Why it is Time to Totally Rethink Your SIEM Solution

Consider the intricate process of applying for a home mortgage with the numerous documents you must submit, each acting as a checkpoint for the lender. For each requirement met you check a box and move to the next, adopting a “check it and forget” approach. Historically, many organizations applied this same approach when investing in a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. A SIEM is often acquired to meet specific compliance criteria, following a “buy, set, and forget” mindset. Although SIEM solutions do indeed generate reports that facilitate regulatory compliance, their true value extends much further. Organizations that procured a SIEM solely for compliance purposes have missed out on its broader potential benefits.

Modern Day SIEMs do Remarkable Things

At Evolving Solutions, we are excited about SIEM technology. If you’ve worked with a SIEM system acquired three to five years ago, you might question our excitement. Here’s the reason for it: modern-day SIEMs have grown leaps and bounds in capability, akin to the rapid progression we’ve seen in electric cars. Think about how far electric automobiles have come in such a short time. Just as today’s electric vehicles overshadow their predecessors in terms of design, performance, and efficiency, current SIEMs are a world apart from their older counterparts. Today’s modernized SIEMs differentiate themselves considerably even from those purchased three years ago. If you look at a SIEM as simply an advanced log aggregator, you are selling the technology short.

Beyond the basic functionality of gathering log data from various sources, modernized SIEMs harness this information in real-time, incorporating User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). Through the power of machine learning and advanced data analytics, today’s SIEMs now set benchmarks for typical user and system behaviors. The SIEM then actively and continuously monitors everything to perform baseline comparison to flag anomalies that may represent potential threats.

Today’s SIEMs can also leverage curated knowledge bases such as MITRE ATT&CK to map specific attack techniques and develop more effective detection rules or heuristics that are designed to identify specific tactics and techniques used by adversaries. Yet, what truly stands out in this generation of SIEMs is their capacity for automated countermeasures. These automated responses, ranging from isolating compromised devices to shutting down malicious processes can significantly trim down an intruder’s window of opportunity. And with the horizon showing promises of entirely automated corrective measures, the future is even more promising.

The Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats

Another benchmark for evaluating SIEMs should be their efficacy in countering the top five cybersecurity challenges that most organizations confront today. Currently, these five threats are:

Evolving Solutions – 2023 Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats

  1. Phishing and Social Engineering: Phishing uses deceptive emails or websites to lure individuals into sharing sensitive details like passwords. These tactics have emerged as major cyber threats, exploiting human psychology and technological vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information or manipulate victims for malicious purposes. Phishing and Social Engineering attacks are often a precursor to other attacks.
  2. Business Email Compromise (BEC) / Corporate Account Take Over (CATO): These attacks usually target specific roles or employees within your organization. Threat actor motivation is usually focused on financial gain such as gaining unauthorized access and transaction manipulation. In today’s cloud era, attackers can breach data without accessing your network directly.
  3. Ransom Attacks: Ransom attacks have become increasingly sophisticated, causing substantial financial losses, disruptions to critical services, and compromising sensitive data. Such attacks have grown more advanced, leading to significant financial and data losses. The fallout can be severe, from losing intellectual property to facing legal consequences. Threat actors are now weaponizing commercially available tools with malicious intent – largely to conduct data exfiltration and ransom guarantees not to release the stolen data.
  4. Vulnerabilities: Hybrid IT environments amplify risks like cyberattacks, misconfigurations, and unauthorized access. Flaws in cloud infrastructure, software, endpoints, and networks significantly contribute to recent breaches.
  5. Insider Threats: 19% of security risks also originate from within an organization1. Risks from within an organization can stem from malicious insiders misusing access as well as unintentional errors leading to issues like data exposure.

The complexity of these and other mounting threats calls for a more comprehensive solution that can detect and respond accordingly as quickly as possible. This requires timely and accurate information about your network, which is where a SIEM comes in. The more data you can feed into a SIEM, the better the results will be.  Limited data equates to limited defense functionality. By aggregating as much data as possible from as many of your endpoints and systems and applying AI and ML to alleviate this overload of data, taking your security posture can be elevated and ensuring that you are always one step ahead of potential threats.

Why IBM QRadar Defines a New Standard Today

IBM QRadar is an all-encompassing security platform that features capabilities such as SIEM, EDR, SOAR, and other key security functionalities. It empowers security teams with capabilities like sophisticated threat detection, in-depth forensic analysis, anomaly spotting, and regulatory compliance assistance. The combination of SIEM and SOAR in one package provides security teams with a one-two punch to combat threats in real time. Its SOAR platform is built on Ansible, an open-source standard that simplifies complex orchestration challenges and is supported industry wide. The more tasks you can automate with SOAR, the more streamlined and responsive your security efforts will be.

QRadar offers tremendous agility as it can integrate with an extensive list of network devices, servers, applications, and cloud services. It also supports a wide range of log formats and protocol. It also allows support users the ability to create custom views and dashboards tailored to their specific needs and preferences to accentuate visualization of critical security data.

It’s crucial to recognize that while having state-of-the-art intelligent automation tools is vital, the value of legacy can’t be overlooked. IBM’s longstanding presence in the IT and security domain emphasizes its expertise. Security has always been a focal area for IBM, enhancing their capacity to cultivate, validate, and roll out an advanced AI foundation specifically for security purposes. QRadar combined with IBM Cognitive Artificial Intelligence enables security operation teams to do more with greater accuracy.

How Evolving Solutions Can Assist

No SIEM solution should be left to operate on autopilot. Like all vital IT tools, a “set it and forget it” approach will achieve limited results in the long run. Cybersecurity is a moving target. Your environment is dynamic and constantly changing, cyber threats are constantly evolving, and users find different uses for their digital tools. Your SIEM must progress along with your organization to be effective. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t have the resources or expertise to synchronize the SIEM to the changing pulse of their organization.

Enter Evolving Solutions. Our team engages with SIEMs regularly, understanding their intricacies across many different environments. We’re dedicated to ensuring you not only tap into its comprehensive security features but also optimize its return on investment. At Evolving Solutions, our passion lies in SIEMs, and we eagerly assist both new and existing clients in harnessing their SIEM’s full potential.

1 2023 Verizon Data Breach Report. 2023-data-breach-investigations-report-dbir.pdf (verizon.com)


Jon Roberts

Security Architect

Jon Roberts is a Security Architect at Evolving Solutions. Connect with Jon on LinkedIn here.

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