With organizations realizing the importance of deploying a security information and event management (SIEM) solution, the focus has shifted from the question "Do we really need a SIEM solution?" to "Which SIEM solution suits our organizational needs better? And should we go for on-premises or cloud-based SIEM?"

There are several SIEM vendors in the market, so it's important to decide on the deployment method and then evaluate your options based on that.

Here are a few points to consider while deciding whether to go for an on-premises or cloud SIEM solution.

  • Functionality
  • Cost
  • Security and control
  • Scalability
  • Accessibility
  • Updates

Functionality

SIEM solutions are inherently complex in nature and getting your SIEM up and running can be a tough task, more so for on-premises installations of SIEM. Your SIEM solution needs to be fully integrated with the complex business system of your organization, which requires skilled professionals.

Even with a competent team, it will take a considerable amount of time to reap the benefits offered by the SIEM solution. This is because the team needs time to become proficient with the new tool and configure it effectively to ensure that your organization is better equipped against cybersecurity threats and possible attacks.

So, essentially it can take up to several months before you start seeing the return on investment.

Cost

On paper, the pricing of on-premises SIEM solutions looks better when compared to cloud SIEM solutions, which can cost more. However, on-premises solutions come with factors such as buying and maintaining huge amounts of physical resources including servers, databases, and other hardware, making the overall cost of maintaining an on-premises solution much higher.

Additionally, recruiting a highly skilled professional and maintaining a team of such professionals for implementing and maintaining the on-premises solution also takes a toll on your cybersecurity budget. On the other hand, cloud SIEM vendors employ their own team of cybersecurity experts to survey your network and integrate your SIEM solution, keeping you in a good position to detect and eliminate cybersecurity threats without the costs that come with on-premises solutions.

Security and control

On-premises SIEM solutions offer organizations complete control over their data, since the data is stored on their own premises. However, the same cannot be said for cloud solutions where data is moved off-site on the SIEM vendor's servers. Some organizations are also bound by compliance mandates to scrutinize what data they send over the cloud, which can quickly become a time-consuming process owing to the complications involved.

All of this can be avoided with an on-premises solution. On-premises solutions also ensure complete control over the SIEM platform, helping organizations tailor the tool as per their own business requirements.

Scalability

Another important difference between on-premises and cloud implementations of SIEM solutions is the scalability aspect. Although you pay less for on-premises SIEM solutions, it becomes very difficult to upgrade if your requirements change.

Cloud solutions offer this flexibility since they have pay-per-usage plans, letting you pay only for what you use. Additionally you can upgrade to other plans and add or drop services easily according to what your organization needs at any given point. The plan changes will be reflected immediately, allowing you to use additional services right away.

Accessibility

One of the most relevant factors to consider is the accessibility offered by the SIEM solution, more so now because of the pandemic. With several organizations taking the partial or permanent work-from-home route, cloud SIEM solutions make a strong case for themselves. An employee can work from any part of the world and can access the services they need while always staying in the security zone of the cloud-based SIEM solution.

Updates

SIEM solutions require constant updates to ensure that all the security systems in it are up to date. These updates and patches take a lot of time, resulting in log collection being stopped. Such downtimes aren't a problem for cloud SIEMs since the updates are taken care of by the cloud vendor.

For organizations not bound by security and privacy mandates, cloud SIEM solutions have an edge over on-premises SIEMs, and this edge only grows bigger if you look to the future. With more technologies moving to the cloud and the cloud adoption trend increasing in the advent of the remote-work era, your best bet is investing in a cloud SIEM solution that best fits your organizational objectives.

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