Managed SIEM: Key Features, Benefits, and How to Choose a Provider

Managed SIEM: Key Features, Benefits, and How to Choose a Provider

What Is Managed SIEM? 

Managed security information and event management (SIEM) is a service provided by external cybersecurity organizations that involves the centralized monitoring, analysis, and management of security events and incidents within a client’s IT infrastructure. 

This service helps to identify, detect, and respond to potential security threats by leveraging SIEM technology while outsourcing its deployment, maintenance, and management to specialized third-party providers. 

The primary aim of a managed SIEM service is to enhance an organization’s security posture while reducing the complexity and costs associated with in-house management of cybersecurity solutions.

Features of Managed SIEM Providers 

Managed SIEM providers offer a range of features to enhance an organization’s cybersecurity posture. These features can vary depending on the provider, but some common ones include:

  • Centralized monitoring and management: Managed SIEM providers aggregate security events and logs from various sources within an organization’s IT infrastructure, enabling comprehensive and centralized security monitoring.
  • Real-time threat detection: By using advanced analytics and correlation techniques, managed SIEM providers can identify potential security threats in real-time, helping organizations to respond quickly and minimize the impact of an incident.
  • Incident response and remediation: Managed SIEM providers often include incident response services, which involve investigating security alerts, determining the root cause, and providing remediation guidance or direct support to mitigate the issue.
  • Compliance and reporting: Many providers offer tools and support for meeting industry-specific compliance requirements, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS. This can include generating pre-defined reports, customized reporting, or ensuring proper log retention policies.
  • Threat intelligence integration: Managed SIEM services often incorporate threat intelligence feeds from various sources to help identify emerging threats and vulnerabilities, allowing for proactive defense measures.
  • 24/7 monitoring and support: Managed SIEM providers typically offer round-the-clock monitoring and support, ensuring that security incidents are detected and addressed promptly, regardless of the time or day.
  • Scalability and flexibility: Managed SIEM solutions are designed to scale with an organization’s needs, allowing for growth and expansion without compromising security.
  • Continuous updates and maintenance: Providers are responsible for maintaining the SIEM technology, ensuring it is up-to-date with the latest security patches and features, as well as providing necessary infrastructure upgrades.
  • Customized alerts and notifications: Managed SIEM providers can tailor alert thresholds and notification settings to match an organization’s risk tolerance and operational requirements.

Benefits of using Managed SIEM 

Using Managed SIEM services can offer many benefits to organizations beyond the features they provide. Some of these benefits include:

  • Cost savings: Outsourcing SIEM management can help organizations reduce the total cost of ownership associated with the required infrastructure, software licenses, and maintenance. Additionally, it can minimize the expenses related to hiring, training, and retaining in-house cybersecurity staff.
  • Faster deployment: Managed SIEM providers have the expertise and experience to quickly deploy and configure the SIEM solution, reducing the time it takes for organizations to start benefiting from enhanced security monitoring.
  • Focus on core business: By outsourcing the management of SIEM solutions, organizations can free up internal resources to concentrate on their core business activities, while still maintaining a strong security posture.
  • Access to specialized expertise: Managed SIEM providers have dedicated security professionals with specialized knowledge in various domains, allowing organizations to tap into that expertise without having to develop it in-house.
  • Regular security assessments: Some managed SIEM providers offer periodic security assessments, helping organizations identify potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement in their security posture.
  • Risk reduction: Using the expertise of managed SIEM providers and their advanced tools, organizations can minimize the risk of successful cyber attacks and data breaches with more surveillance hours.
  • Improved security awareness: Managed SIEM services can help increase an organization’s overall security awareness by providing insights into current threats and potential vulnerabilities, encouraging proactive security measures.
  • Better resource allocation: With managed SIEM services, organizations can allocate their internal security resources more efficiently, focusing on high-priority internal tasks and projects while leaving the management of SIEM systems to the experts.

What’s the Difference Between Managed and Co-Managed SIEM? 

Managed SIEM and co-managed SIEM are two different approaches to outsourcing the deployment, maintenance, and management of SIEM systems. The primary difference between the two lies in the division of responsibilities and involvement of the organization’s in-house security team.

Managed SIEM 

In a fully-managed SIEM service, the responsibility for the entire SIEM infrastructure, including monitoring, analysis, and incident response, lies with the external provider. 

The managed SIEM provider handles all aspects of the SIEM system, from deployment and configuration to maintenance and upgrades. The organization’s in-house security team has minimal involvement in the day-to-day management of the SIEM system, allowing them to focus on other tasks and priorities.

Co-managed SIEM 

In a co-managed SIEM model, the responsibilities are shared between the organization’s in-house security team and the external provider. The provider typically handles the deployment, maintenance, and updates of the SIEM infrastructure, while the organization’s security team participates in monitoring, analysis, and incident response. 

This approach offers a more collaborative relationship, enabling the organization to leverage the provider’s expertise while maintaining control and involvement in their security operations.

Laren more: Read our guide to SIEM solutions

How to Choose a Managed SIEM Service? 7 Key Considerations

A managed SIEM service is a comprehensive solution that monitors, detects, and responds to security events in an organization’s IT environment. When choosing a managed SIEM provider, consider the following factors to ensure you select the best fit for your organization’s needs:

  1. Experience and expertise: Look for a provider with a proven track record and experience managing SIEM solutions for organizations similar to yours in terms of size, industry, and regulatory requirements. The provider should have an established team of skilled security analysts and experts who can efficiently manage and analyze security events.
  1. Technology and platform: Evaluate the SIEM technology used by the provider. It should be compatible with your organization’s existing IT infrastructure and support the integration of various log sources, such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, identity tools, data security options, and endpoint security solutions.
  1. Customization and scalability: The managed SIEM solution should be customizable to suit your organization’s specific needs, and scalable to grow with your business. Ensure the provider can adapt the SIEM system’s configuration, rules, and policies according to your requirements.
  1. Compliance and regulatory requirements: If your organization is subject to industry-specific regulations or compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS), ensure that the managed SIEM provider is familiar with these standards and can help you meet them.
  1. Threat intelligence: The managed SIEM provider should have access to up-to-date threat intelligence and be able to integrate this information into their monitoring and analysis processes. This will help improve the accuracy and effectiveness of their detection and response capabilities.
  1. Incident response and remediation: Assess the provider’s incident response capabilities, including their processes for detecting, analyzing, and responding to security incidents. They should also provide clear communication and support during an incident to help your organization quickly recover and minimize the impact. If your MSSP does not offer incident response as a dispatch service, they usually will have partnerships that can quickly engage.
  1. Reporting and visibility: The managed SIEM provider should offer comprehensive reporting capabilities, including real-time dashboards, alerts, and regular reports that provide insights into your organization’s security posture. This will enable you to track the performance of your security measures and make informed decisions about your cybersecurity strategy.

Managed SIEM with Exabeam

As the industry’s most powerful and advanced cloud-native SIEM solution, Exabeam New-Scale SIEM™ delivers a breakthrough combination of capabilities, including security log management, a cloud-native data lake, behavioral analytics to baseline normal behavior of users and devices, and an automated investigation experience across the threat detection and response (TDIR) workflow to simplify manual routines and complex work.

Exabeam partners with a variety of trusted managed security service providers to support organizations that struggle with resources, budget, and in-house expertise and would like to take advantage of the benefits of working with an outside provider. It can mean faster deployment, access to specialized resources, and overall better security awareness. 

MSSPs can use the Exabeam Security Operations Platform to augment and enhance the capabilities of your current SIEM solution or replace a legacy, on-premises SIEM system that struggles to keep up with phishing, ransomware, malware, and the increased focus on compromised credentials.