Companies employ various security technologies and techniques to guard their networks but why do cyber-attackers seems to always wade its way off and still execute cyber-attacks?
With threats becoming more and more complex every time, companies have now extended their security capabilities by deploying various security technologies and appliances across their enterprise in the aim to fend off myriad of attack vectors entering the enterprise premises.
Unluckily, we wonder why malware still seem to wade its way through the ‘protected’ network and execute an attack that can either be just initially unnoticed or can bring the enterprise down.
But what seems to be the problem? As we tend to deploy a lot of security technologies, each of them covering different angles of protection, we give IT more and more different portals, applications and reports to look at, check and analyze every single time to see whether the enterprise is safe and secured, which, ironically, results to one of the most common basic enterprise security failings: lack of visibility and control.
Whenever an organization encounters a network security threat, the first response is usually to consult the logs in an effort to review as much information about the threat. The problem is that a single log — independent of other security protocols and components of your network — lacks context.
In analyzing logs, combing through a lot of information can be a very complicated process. Add that to the fact that network threats often do not look like threats initially. Because if they did, it would be a lot easier to protect against them.
That is why having all of your security apparatuses working together is a key in network security. And how do we do that?
The solution: SIEM – Security Information and Events Management
What is SIEM?
Security Incident and Event Manager (SIEM) is a set of network security tools, often packaged as a complete security solution, used by IT professionals and system administrators to manage multiple security applications and devices, and to respond automatically to resolve security incidents.
SIEM systems can detect and alert for incidents that would have otherwise not been detected by siloed logs. It ingests log data from different network hardware and software systems and analyze that data to correlate events and find anomalies or patterns of behavior that may indicate a security breach.
The system can see the bigger picture in correlating events that perhaps would not have been seen as symptoms of a threat until it’s too late. Over time, as this correlation occurs, more threats can be identified and isolated before they cause damage.
If an event is occurring, the SIEM system provides a centralized resource for all of your log data. Whatever incident protocols you enact are expedited because you and your staff do not have to chase down information from dozens of sources to isolate the threat. The machines that were attacked can be identified, and the threat can be mitigated without further damage.
Benefits: How does it help?
Operations support: The size and complexity of today’s enterprises are growing exponentially, along with the number of IT personnel to support them. Operations are often split among different teams such as the Network team, Security team, the server team, desktop team, etc., each with their own tools to monitor and respond to events.
This makes information sharing and collaboration difficult when problems occur. But with SIEM, pulling data from disparate systems into a single pane of glass, allows efficient cross-team collaboration in extremely large enterprises
Zero-day threat detection: New attack vectors and vulnerabilities are discovered every day. Firewalls, IDS/IPS and AV solutions all look for malicious activity at various points within the IT infrastructure, from the perimeter to endpoints. However, many of these solutions are not equipped to detect zero-day attacks.
SIEMs offer enhanced endpoint monitoring capabilities that keep track of processes starting and stopping and network connections opening and closing. By correlating process activity and network connections from host machines, a SIEM can detect attacks, without ever having to inspect packets or payloads. While IDS/IPS and AV do what they do well, a SIEM provides a safety net that can catch malicious activities that slip through traditional defenses.
Advanced persistent threats: APTs have been in the news a lot. An APT is generally defined as a sophisticated attack that targets a specific piece of data or infrastructure, using a combination of attack vectors and methods, simple or advanced, to elude detection. In response, many organizations have implemented a defense in depth strategy around their critical assets using firewalls and IDS/IPS at the perimeter, two-factor authentication, internal firewalls, network segmentation, AV, etc.
All of these devices generate a huge amount of data, which is difficult to monitor. A security team cannot realistically have eight dashboards open and correlate events among several components fast enough to keep up with the packets traversing the network. SIEM technologies bring all of these controls together into a single engine, capable of continuous real-time monitoring and correlation across the breadth and depth of the enterprise.
Forensics. A forensics investigation can be a long, drawn-out process. Not only must a forensics analyst interpret log data to determine what actually happened, the analyst must preserve the data in a way that makes it admissible in a court of law. Since log data represents the digital fingerprints of all activity that occurs across IT infrastructures, it can be mined to detect security, operations and regulatory compliance problems. Consequently, SIEM technology, with its ability to automate log monitoring, correlation, pattern recognition, alerting and forensic investigations, is emerging as a central nervous system for gathering and generating IT intelligence.
You won’t know you’re infected until the malware decides to unveil itself and infect all your data. Contact us now!
Cyber-security is not something an organization can do half-heartedly. Looking for attacks in the wrong place or just a momentary lapse of attention can easily lead to a breach, with potentially terminal consequences.
Deploy SIEM now and enjoy your cyber-attack-free holiday vacation! Happy holidays!