Most managed services providers (MSPs) would agree: network security is one of the main concerns voiced by customers today. With high-profile security breaches constantly making headlines, many businesses rightfully consider their network security a top IT management priority. A compromised security system can lead to millions in losses, both from leaked financial intel and decreased customer trust.
IT security is a high-risk enterprise, and it’s your job as an MSP to offer the most comprehensive security management program available. Security information and event management (SIEM) is a common approach to IT security management that has recently emerged as the gold standard for network security. Every MSP should know what SIEM is, why it’s so important, and how to explain to your customers the many benefits of SIEM as a service.
What is SIEM as a service?
Before we dive into strategies for SIEM managed services, we must establish the necessary background information on SIEM itself. What is SIEM? And how does SIEM differ from data log management?
SIEM is a multipurpose security management protocol that has become a widely accepted standard among ITIL suites. The central aspect of any SIEM operation is data log management. SIEM service keeps track of security data logs using historical and real-time correlation software. With constant log analysis as well as historical log documentation, you can flag security issues as they occur in addition to troubleshooting historical threats.
Data log management allows you to detect anomalies in your user activity that might indicate a security threat. When unusual activity occurs in your network, your data log will document the evidence of what happened, as well as when and where. Because all your network activity is collected in your data log, it’s the one of most effective places to detect sneaky insider threats that may have been able to bypass your firewalls and anti-malware tools.
Data log management isn’t the only aspect of SIEM, however. SIEM solutions are comprehensive security management suites that should also provide a centralized control panel to automate and simplify your data log management. Even though different MSPs may use a variety of SIEM software tools, all SIEM operations have the same aim: to manage network security from a unified, centralized dashboard.
Automation is a major component of SIEM tools. SIEM software works to automatically identify trends and provides reports that can give you a major edge in troubleshooting. When SIEM software automatically correlates your log data, it can become much easier to connect the dots in your data log and use your network activity trends to identify anomalies. With automated data analysis tools, SIEM works to expand the functions of log management and make log management a more user-friendly process.
Usability is another aspect that makes SIEM architecture unique from other log management software. SIEM provides an intuitive, user-friendly interface with centralized dashboards to manage your security logs. Your SIEM dashboard can employ engaging visuals, color-coded graphics, and tables for clear insight into log metrics. SIEM software can also allow you to search for specific data points, which saves you hours spent manually sifting through mountains of data.
Alerts and alarms are another standard feature of SIEM that help to further simplify your network protection. SIEM allows you to establish thresholds for suspicious activity and alerts you when data anomalies exceed these preset thresholds. Alerts are yet another way in which SIEM helps to bridge the gap between log management software and a well-rounded security management infrastructure. With a comprehensive alert system, MSPs can respond to security issues as soon as they occur.
The benefits of SIEM as a service