responding to a crisis or not.
  8. Keep an eye on the most important assets: Pay close attention to the monitoring of essential assets including servers, databases, and apps that store sensitive data or are essential to the functioning of the firm. This helps to guarantee that any security events involving these assets are recognized as soon as possible and appropriate action is taken in response to them.
  9. Refine alert rules: Over time, the alert rules should be refined to cut down on the number of false positives that are produced by the system. Tuning the thresholds and criteria for producing alerts is required here to cut down on the amount of noise that is produced by the system.
  10. Access rights management: When dealing with sensitive data, the Security Information and Event Management system (SIEM) should serve as the “last line” of security rather than the initial step. Utilize tools for managing access privileges to guarantee that no one has access to material that they should not be able to view. Sensitive information ought to be guarded with extreme caution, and any temporary access ought to be canceled as soon as the user no longer requires it to access the information.

Choosing the Best SIEM Solution 

Because there are so many possibilities, picking the right security information and event management (SIEM) system for your company and its budget can be challenging. It is essential to keep in mind that not all SIEM solutions are created equal and that a solution that is appropriate for one company may not be appropriate for another company, depending on criteria such as price, features, and functionality.

In light of the aforementioned considerations and other features, we believe that the solution provided by SolarWinds Security Event Manager would be an excellent option to go with. SolarWinds Security Event Manager is a SIEM system that provides security analysts with real-time alerts and notifications, powerful threat detection capabilities, and a user-friendly interface that can be configured according to the requirements of an organization. It also has automation and orchestration features, which can automate incident response operations, and it meets compliance needs like PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR.

It also provides tools to run a study of your files and access rights, allowing you to discover whether suspicious permission changes have occurred regarding files, folders, and registry settings. This can be done so that you can determine whether unauthorized access has been gained. This helps to guard against dangers that come from within the organization.

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