Selecting the Best SIEM Tool: Key Factors to Evaluate

By Srikanth
9 Min Read
Selecting the Best SIEM Tool: Key Factors to Evaluate 1

SIEM (security information and event management) solutions are fast becoming the favorites of many organizations due to the visibility they offer. But it is not only about visibility; its fast response to threats also contributes heavily to the reasons brands prefer to have them in their cybersecurity arsenal.


However, an organization’s data and resources can only be secured by a SIEM solution depending on how sophisticated and the features it possesses. Thus, an individual or organization must take certain factors into consideration when selecting their SIEM tool. This article will present a comprehensive guide on the benefits of using SIEM and some of the factors to consider when choosing a SIEM solution.

The Benefits of Using SIEM

The integration of Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM) forms the operation and existence of SIEM. Apparently, it is a security architecture that specializes in keeping the security ecosystem of an organization safe by monitoring, detecting, and responding to threats. There are many benefits individuals and organizations can get from integrating SIEM into their security architecture. However, they must have a SIEM requirements checklist for security monitoring and threat detection. So, when all the factors in this list are met, it opens doors to all the benefits of using a SIEM solution.

Breaking the benefits down, one of the major things organizations will get is more advanced security tools for forensic investigations. Furthermore, there are comprehensive correlation engines, fast incident response times, high-level threat detection, machine learning capabilities, and centralized dashboards. All these features heavily contribute to keeping the data and resources of organizations safe from cybercriminals.

Key Factors to Evaluate When Selecting SIEM Solutions

●       Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Features

As the cyber security sector changes, one of the factors that could decide if an organization’s digital footprint remains safe is the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning. One of the important things to note about this is that machine learning and artificial intelligence totally change how SIEMs work.

It enables the effective, efficient, and fast detection, collection, and analysis of data. Most importantly, it helps to eliminate certain errors that come from human or mechanical contributions in the analysis of data. A good example of SIEM solutions with ML and AI integrations is that of Stellar Cyber, enabling easy detection and response to threats.

●       Real-Time Threat Monitoring

This should be one of the major things to look out for when selecting SIEM solutions because it could entirely change an organization’s security architecture. Cybercriminals move so fast that if they are not monitored and responded to in real time, they can cause massive damage to an organization. Thus, having a SIEM solution that monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure in real-time can be the difference maker in stopping catastrophic attacks.

●       Threat Detection Across Different Operating Systems and Environments

An essential technical aspect that an organization must look at before making its final decision on a SIEM solution is its compatibility with different operating systems. Apparently, there are some SIEM systems that can only analyze and detect threats coming from the Windows and Macintosh ecosystem.

While these two are the most popular today, a SIEM solution should have the ability to collect and analyze data from other environments such as Linux, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, databases, internet services, SaaS applications, and others. In other words, a SIEM system should have the ability to integrate homegrown databases, legacy applications, and any other customizable data feeds.

●       Forensic Capabilities

This is an important feature that can determine how an organization fares in court cases, legal and compliance issues, and advanced security threats. A SIEM solution should not only be able to detect and hunt turn threats but should also possess the ability to investigate those threats in the future. In other words, in the future, it should be able to give experts all the required information needed to know how a cyber threat started, its origins, and how it was curbed.

SIEMs with forensic capabilities can help an organization in its legal travails by providing necessary evidence in court. Furthermore, another legal issue it can help out with is compliance and regulatory reviews. However, for this to be possible, the SIEM solution will also need to have enough space to store different varieties of data.

●       Scalability Concerns

One of the things that have been identified to contribute heavily to an organization’s expanses is the money they have to spend while scaling up. An organization that had 500 employees before can scale up very quickly, expand, and have more than 10,000 employees working for them.

Hence, one of the things to determine if you choose a cyber security solution is if it can satisfy your scaling-up concerns. A SIEM solution should still be able to work effectively and efficiently when your organization becomes larger than it used to be. Selecting a SIEM solution like this will save an organization time and money that will be spent on procuring another set of tools.

●       Threat Intelligence Feeds

Threat intelligence feeds in SIEM software like Stellar Cyber radically change how organizations find and respond to threats. Spending time and resources responding to false positives is something that is very common in many organizations. However, the integration of threat intelligence data feeds eliminates scenarios like this and provides a comprehensive and precise overview of each security threat.

Moreover, an organization having intelligence feeds in their SIEM will help them get incredible insight into their network vulnerabilities, malicious IP addresses, and files. Furthermore, having intelligence feeds will help the security operations center of an organization to attend to important/pressing security issues first.

●       Role-based Access

This is not said often, but having a SIEM solution that grants role-based access to the employees of an organization can change a lot of things. In an organization, there are admins, analysts, developers, junior and senior executives, and managers. Providing these employees with only the information they need and granting them access to nothing else can tighten up security.

This is important because assuming their account is compromised by cybercriminals, there will be minimal effect on the organization. The reason is that the malicious entity can’t have access to data that is meant for other roles/ employees in the organization.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, SIEMs are important to many organizations as they help them detect security threats on time and respond to them. However, these organizations must carefully evaluate a SIEM solution before integrating it into their security architecture. Above, we provided insights on some of the factors to consider when evaluating, and they include things like scalability capacity, threat intelligence feeds, and real-time threat monitoring and response. Furthermore, other factors such as forensic capabilities, role-based access, and Al/ML integrations will be a difference maker.

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