If you are a CISO or a decision maker looking to bring value to the table by investing in an effective security information and event management (SIEM) solution, speaking in terms of ROI or cost savings can easily get people to a shared understanding. This is relevant to discussions about IT spending since it is typically seen as a cost center. Too often, the IT department and IT security in particular—is not given the resources it needs to save an organization money in the long term. This blog offers a free calculator to estimate a SIEM solution's cost savings. You can receive your custom cost savings report through email.

Although cybersecurity is often perceived as expensive, in the face of escalating attacks and data breaches, it is clear that decision makers cannot afford to be complacent. What organizations need is to consider the cost savings afforded by using a SIEM solution. Beyond the working time and manual effort saved by using a SIEM solution, organizations can also rest assured that they avoid the fines and penalties associated with a breach of regulatory compliance.

When it comes to budgeting for your security operations center (SOC) or security department, investment in a SIEM tool plays a pivotal role. Let's approach your SIEM investment by exploring 3 avenues of costs: compliance, improving operational efficiency, and mitigating the impact of a breach.

Compliance reporting:

Organizations must conform to high-security standards and complex compliance requirements to protect the data they hold. Notable compliance standards include HIPAA, GDPR, PCI-DSS, and SOX. Failing to comply may result in data breaches and legal fines.

Operational efficiency:

The operating efficiency of your SOC is a great metric that not only reduces financial burdens, but helps reduce alert fatigue and analyst burnout.

Mitigating the impact of a breach:

Using SIEM helps reduce not only the likelihood of a data breach but also the impact of any breaches that do occur and their potential fallout.

Table 1 below highlights each of these three cost metrics, along with a description of the associated costs. It also shows how a SIEM solution helps reduce these costs.

Metrics Associated costs How a comprehensive SIEM helps
  • Legal costs.
  • Regulatory fines.
  • More compliance analysts are required to manually pull records during audits. This leads to higher wage costs.
  • Hiring outside experts for a cost to undertake incident investigations.
  • Audit-ready templates and reports are available.
  • Real-time compliance violation alerts.
  • Secure archiving ensures that a tamper-proof log is available for forensics and audits.
  • Advanced threat analytics to aid in forensic investigation.
  • Records can be easily retrieved for audit preparation.
Operational efficiency
  • A high proportion of false positives wastes analysts' working time. And extra working time leads to higher costs.
  • More analysts and working hours are required to investigate any influx of alerts.
  • High manual work to evaluate, analyze, and respond to each alert, which can lead to alert fatigue and burnout. This also leads to more time being spent on alerts and therefore higher costs.
  • Missing or having a slow response to alerts can spiral into a significant breach. A breach leads to costs associated to business downtime, loss of reputation, legal fees and compliance penalties.
  • Easy alert triaging: Dynamic threat intelligence feeds for quick information on IOCs, with reputation scores and geolocation details.
  • The number and variety of incidents to investigate is reduced with automated playbook-based response workflows.
  • Reduced false positives using anomaly detection and correlation rules-based alert profiles with risk prioritization.
Mitigating the impact of a breach
  • Financial exposure: Business disruption, extended system downtime, and lost customers due to higher MTTD (mean time to detect) and MTTR (mean time to recover).
  • Response activities: Hiring investigation, forensics, and auditing services.
  • Legal costs and regulatory fines.
  • UEBA: Anomaly detection using seasonality and peer-group analysis can ensure no threats go unnoticed.
  • Dashboards enable better network visibility.
  • SOAR: Playbook-based automated response workflows initiate as soon as alerts are triggered. Quick reaction time reduces the attack window before further data can be affected.
  • External ticketing to probe into incidents and track repair progress easily.
  • Reduced SLAs minimize business disruption.
The table depicts the costs associated with compliance reporting, operational efficiency, and the impact of a breach, as well as the various capabilities of an effective SIEM solution.

Interested in learning more? Download our free cost savings white paper.

Without a doubt, a SIEM solution, is an essential component of your security architecture—supporting threat detection, compliance, and security incident management through gathering and analyzing security events (both near real-time and historical). Modern SIEM solutions combine threat intelligence, machine learning-based anomaly detection, and rule-based attack detection techniques to identify sophisticated attacks. They also offer security orchestration and automation capabilities for more effective remediation of detected threats.

Here's a calculator that can help you figure out how much money you can save with SIEM. Implementing a SIEM solution is a continuous activity rather than a one-time purchase. Though real-life conditions may change, the calculation you generate may provide an indication of how much you stand to gain.

The calculator can be used to forecast cost savings from a SIEM before purchase, as well as to calculate returns after implementation.

SIEM cost savings calculator

  • 1. Compliance reporting
  • 2. Operational efficiency
  • 3. Mitigating the impact of a breach

1. Compliance reporting

  • Metrics
    Before SIEM
    After SIEM implementation
  • Number of employees who work in compliance reporting
      × Number of employees required, considering time saved due to out-of-the-box reports, real-time violation alerts, and threat analytics.
  • Yearly salary of an employee who works in compliance reporting in USD
      × Glassdoor average salary of an IT compliance analyst: $78,686/yr
  • Total yearly compliance reporting cost
  • Yearly savings

2. Operational efficiency

  • Metrics
    Before SIEM
    After SIEM implementation
  • Monthly alerts
  • How many are false positives
      × False positives are alerts that incorrectly indicate that a vulnerability is present.
      × Only 28% of investigated alerts are legitimate, according to a Cisco study.
      × Number of false positives when using rule-based correlation and anomaly detection capabilities.
  • Total alerts to attend in a month
  • Total alerts to attend in a year
  • Average time spent on each alert in minutes
      × When factoring in the average time taken to review, analyze, and respond.
      × Time it takes to manually investigate and respond to each alert.
      × Time it takes to investigate with advanced threat analytics and automated incident workflows.
  • Total hours
  • Analyst salary per hour in USD
      ×Glassdoor average salary of a security analyst: $40/hr
  • Total yearly spend
  • Yearly savings

3. Mitigating the impact of a breach

  • Metrics
    Before SIEM
    After SIEM implementation
  • MTTD (number of days to detect)
      × According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach report 2021, it takes organizations an average of 239 days to detect a breach with no security automation deployment.
      × According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach report 2021, it takes organizations an average of 212 days to detect a breach with security AI and automation partially deployed.
  • MTTR (number of days to recover)
      × According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach report 2021, it takes organizations an average of 85 days to contain a breach when lacking a security automation deployment.
      × According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach report 2021, it takes organizations an average of 77 days to contain a breach with security AI and automation partially deployed.
  • Number of days to detect and respond
  • Average daily cost of a breach in USD
      × Ponemon institute 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study states the average daily cost of a breach is $6,546 (for organizations without automation and orchestration).
  • Total expected cost per breach
  • Number of breaches per year
  • Total annualized losses expected from breaches
  • Yearly savings
Total savings in USD

Interested in exploring the capabilities of a SIEM solution in depth? Sign up for a personalized demo of ManageEngine Log360, a comprehensive SIEM solution with integrated DLP and CASB capabilities.

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