What is SIEM & SOC?

what is siem and soc

SIEM and SOC are two key acronyms in the ever-evolving world of cyber security. Because these two complex concepts can be hard to grasp properly, we’re here to break them down for you. Read on to find out more.

What is SIEM?

SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management. SIEM software collects data from various sources from network devices to servers or domain controllers. It then analyses this data and provides real-time information on any security alerts that might have been flagged. Any suspicious activity is then sorted according to its risk level, allowing security teams to focus on the most pressing anomalies.

All this information is brought together into a single platform, effectively streamlining data security analysis and facilitating the integration with other products. Most importantly, SIEM solutions reduce the time to identify and respond to cyber threats, dramatically improving your defences.

What about SOC?

SOC stands for Security Operations Centre. An organisation’s SOC team monitors network traffic, investigates security incidents and responds to potential threats. In a few words, the SOC team is responsible for protecting a company against cybercrime. Larger companies sometimes have a dedicated SOC team and even a SOC operations room. However, many organisations outsource their SOC operations as it’s usually cheaper and more effective.

SOC teams can receive hundreds of thousands of security alerts in a single working day. Suffice to say, no team in the world could possibly handle all that workload. That is exactly why SIEM solutions exist. SOC teams use SIEM to collate data from a myriad of sources and centralise it in one directory, simplifying the monitoring and incident response processes. Once a SIEM detects a potential threat, it immediately sends it to the SOC team to investigate.

How do SIEM and SOC work?

There are multiple processes at work here. First, a SIEM solution logs data from devices, networks and applications and gathers it all in one centralised location. Because this is all done in real time, it allows IT teams to control their network’s flow data automatically. Then, the SIEM software takes this data and analyses it through a cross-monitoring process. That means that it investigates the event correlation between every potential security threat so there are no loose ends at all.

Once enough data has been processed, a SIEM solution will be able to identify and placate potential threats to cybersecurity. These hazards are separated depending on the level of threat they present. Have you ever tried to log into an account in a different location or device than the one you usually use? That is the kind of event that is logged as a potential attack. Normally, you’ll get a security alert sent to your email so you can prove that you are the user who’s logging in.

After a few times logging in from a new location, you might have also noticed that your system stops asking you to prove your identity. That’s because the highly intelligent SIEM software has acknowledged that this particular event doesn’t represent a security threat.

Over time, a SIEM solution will improve the system’s efficacy and flag fewer false positive alerts. The importance of this cannot be overstated.

What are the benefits of SIEM?

Businesses of all types can benefit from SIEM solutions. By streamlining security processes and enhancing their efficacy, SIEM provides a number of advantages.

Reduce a SOC’s alert fatigue

You might have heard of alert fatigue before. In a nutshell, this term describes what happens when workers are exposed to so many alerts and alarms that they become desensitised to them. Think of that nagging security or update alert that keeps popping up in your computer every few hours. Now imagine that on a much larger scale. If a SOC faces many false alerts on a daily basis, chances are they will start ignoring them altogether – opening the door to very real threats.

By minimising false alarms, a SIEM solution will rake all the dead leaves off your security system. This will take a hefty weight off your SOC’s shoulders so they have enough energy to tackle the real alerts.

Increased accuracy and efficiency

The level of accuracy offered by SIEM solutions would be simply impossible to achieve using individual security data streams. Once a few event logs have been gathered, it will become progressively easier to flag potential security threats.

In the event that a cyberattack takes place, your SIEM tool will immediately identify its route and prevent it from happening again. On top of that, SIEM prepares your entire system for cyber threats. If similar attacks occur on different devices, a SIEM will instantly notice this and take appropriate action.

Without a SIEM solution, your team of security analysts would have to interpret all this data by hand and come to conclusions on their own. Think about all the time and energy SIEM can save you and your employees – all while improving security.

Minimise insider threats

The internet can sometimes feel like the Wild West. You can count hackers and cybercriminals by the hundreds of thousands – and don’t get us started on automated cyber threats without any need for human input. In case that wasn’t enough, your own employees can easily put your entire business at risk too. According to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, 22% of all cybersecurity incidents are directly caused by insiders.

SIEM software won’t eliminate the risk of insider threats, but it will definitely minimise it. It will allow you to monitor certain employee habits that might prove dangerous and create alerts for any abnormal activity.

Compliance requirement

Automating your security logs will save you some valuable time and money. Certain highly regulated sectors such as finance or healthcare require companies to meet very demanding data privacy conditions. Because it covers all bases with a more cost-effective price tag, a SIEM solution is your best choice if you want to be compliant.

Invest in Managed SIEM solutions

Because SIEM solutions can be expensive to build and develop in-house, most companies rely on third parties to offer managed SIEM services. CyberGuard’s SIEM service will equip you with a complete package of indispensable measures from behavioural monitoring to alarm management and analysis.

Explore Managed SIEM