Cloud SIEM: Features, Capabilities, and Advantages
What is cloud SIEM?
Cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) solutions — also known as cloud SIEM or SIEM as a Service — unify security management into one, cloud-based location.
Cloud-native SIEM also takes advantage of the speed and economies of scale to grow and take advantage of innovations without disruption.
Organizations can leverage cloud SIEM technology to gain better visibility into distributed workloads. Cloud SIEM can help monitor all assets, including servers, devices, infrastructure components, and users connected to the network — through a single cloud-based dashboard.
Cloud-native SIEM features and capabilities
Cloud SIEM can help organizations to centralize event data from multiple sources, including on-premises and cloud assets. This is especially beneficial for hybrid deployments, which need to combine information on activities and events occurring in multiple data centers.
Key features provided by cloud-based SIEM solutions include:
- Monitoring — Cloud SIEM platforms centralize monitoring efforts into a single user interface that displays information about integrated systems, workloads, and applications. They can aggregate data from physical and virtual components, located in all environments including multiple clouds and on-premises data centers.
- Alerting — A cloud SIEM platform aggregates and analyzes security data generating meaningful, real-time alerts that notify security analysts about security incidents.
- Informing — A key advantage of SIEM technology is that it aggregates all data into one location. This information serves as the basis for audits, incident triage and investigation, as well as risk analysis based on historical data.
- Managing — Cloud-native SIEM enables organizations to consolidate and manage all of their event and security log data in one location.
- Automating — Advanced cloud SIEM solutions offer automation capabilities, including automated analysis of security incidents based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, and automated incident response and security orchestration.
- Attack timelines — A cloud SIEM platform enables you to group events according to pre-identified or dynamically detected attack patterns. The platform provides visualizations that help security analysts and other stakeholders visualize the attack timeline across multiple systems and user accounts.
SIEM: cloud vs. on-premises
When you implement SIEM, you can deploy the solution in the cloud or on-premises. A cloud solution provider will manage the provisioning and often help with initial configuration — or offer expert professional services to speed deployment — which allows you to start operations immediately. An on-premises implementation requires in-house installation and configuration, so it will likely be longer until you can start using it. Some final advantages of cloud-native SIEMs are faster updates, fewer limits to storage (and thus lower long-term storage costs), and lower total cost of ownership.
In-house IT teams can be short on staff (two-thirds of companies have an IT skills shortage), so it is important to consider giving in-house teams fewer responsibilities because IT teams may be short staffed. A cloud SIEM, especially from a managed service provider, allows you to outsource expertise to maintain security.
Your required level of control over SIEM and log data is another important consideration. An on-premises implementation typically offers more control, which may be necessary for restricted or sensitive data. However, the maintenance burden is higher and often unrealistic for smaller organizations.
The overall cost of implementation can vary widely for cloud SIEM, as there are lower upfront costs, but ongoing subscription and per-usage costs. This enables scalability but can be less cost effective for consistently resource-hungry workloads. On-premises SIEM tends to have higher upfront costs, with the technical debt paid over time. However, upgrades and expansions can also add to costs, as they require installing additional hardware and downtime for upgrades.
Advantages and disadvantages of a cloud-native SIEM
Here are advantages of cloud SIEM:
- Access to expert knowledge — Organizations deploying cloud SIEM get immediate access to expert knowledge made available by the solution provider. This helps reduce the need to hire experts or train employees to implement the technology. The solution is already pre-configured and is monitored by a team of experts. This translates into a quick deployment and saves time for internal teams.
- Cost savings — Cloud SIEM is a managed service. The SIEM vendor is responsible for the infrastructure, and the organization is not required to purchase hardware and software. Additionally, SIEM services take care of software maintenance and updates, and eliminate the overhead associated with in-house SIEM.
- Fast customization and deployment — Managed SIEM services can quickly customize the implementation. The SIEM vendor can handle ongoing configuration and upgrades, reducing the need for training or certification for in-house security teams.
Here are key disadvantages of cloud-based SIEM technology:
- Migration and data-in-transit — Organizations moving sensitive data offsite always face risks associated with data-in-transit, and may also be exposed to compliance risks. However, most cloud SIEM vendors provide security measures that can mitigate these risks, such as data encryption and strong authentication.
- Limited access to raw log data — Despite the fact that this data comes from the organization’s endpoints and systems, some cloud SIEM vendors might limit access to this information. Instead, the vendor provides aggregated reports based on the collected data. It is critical to select a vendor that uses a data lake architecture, which allows your organization to maintain its raw log data, making it available for forensic analysis and audits.
New-Scale SIEM™ from Exabeam
Welcome to New-Scale SIEM from Exabeam. New-Scale SIEM is a breakthrough combination of threat detection, investigation and response (TDIR) capabilities security operations teams need in products they will want to use. Exabeam SIEM closes the SIEM effectiveness gap and delivers limitless scale to ingest, parse, store, search and report on petabytes of data — from everywhere.
Pre-built with integrations from 549 security products, with the ability to onboard new log sources in minutes, Exabeam SIEM delivers analysts new speed, processing at a sustained rate of more than 1M EPS, and efficiencies to improve their effectiveness. Exabeam SIEM includes everything in Exabeam Security Log Management, plus more than 100 pre-built correlation rules, a rule builder, and alert and case management. Integrated threat intelligence improves the fidelity of detections, adding deeper context to rules and promoting more accurate and efficient threat management.
Learn more: Learn more about New-Scale SIEM.