22 April 2024

SIEM Operation – A Proactive Approach


In the fast-evolving landscape of information security, maintaining the effectiveness of your chosen SIEM platform is a tough challenge. As threats multiply and business requirements shift, the need for a robust, adaptable and flexible SIEM becomes increasingly important.

In our previous post on “Future-Proofing Your SIEM,” we outlined the importance of a holistic approach to SIEM operation and how this can help organisations do less of the firefighting and more of planning. Now, let’s delve deeper into the critical distinction between reactive and proactive SIEM operation and how it shapes the long-term success of your security infrastructure.

Falling In The Widening Gaps

Although it’s possible to deploy a product on day one, when left unattended or inadequately managed, over time SIEM deployments often fall victim to a range of issues that can undermine their effectiveness. Strained or under-resourced operations can characterised by a lack of ongoing support and maintenance, and sets the stage for a host of different challenges and outcomes:

  1. Limited Security Coverage Evidence: Without consistent monitoring and management, SIEM platforms may fail to provide tangible evidence of their security coverage to key stakeholders, including board members.

  2. Unpredictable Costs and Future Unknowns: A minimally maintained SIEM can lead to unpredictable long-term license costs and unforeseen expenses associated with addressing emerging threats and growing amounts of input data.

  3. Lack of Accountability and Alignment with Business Risks: In the absence of proactive oversight, SIEM platforms may lose sight of their primary purpose, failing to align with quickly evolving internal and external risks and threats.

  4. Decreased Confidence and Reliability: Outdated threat intelligence, vendor lock-in, and poor integration with other security tools contribute to a general lack of confidence in the SIEM platform’s efficacy over time.

    In short, the SIEM that’s constantly throwing up issues or not set up correctly, quickly becomes a drain on resources and time, without much to show for the initial outlay.

Proactive SIEM Operation: Building A Resilient, Reliable and Effective Platform

In contrast, a proactive and methodical approach can offer a clear, predictable and methodological path to resilience and long-term SIEM success. By prioritising ongoing support, strategic content and platform planning, and expert, third-party guidance, organisations can ensure that their SIEM remains adaptable and responsive to evolving threats and business needs. Strategic SIEM operations can cover a hug number of tasks, including:

  1. Comprehensive Platform and Content Management: Proactive SIEM operation involves diligent oversight of platform performance, data management, analytics, and reporting, alongside robust content management to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

  2. Routine Monitoring and Maintenance: Daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, such as rule updates, performance optimisation, and threat analysis, are essential components of proactive SIEM operation, ensuring the platform’s continued effectiveness.

  3. Access to Expertise and Support: Engaging with external experts with SIEM experience can alleviate the burden of long-term operation, offering access to specialised skills and resources to augment internal capabilities.

The downside of course, is that getting ahead, while also dealing with the day-to-day management can be difficult to begin and even more difficult to maintain over time.

Striking the Balance: Integrating Reactive and Proactive Approaches

Achieving SIEM success requires finding the right balance between reactive and proactive approaches to long-term operation. While reactive support is essential for addressing immediate issues and mitigating quickly changing threats, proactive management lays the groundwork for long-term resilience and adaptability and most of all, fewer surprises. By investing in ongoing support, exploring skill augmentation and prioritising strategic planning, organisations can navigate the complexities of efficient, cost-effective SIEM operations with confidence.

The journey towards SIEM success is an ongoing journey that requires continuous attention and adaptation by a skilled and well-resourced security team, whether that’s by reassigning and upskilling your internal team or by augmenting your existing capacity with an independent third party.

To learn more about optimising your SIEM operation for long-term success, reach out to us today to find out more.

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