Cloud SIEM: Features, Capabilities, and Advantages - Exabeam

Cloud SIEM: Features, Capabilities, and Advantages

Published
October 14, 2021

Author
Steve Salinas

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.

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.

A cloud-based SIEM solution provides IT and security teams with the flexibility and functionality needed to manage security threats across multiple environments, including on-premises deployments and cloud infrastructure.

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.

In this article:

Cloud-Based 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 dashboard that displays information about integrated systems, workloads, and applications. It 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-based 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 configuration, 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. 

IT Resources

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 them fewer responsibilities for in-house teams are important considerations since IT teams may be short staffed. A cloud SIEM, especially from a managed service provider, allows you to outsource expertise to maintain security. 

Control

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. 

Cost

The overall cost of implementation can vary widely for cloud SIEMs, as you have 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 SIEMs tend 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. 

Advantages and Downsides of Cloud-Based SIEM

Here are several advantages of cloud SIEM:

  • Access to expert knowledge—organizations deploying cloud SIEM get immediate access to expert knowledge made available by the service provider. This helps reduce the need to hire experts or train employees to implement the technology. The solution is already pre-configured and is operated 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 the eliminating 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, reducing the need for training or certification for in-house security teams.

Here are several key downsides of cloud-based SIEM technology:

  • Migration and data in transit—organizations moving sensitive data off-site 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.
  • Less control over threat prioritization—SIEM vendors employ their own unique monitoring and reporting techniques, which help prioritize alerts. This might expose organizations to risks, if threats are not prioritized according to your standards and needs.
  • Limited access to raw log data—despite the fact this data comes from the endpoints and systems of the organization, 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.

Exabeam Cloud SIEM

Exabeam Fusion SIEM, a cloud-delivered  SIEM solution, combines conventional SIEM capabilities such as centralized log storage, powerful intelligent search, data enrichment, and compliance reporting XDR features to efficiently solve the threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR) challenge.

Unlike conventional SIEMs and log management solutions that struggle to identify threats hiding in plain sight without adding additional detection solutions, Fusion SIEM includes the power of Fusion XDR to analyze data in real-time to identify malicious and compromised insiders as well as external threats, turbocharging analyst productivity and reducing response times . Organizations get best-of-class detection and response, and efficient logging and search in a modern SecOps solution. 

Pre-built integrations with hundreds of 3rd party security, IT, and productivity tools and our market-leading behavior analytics, combine weak signals from multiple products with understanding of normal operating behavior to find threats missed by other tools. 

Learn more about Exabeam Fusion SIEM

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