A security information and event management (SIEM) solution collects and processes logs from all sources in an organization's network and generates reports that provide insights to help defend against cybersecurity threats. This is why a SIEM solution is an indispensable part of an organization's infrastructure in today's cybersecurity landscape. This is why evaluating and zeroing in on a SIEM solution that suits your organizational needs is crucial.

However, the job doesn't end at choosing a SIEM solution. An important part is integrating the solution with your organization's infrastructure to make the most of your SIEM solution's capabilities.

Lets get you up to speed on what you need to know while implementing a SIEM solution in your organization's network.

Setting up a SIEM solution is essentially a three-step process.

  1. Deployment
  2. Tuning
  3. Maintenance

1. Deployment

Prior to integrating the SIEM solution with your network, you need to ensure that adequate system resources are available for the SIEM solution's use. Once you get the prerequisites right, you can move on to deploying the SIEM solution using one of the three different modes of deployment mentioned below.

  • Appliance-based: In this deployment mode, the SIEM solution is in the form of a physical device that collects and analyzes the log data from the network. This mode is best for organizations that house network resources inside their own premises and require tight security.
  • Software-based: Software implementation requires you to purchase and install a software version of the SIEM solution that runs on a local device where the logs are collected and processed.
  • Cloud-based: In a cloud deployment, the SIEM solution runs on the vendor's server in an offshore site. One of the major advantages of a cloud-based SIEM solution is the flexibility and scalability it provides. You can scale resources up and down as needed, as services can be conveniently added or dropped from the cloud service provider.

During the deployment phase, system administrators become familiar with the solution and its workings. This initial phase will also shed light on storage projections, average log volumes, and CPU requirements, helping you make informed decisions.

2. Tuning

Every organization is different and so are its needs. Your SIEM solution needs to be in tune with your organization's specific needs. Tuning is the process of configuring your SIEM solution to meet those organizational demands. Here's what you can do to tune your SIEM solution:

  • To feed the SIEM solution with the right data, ensure that you've enabled the right audit policies and fine-tuned them to generate exactly the data you need for security analysis and monitoring.
  • Once you deploy your SIEM solution, ensure that all the devices and data sources in your network are configured to send generated logs or net flows to the SIEM tool. Some SIEM tools can automatically discover and configure devices and applications that need to send log data, making it easy to tune your SIEM solution.
  • Due to the sheer volume of logs generated, important logs might get overlooked. To avoid this while getting the most out of the bandwidth available, make sure you configure log collection filters to collect only the necessary log data. Besides reducing storage costs, this will help with reducing the number of false positives and detecting threats and vulnerabilities at their early stages.

3. Maintenance

SIEM solutions are not set-it-and-forget-it kind of solutions. They need constant maintenance to ensure that they function smoothly and that their capabilities are being leveraged to their full potential.

With the constantly changing cybersecurity environment and a dynamic organizational network, here are a few things that you should do to maintain your SIEM solution.

  • Periodically update log correlation rules to keep up with the changing patterns of threats and attacks.
  • Build new alert profiles to set up incident response workflows.
  • Regularly review and update firewall configurations, rules, and policies by monitoring threat feed policy configurations to stay on top of changes and registry policies.
  • Back up databases regularly to ensure that no data is lost.
  • Secure log archives to make them tamper proof. This will ensure that you can re-import logs when needed, like during forensic analysis.

These steps will ensure that your SIEM solution is in the best position to maintain the cyberhealth of your organization and help you stay a few steps ahead of attackers.

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