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Common Challenges with Implementing SIEM Solutions

Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) solutions offer a host of benefits, from reducing cybersecurity risk and enhancing operational efficiency to simplifying compliance reporting. With real-time insight into potential issues and threats, SIEM solutions enable IT teams to address security concerns more proactively than reactively. However, while the benefits of SIEM are straightforward, implementing it can present a number of challenges. Here are some of the common challenges to consider when implementing a SIEM solution.

Complexity

SIEM solutions can be extremely complex to deploy and maintain. Enterprise networks incorporate many different security components, including firewalls, routers, web security appliances, intrusion detection and protection systems, unified threat management, cloud access security brokers, advanced malware protection, and other solutions essential for network security. All these components generate a substantial number of events and alerts. Implementing a single solution to coordinate log aggregation, analytics, and threat detection across a wide array of security components requires thorough discovery, planning, policy review, and fine-tuning to implement a SIEM solution that delivers the desired results.

Compatibility

For a SIEM solution to be effective, it must accurately and comprehensively capture and analyze all the security events generated by every operating system, application, database, server, router, switch, and security appliance in use across the entire network. Most organizations have a variety of disparate network devices and applications deployed, which can cause SIEM compatibility issues and create security gaps. Because SIEM solutions work better when paired with other security solutions, such as endpoint protection, seamless integration with existing network security and management tools is critical for getting the most from a SIEM solution. Getting actionable security insights from outdated legacy systems, which may generate logs in proprietary formats, adds to the complexity of implementing a SIEM.

Contextualization

Contextualization is one of the most compelling features of modern SIEM solutions. Contextual alerts contain information about the users involved, the location, the time, and other relevant circumstances related to the alert. With an understanding of the context behind a security alert, a SIEM can reduce false positives by distinguishing between normal behaviors and suspicious activities. Contextualization also enables SIEM solutions to provide actionable guidance for addressing alerts. Aligning contextualized rules for specific network environments and business priorities to provide meaningful security intelligence requires a thorough understanding of how network resources are expected to be used and insight into who will be using them.

Cost

Most SIEM solutions carry a hefty price tag representing a significant investment in security and compliance… and purchasing a SIEM can be just the beginning. In addition to extensive out-of-the-box customization, annual license fees, and storage costs for log collection, getting meaningful information out of a SIEM requires continual refinement to accommodate changes in your environment and adapt to an ever-evolving threat landscape. However, when weighed against the cost of a breach or fine for noncompliance, SIEM solutions are proving to be cost-effective solutions that offer tangible business value.

Conclusion

With real-time threat detection, comprehensive event reporting and retention, and context to cut through the noise, the benefits of SIEM solutions are significant. However, their complexity and staffing requirements made these benefits too frustrating and elusive for many. The keys to overcoming the challenges are choosing the right SIEM solution for your organization and engaging a knowledgeable technology partner to help you implement and manage it.

Cerium Networks partners with Blumira to deliver cost-effective, automated SIEM solutions that provide actionable threat detection & response. By providing insights into cybersecurity risks, Blumira helps organizations efficiently and effectively reduce their overall cyberattack surface. We recognize the challenges legacy SIEMs can pose and have some innovative approaches to help our customers realize the benefits of a SIEM solution without the complexity.

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