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Harvina Bains

Marketing Executive

18th April 2023


As organisations become more reliant on technology and digital data, the necessity for comprehensive cyber security to manage risks has also escalated. Hackers are constantly looking to exploit vulnerabilities in IT systems that will grant them unauthorised access. Often referred to as the cyber arms race, businesses are often on the backfoot when it comes to protecting their assets against adversaries, playing the defensive role. This has driven a need for security tools that not only identify threats, but are proactive in detection and response, too.

What is SIEM?

First conceptualised in the early 2000s, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) combines log monitoring and event management systems to detect and respond to security threats in real-time. SIEM collects and analyses security event data from sources such as firewalls, servers, and network devices, to identify security incidents and provide actionable insights to security teams.

SIEM solutions typically include:

  1. Log collection: SIEM solutions collect logs from different sources and correlates them to identify security incidents.
  2. Event management: SIEM solutions analyse the collected logs and events to identify security incidents and allows businesses to take necessary actions.
  3. Threat detection: SIEM solutions use threat intelligence and behavioural analysis to detect security threats and vulnerabilities.
  4. Reporting: SIEM solutions generate reports to help organisations meet compliance requirements and provide insights into security incidents.

The purpose of SIEM is to help businesses stay ahead of potential cyber threats by quickly identifying suspicious activity and providing context for any subsequent remediations. This helps organisations to protect sensitive data and systems from unauthorised access.

SIEM is an essential tool for any business looking to maintain a robust security posture and defend against the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. However, it can be complex to manage a SIEM solution and it requires a high level of expertise to operate effectively. This is where the difference between managed and unmanaged SIEM comes into play.

Managed SIEM

Managed SIEM is a security service that provides all the benefits of SIEM without the burden of managing the technology. In a managed SIEM service, a team of security experts handles everything from deployment, configuration, and maintenance of the SIEM infrastructure. This type of service also usually provides 24/7 monitoring, alerting, and a basic level of incident response, ensuring that any security issues are promptly addressed.

Managed SIEM services often include additional security features such as threat intelligence and compliance reporting. The benefit of choosing a managed SIEM provider is that it allows your organisation to focus more on core business activities, knowing that your security is taken care of by seasoned professionals.

Managed SIEM services offer several benefits, such as:

  1. Expertise: Managed SIEM providers have experienced security analysts who are trained to manage and analyse security-related data, helping to reduce alert fatigue.
  2. 24/7 monitoring: Managed SIEM providers monitor security-related data 24/7, providing organisations with continuous visibility into their security posture.
  3. Rapid response: Managed SIEM providers can contextualise security information on your behalf to reduce false positives and help you quickly respond to genuine security incidents. They’ll provide actionable remediation advice that detail the steps needed to eliminate threats.
  4. Cost savings: Managed SIEM services eliminate the need for organisations to invest in dedicated security personnel and infrastructure.

SIEM vs Managed SIEM

When deciding between an unmanaged or managed SIEM solution your organisation should consider the following:

  1. Resources: Does your organisation have the resources and expertise to deploy a SIEM solution and manage it 24/7 in-house? If not, a managed SIEM service may be a better option, especially if you don’t already have your own SOC team.
  2. Budget: Implementing and maintaining a SIEM solution in-house can be expensive. A managed SIEM service is often a more affordable solution to managing security operations internally, as you are avoiding the overhead of having your own security team and the large investment required to deploy and maintain a SIEM solution.
  3. Control: Does your organisation require complete control over its security data? If so, an in-house SIEM solution may be the better option, however many managed SIEM providers will still give you access to granular log search capabilities and will work with you to adapt your service to the needs of your business.
  4. Scalability: What are the growth ambitions of your business? Managed SIEM solutions are easily scalable, allowing businesses to adjust their security needs and capacity as your environment grows.
  5. Compliance: Managed SIEM services can help your business meet compliance requirements, such as PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and HIPAA, by providing continuous security monitoring and reporting. Many vendors will also retain your logs for a certain period of time for compliance purposes.

In summary

SIEM is an effective solution for managing security events and incidents. While deploying and managing a SIEM platform yourself is a credible option if you have your own SecOps team, it will still require a significant investment in time, resources and expertise to manage effectively. Outsourcing everything to a third party with a managed SIEM service is a much more affordable and scalable alternative, as your organisation will get access to a dedicated team of security experts who will manage and monitor the platform on your behalf. You can get back to managing other areas of your business and get alerted if there is a genuine security risk that requires your attention.

Ultimately, the choice between an outsourced SIEM service and managing it yourself will depend on your organisation’s specific needs, resources, and budget, but with cyber attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, businesses need to consider SIEM as a critical part of their security strategy.

Protect your business from cyber attacks

With Managed SIEM, your network will be monitored 24/7/365 for suspicious activity, helping to identify threats and prevent breaches. We’ll help you quickly improve your security posture with our fully managed service.