Security information and event management (SIEM) as a cybersecurity solution is an amalgamation of technologies that combine processes that include both security information management and security event management. In simpler terms, a SIEM solution is a vital security tool that collects, stores, and analyzes logs from multiple data sources across an organization to detect anomalies in activities, identify potential threats, and alert IT admins about gaps and vulnerabilities that need attention. Along with an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape, there is now inevitable acceleration towards digital transformation. These factors have started to establish SIEM solutions as standard resources in the face of increased cybersecurity threats and the severity of cyberattacks.

With the need for SIEM established, let's take a look at the different ways a SIEM solution can be deployed, and find out which SIEM solution works best for you.

A brief on cloud-native vs. cloud-based applications

Before understanding the distinctions between cloud-native and cloud-based applications, it can be useful to refresh yourself on the basics. In a nutshell, the cloud refers to a virtual space that is used to store files, databases, and servers, as well as to run applications. Therefore, cloud applications are accessed through the cloud, wherein data is stored or processed online.

Cloud-native refers to the approach wherein an application is built from the ground up for the cloud using microservice architecture. This translates to how these applications are designed, managed, and run by taking full advantage of cloud computing.

Cloud-based applications, though designed to use in the cloud, do not follow the ground-up approach like cloud-native architecture does. Often, cloud-based applications are those that are migrated to be hosted in the cloud but not originally designed for it.

Here are some of the main attributes of cloud-based applications:

  • Makes use of the cloud infrastructure without needing any rebuilding
  • Reduced need for infrastructure maintenance
  • Costs pertain to the whole stack when the application runs

Following this short note on foundational basics, let's look at the different methods used for SIEM deployment.

SIEM deployment: Cloud-based vs. on-premises solutions

Organizations today have the option to deploy SIEM solutions either on-premises or in the cloud. Let's take a look at what makes cloud-based SIEM and on-premises SIEM exactly what they are.

Cloud-based SIEM

Cloud-based SIEM, or cloud SIEM, allows IT admins and enterprise security teams to manage security threats across both on-premises and cloud environments with greater flexibility and convenience. Cloud SIEM carries the ability to effectively monitor applications, devices, and all other endpoints in a network, generally from a single dashboard. This is greatly useful in today's time, where dynamic workplaces with work-from-home and hybrid models lead the global work front.

Here are a few advantages of cloud SIEM:

  • Without any hardware to install and set up, nor any manual maintenance to look after, cloud-based SIEM saves a lot of time and can be deployed quickly
  • Since there is a preconfigured SIEM solution set in place, the time taken for deployment and internal employee education is reduced; in this case, organizations automatically have access to expert knowledge given there is an expert team managing the SIEM platform of choice
  • Cloud SIEM allows an organization to stay one step ahead of potential threats since they are detected in real-time with larger processing power, i.e., logs are analyzed as soon as they are fed into the SIEM platform

On-premises SIEM

As the name suggests, on-premises SIEM refers to deploying SIEM security solutions within the premises of the organization as opposed to in the cloud. Characteristically, on-premises SIEM deployment for an organization requires installation and configuration to be done in-house. A key distinguishing factor is that all the enterprise data stays on-site, giving the organization a sense of security and control.

Here are a few advantages of on-premises SIEM:

  • Given there exists complete control over the SIEM platform, an organization could precisely customize the platform to garner the best results for its specific business requirements
  • Having all enterprise data within the premises may be favorable to some organizations if they feel the need to avoid transferring sensitive data to a cloud-based SIEM solution
  • Control over the SIEM platform extends to the organization's entire security team, and employees on the team can be given expert knowledge training to take care of each business need; this advantage as a whole results in customized SIEM service deliverables

Choosing the best SIEM solution for you

The truth lies in the fact that there is no best universal solution. The best SIEM solution for you is whichever one fits your specific business context, goals, and needs. However, with the rapid acceleration towards digital transformation, it's most efficient to consider migration to the cloud earnestly. No matter which model of SIEM deployment, making sure your chosen solution provides the best defense against threats and attacks must be your priority.

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