Best Practices for Integrating a SIEM Solution

Category: Data Security
Author: Josh Isley

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems have now been around for more than a decade, and they have certainly come a long way. SIEM systems pair two security abilities- information management and event management- into one overarching solution. Information management’s focus is collecting security data within the enterprise from firewalls, antivirus tools, or intrusion detection. Event management’s focus is on monitoring incidents that threaten data and the system. These are typically from human error or malicious code trying to infiltrate the system. Modern SIEMs go beyond just collecting security data. Today’s SIEM solutions can respond to security threats in real time, reducing threats and restoring order much faster. These tools are very useful for an organization if they are handled properly. In this article we will look at some of the best practices for implementing an SIEM into an organization.

Proper Planning

The first step in implementing an SIEM is understanding goals and the timeline of the integration. SIEMs are known to be complex in nature and neglecting proper planning can expose weaknesses within the organization. Proper planning ensures that the SIEM solution isn’t simply a generic security, but instead is tailored to the exact needs and expectations of the organization. CISOs should establish rules and guidelines for the SIEM, implement any necessary compliance or policy requirements and ensure educated awareness for how the SIEM is managed post-implementation. 

Implementation Procedures

There are several procedures that CISOs should consider when implementing a SIEM. In an article posted by HelpNetSecurity, these components are listed to help CISOs in deploying a solid SIEM:

Design architecture: Making a detailed design architecture helps get a clearer view of the entire implementation. Outlining all data sources related to log sources and data inputs and deploying information collectors to ensure all log sources are connected is a good starting point. 

Create rules: It is critical to ensure that correlation engines are functioning with basic policies. Also, determining more customized rules to be implemented in the long term should be taken up in this stage. These rules help optimize documentation and alerting without damaging network performance. They should also be customized to meet any necessary compliance requirements.

Define process: It is advisable to put a handoff plan in place before deployment, to transfer control from the implementation team to security operations or IT management team. Plus, considering the company’s staffing capabilities is crucial to ensuring that teams can seamlessly manage the SIEM; otherwise, it will all be rendered pointless.

ThreatAdvice Endpoint and SIEM - Always On Threat Coverage

Choosing a Layered Approach

SIEM solutions are great security assets but they shouldn’t stand alone. Choosing to layer other security elements into the company’s security strategy can make the SIEM even stronger. With NXTsoft’s ThreatAdvice EventTracker, the SIEM is one of four layers to deliver a completely comprehensive security experience. Along with the SIEM, the other layers include endpoint sensor, threat intelligence, and managed services. This solution can also pair with ThreatAdvice vCISO to offer even more cybersecurity oversight.

June 23, 2020
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