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Get SIEM to work harder for you. 5 things you must get right

When it’s expertly deployed, SIEM is an excellent tool for spotting and preventing harmful cyber-attacks.
Unfortunately, many organisations fail to take full advantage of what SIEM can offer. And this can leave you vulnerable to a breach.
However, if you ask the right questions before you start and make sure you set up your SIEM correctly, your company will be as safe as it can be from any malicious players out there.
Here are the top 5 things you should always do to get the most from your SIEM.

Risk Management

Plan Your Deployment – Set Clear Goals

It takes a great deal of planning to deploy SIEM correctly. It would help if you thought about things such as:

  • What exactly your security strategy is and how SIEM will fit into it
  • What specific SIEM features do you think your network can utilise
  • The hardware requirements needed for your SIEM
  • How your SIEM will scale as your company’s needs change
  • Any regulatory requirements

It’s only when you have answered questions such as these that your goals for your SIEM will become apparent, and you can plan your deployment accurately.

Use SIEM for more than compliance

Although SIEM started as a tool for managing compliance and auditing, it has quickly become an essential tool for managing security.  It is now used for security tasks such as:

  • Malware detection
  • Monitoring user behaviour
  • Compliance monitoring for regulations such as GDPR, SOX, PCI and others

If you feel your team is not fully aware of the full potential of SIEM for security, it may be time for extra training or hiring experts in the SIEM field.

Fine Tune your log correlation and alerts 

The following two points seem like minor problems that are only to do with “settings”.  However, they can cause enormous problems for your network if you get them wrong.

Because many SIEM solutions come with out-the-box rules automatically activated, they can lead to far too many unnecessary alerts.

All these false positives can overwhelm your security analysts and lead to “alert fatigue”, which in turn means that they may miss genuine problems.

It is always essential to tailor those out-the-box rules to your organisation’s needs (which is why it is so important to set clear goals and plan your deployment in the first place).

Correctly configure auto-updates

If auto-updates are disabled or misconfigured, your SIEM solution will not receive updated lists of vulnerabilities, and protocols will not be renewed.  And because cyber-criminals are developing new hacks daily, your system needs to be kept up to date.

Again, it is worth double-checking all these features rather than expecting them to work out the box and make sure they align with the goals for your SIEM.

Make sure the people handling your SIEM are experts

Even in this short “best of” list, you can see how complicated it can be to deploy SIEM well.  It takes a lot of experience and know-how to make sure your business network is getting the most it can from your SIEM.

Cyber-attacks can harm your company in many ways.  There is the obvious downtime spent sorting out the problem.

But there are also the financial consequences – and the harm done to your reputation.  After all, how would you feel about working with a company whose IT network had been breached…?

So, although it may seem like an extra expense to train your staff or hire specialists, it is an investment that will no doubt reward your company handsomely in the long term.