SIEM2017 was a rough year for cyber security. Threats like WannaCry and Petya ran rampant while incidents such as the Equifax breach compromised hundreds of thousands of data records. It doesn’t help to dwell on the past unless you plan to learn from it. There were plenty of lessons to be gained from last year’s threat landscape, most all the importance of security-monitoring capabilities.

If there were any doubts before, the events of 2017 quashed them completely: Companies will experience a data breach at some point. The best way forward in the new year is to plan around the assumption that a network intrusion will happen. With that in mind, monitoring solutions like security information and event management (SIEM) software are invaluable. Thanks to the emergence of SIEM as a Service solutions, smaller businesses can reduce their security risks.

Why SIEM as a Service is needed

The old model of data security has been broken for a while. Businesses can no longer entrust the integrity and privacy of their most sensitive data to perimeter defenses alone. While tools like firewalls, antivirus and other list-based threat identification solutions are still critical components to security posture, they are far from the end-all, be-all.

Cyber criminals are growing more sophisticated with each year, increasingly valuing “slow and silent” data breaches over flashier tactics. Those efforts have been pretty successful as the median time for breach discovery sits at around a month, according to Verizon. Data thieves can do a lot of damage in that amount of time.

That’s not even accounting for zero-day threats that can slip right by network defenses because the cyber security community has yet to identify them and release a suitable response.
To stay protected, businesses need to shift their priorities from a prevention approach to remediation.

SIEM solutions monitor systems, looking for suspicious activity.SIEM solutions monitor systems, looking for suspicious activity.

SIEM or SIEM as a Service?

Given these circumstances, it’s no wonder that SIEM has become one of – if not the – go-to cyber security solution in recent years. SIEM software monitors your entire environment to watch for suspicious activity. If a user attempts to access files beyond the scope of their role, an application runs when it shouldn’t or the system registers a flurry of login attempts in a short amount of time, SIEM tools can flag those incidents as potentially malicious activity. Cyber security personnel can then analyze those events to determine if they pose a threat.

“It’s an elegant solution to an often confounding problem.”

On an enterprise scale, SIEM works great. However, these solutions are often prohibitively expensive for smaller organizations due to licensing and labor costs. SIEM as a Service presents a way to enjoy the security of SIEM without paying enterprise prices.

SIEM as a Service uses the service management model to lower overhead costs while still providing comprehensive threat-monitoring capabilities. There’s no software to purchase, cyber security professionals to hire or additional training needed to bring staff up to speed. The managed service provider handles those large-ticket items and the day-to-day SIEM operations on a subscription basis.

It’s an elegant solution to an often confounding problem for small and medium-sized businesses. How do you achieve best-in-class security without breaking the bank? SIEM as a Service is a viable solution.