A common misconception about cybersecurity threats is that they only occur in large...
A proactive approach to cybersecurity is essential. With modern organisations inundated with a variety of threats, you need comprehensive solutions that stop attacks before they have the chance to fully take root.
You need a viable response plan.
However, this is something that many companies are lacking. In fact, a 2018 study by the Ponemon Institute found, 26 percent of businesses only had an informal cybersecurity incident response plan and 24 percent didn’t have one at all. This means the response plan of half of all organisations could be deemed inadequate.
Fortunately, there are two particular forms of cybersecurity that aid in this area—Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Operations Centre (SoC) services.
Let’s now discuss the basics behind these practices and the specific benefits they can have for your organisation.
How SIEM Works
This combines two different practices—Security Event Management (SEM) and Security Information Management (SIM) to create an all-encompassing solution.
It works by providing your company with real-time analysis of your digital infrastructure and detecting potential threats that could compromise security. TechTarget explains, “At the most basic level, a SIEM system can be rules-based or employ a statistical correlation engine to establish relationships between event log entries. Advanced SIEMs have evolved to include user and entity behavior analytics, security orchestration and automated response.”
Besides providing more complete protection, it enables you to respond rapidly if your company does encounter a data breach or any other type of cybersecurity attack. On top of this, SIEM has the capability to stop identified threats in progress to mitigate the impact.
As for the benefits, here are the top four.
1. Swiftly Respond to Threats
Time is of the essence when it comes to security threats. The longer an issue goes without detection and remediation, the worse the damage will likely be. Perhaps the biggest benefit of SIEM is that it provides you with the tools needed to ensure a quick incident response time.
Because this tool monitors your system/network in real-time and displays an ongoing view of activity, it puts you in a position to swiftly respond to any threats. This is important because it can significantly reduce the overall impact of an incident.
As the SANS Institute points out, “Containing an attack as quickly as possible is important to prevent an attacker from performing additional activities or re-entering the environment.”
If caught early enough, it can even prevent any damage from occurring whatsoever. Needless to say, this makes it a tremendous asset for today’s businesses.
2. Better Efficiency
You should also know that this technology aggregates data from multiple sources within your network (e.g. devices, applications, databases, etc.) and presents it from a single point of view that’s easy to understand. This is helpful because it allows you to quickly analyse files and monitor overall activity without an unnecessary burden.
In turn, your team doesn’t have to spend an excessive amount of time on monitoring and is free to focus on the core elements of your business rather than being bogged down with cybersecurity.
3. Helpful in Proving Compliance
As you’re probably aware, there have been a growing number of governmental compliance requirements in recent years. There’s the PCI, NERC, PII and HIPAA just to name a few. And organisations are feeling the pressure to keep up.
An added plus of SIEM is that it can be used to prove compliance. After deploying a SIEM system, you can easily log activity so that you have the data available in case you need to present it. This way you can always provide a clear audit trail of exactly what’s happened.
It really kills two birds with one stone because it gives you an overhead eye view on system/network activity and ensures that you have adequate documentation to prove compliance.
4. Financial Savings
When you look at SIEM on the macro level, it’s clear that it translates into some considerable savings in two main ways.
One is having the ability to quickly respond to threats which allows you to analyse, neutralise and ultimately remediate them more effectively. As a result, this tends to minimise the cost of breaches significantly.
The other is that you get a nice snapshot of your organisation’s cybersecurity processes. As you accumulate a growing body of data, you can often tell in which areas you’re overspending and in which areas you’re underspending.
This allows you to allocate resources in a way that’s conducive to getting the most from your spending and prevents you from wasting your money on technologies you’re not actually using.
How SoC Works
According to Gartner, “An SoC can be defined both as a team, often operating in shifts around the clock, and a facility dedicated to and organised to prevent, detect, assess and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents, and to fulfill and assess regulatory compliance.”
Specific tasks typically include:
- Aggregating and analysing data
- Continuously monitoring a network
- Performing threat research
- Analysing incidents
All of which are done around the clock.
In the traditional setting, an SoC was assembled in-house, which meant that it was usually reserved for large organisations with a panel of experts and deep pockets.
Fortunately, that’s no longer necessary. There’s now a newer model of SoC where services can be outsourced. This is good news because it means that it’s now viable for many SMBs as well.
Here are five of the major benefits of SoC services.
1. Identify System Weaknesses
Technology is a double-edged sword in the sense that it paves the way for better collaboration, increased productivity, etc., but it also creates a larger attack surface. When you combine bring your own device (BYOD) policies with cloud-based infrastructures and so on, it makes modern organisations extremely vulnerable.
A huge advantage of SoC services is that you have access to a dedicated team of professionals who will take an up close look at your IT environment to determine what’s working and what could potentially open you up to attack. A big part of their job is to identify flaws and weaknesses that you may not have previously been aware of.
At that point, they’ll provide you with suggestions on what you can do to resolve those issues.
2. Streamlined Threat Detection
Just like with SIEM, SoC services put you in a favourable position where there’s 24/7 monitoring meaning that threats are quickly detected regardless of the time of day or nature of the incident.
This is important because early threat detection means you can quickly take measures to defend your system. Partnering with a team of dedicated security experts means a solid defence against intrusions and incidents.
In some cases, this will even prevent damage from occurring entirely. Otherwise, you’ll at least have the means of efficiently remediating the issue with minimal backlash.
3. Stay on the Cutting-Edge
Cybersecurity is by no means a static, unchanging process. Attacks are continually evolving and cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated.
SoC services are ideal because they not only help you defend against common threats that are happening right now but also ensure that you’re equipped to thwart future attacks as well. It’s all about keeping up-to-date with cybersecurity best practices and having the processes in place to stay one step ahead in the never-ending game of cat-and-mouse.
4. Ensure Compliance
Another area where SoC overlaps with SIEM is the compliance aspect. The main difference is that SIEM helps prove compliance, while SoC services help you meet relevant compliance mandates.
At the end of the day, you have access to a team of experts who understand the ins and outs of regulatory compliance and know which specific laws apply to your business. In turn, they’ll take the steps necessary to ensure that you’re compliant and that you stay that way as laws inevitably change.
5. The Scalability Factor
Seldom are organisations stagnant—at least not the successful ones. Whenever significant growth occurs, your cybersecurity solutions need to grow along with it.
An additional benefit that should be noted is the inherent scalability that comes along with most SoC services.
Maybe your initial cybersecurity needs are fairly minimal but increase over time as you continue to expand your operations and grow within your industry. With SoC services, you know that you’ll always have the level of protection necessary to keep up.
Winning the War
Modern organisations have their backs against the wall dealing with cyber attacks. With the number of incidents on the rise, it’s crucial that your company is proactive.
SIEM and SoC are two approaches that can help you uphold rigorous security standards and minimise the impact of an incident. With an emphasis on early detection, they help you pinpoint any potential threats that could pose a problem to your system.
That way you can quickly address any issues, thus establishing a more robust line of defence. An added plus is that they both provide your organisation with the means to remain compliant with relevant rules and regulations—something that will only continue to grow in importance.
Which of the benefits mentioned here stands out to you the most? Please share your thoughts: