If you are a business owner or decision-maker, then you know the importance of working with experienced professionals when it comes to certain tasks and responsibilities. When you need someone to make copies, answer phone calls, and go on coffee runs, you might be perfectly comfortable delegating these kinds of duties to an entry-level employee. But when it comes to entrusting someone with your organization’s cybersecurity, you want someone knowledgeable, experienced, and proactive.
Cybercrimes are on the rise, and the sophistication of the means and methods that cybercriminals use to carry out their nefarious activities are able to closely rival the mechanisms used to deter them.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, one of the world’s leading cybercrime researchers, damages caused by cybercrime across the globe are projected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by the year 2025. This is roughly half the current GDP of the United States, which makes cybercrime one of the largest economies in the world.
And while cybersecurity experts continue developing new and better ways to fend off the growing onslaught of cyber attacks, cybercriminals are employing many of the same technologies to improve their attacks.
What this means for businesses and organizations around the world is that if they are not using the latest technology to protect their digital assets against these ameliorating assaults, then they are quickly falling behind the curve in the cybersecurity landscape.
Another unfortunate fact concerning cybersecurity is that it is a matter of “when,” not “if,” an organization will become a target for a cyber attack. You have probably heard this phrase before, and it may sound like a platitude perpetuated by the cybersecurity industry. But the truth is that most businesses in the United States (nearly 90% according to some estimates) have already been the victim of a successful cyber attack, whether or not they know it.
So as you can see, it is more important than ever for organizations to take cybersecurity seriously. And the best way that businesses and organizations can accomplish this is by using the latest technology and employing seasoned professionals to fulfill their security needs.
In today’s article, we will discuss such a piece of technology and compare the benefits of managing this tech in-house vs. outsourcing the job to a well-established security company.
What Is SIEM?
Before we compare the pros and cons of managed SIEM vs. in-house SIEM, we need to understand what SIEM is and what it does. SIEM (pronounced “SIM”) stands for security information and event management, and it is a highly customizable platform that tracks, records, and monitors security data and logs across a wide range of devices.
SIEM compiles this security information into a single, centrally-controlled platform to provide total visibility into an organization’s security infrastructure. It combines real-time alerts with intuitive dashboards to give security personnel an overview of the system’s health while also allowing them to take a deep dive into any device or process for analysis and investigation.
The SIEM platform acts as the hub for all activity within an organization’s Security Operations Center, and it can integrate seamlessly with a number of other security tools and software.
Here are a few of the benefits of unifying all of your security operations under the SIEM platform:
When all of your security tools are integrated into the SIEM platform, you will have complete visibility over all your security events and logs in a single location. With intuitive and straightforward filtering capabilities, you will be able to easily find information regarding specific devices and processes within your network to quickly diagnose and resolve issues as they arise.
The word “management” is in the name for a reason. SIEM allows you to take control of all your data and tools from a centralized location, offering an intelligible and practical approach to managing your entire security infrastructure.
SIEM’s comprehensive dashboards map out your security hierarchy in a visual format so you can easily navigate and govern your security architecture
When combined with the latest threat intelligence, SIEM’s advanced behavioral and statistical analysis can detect active and imminent threats in real time. With SIEM’s highly-sophisticated detection capabilities, your organization will have peace of mind knowing that threats can be found and stopped before they can impact your operations or compromise your data.
When SIEM detects a threat, IT will immediately be notified of the incident. Along with the notification, they will receive a comprehensive report of the attack that details the means, methods, and timeline of the event, as well as the user or device that was involved.
SIEM’s automated response capabilities can be programmed to deploy calculated and specific reactions to predetermined triggers. Depending on the severity and imminence of the threat, IT can designate varying levels of protective measures to stop attacks, quarantine devices, and temporarily suspend user accounts involved in suspicious activities.
Now that we better understand what SIEM is and what it can accomplish for your organization, let’s look at the pros and cons of managed SIEM services vs. in-house SIEM management.
Managed SIEM vs. In-House SIEM
Managed SIEM services are third-party cybersecurity companies that manage your digital security from a remote SOC. While large organizations with in-depth security needs may opt for setting up an in-house security team, many small to medium-sized organizations choose to go with a managed SIEM service for a number of reasons.
Managed SIEM Requires Fewer Resources
Creating an IT security team from scratch is no small feat, and it can require a large investment to do it correctly. Not only will you need to hire one or more IT security experts, but you will also have to acquire several physical assets to equip your security team with the necessary tools.
But it doesn’t stop there. In order for your IT department to manage your organization’s security in-house, chances are you will be relying upon a third-party software vendor to provide the essential systems for your in-house SIEM.
The good thing about these software vendors is that they will help you set up the system and train your IT security staff on how to use it, but this could cost your organization quite a bit more in consulting fees.
When you work with a managed SIEM service provider, they will already have everything they need to carry out the task of planning, implementing, and managing your new SIEM security system.
Furthermore, since managed SIEM services typically use their own proprietary software, they are experts on how it works. This translates into a shorter deployment time and fewer speed bumps along the way.
After an initial consultation regarding your organization’s objectives, security needs, and current IT infrastructure, your managed SIEM provider will be able to integrate your existing security system into the managed SIEM platform with minimal downtime and effort on your part.
In terms of time and monetary investments, going with an in-house SIEM solution will require a much larger financial commitment and a significantly longer deployment period. On the other hand, professionally managed SIEM services come with highly-trained, experienced professionals, and they are available for a monthly fee.
Managed SIEM Services are More Scalable
When working with an in-house security team, it may become more difficult to reach your long-term goals. As your organization grows and your security needs become more complex, you will need to expand your physical assets and hire additional security staff.
No matter how well you plan for these changes, they can present challenges and roadblocks. You are likely to face times when your security team will be stretched thin until you are able to hire more employees, resulting in more mistakes and a less efficient security posture.
In contrast, a managed SIEM services provider is a much more scalable solution since they already have the digital and physical resources to meet your expanding security needs. As your organization grows, your managed SIEM solution will grow alongside you.
This provides increased flexibility for handling your security while eliminating many of the growing pains associated with keeping your efforts in-house.
Managed SIEM Comes with Proactive Security Measures
Many organizations tend to take a “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” attitude when it comes to their cybersecurity. This reactive approach to security can often result in many vulnerabilities going undetected until they become a liability.
The problem with taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is that it requires a great deal of expertise and a nuanced understanding of how hackers behave. In order to find threats and weaknesses before they become a problem, security professionals need to have an intimate awareness of the tactics, techniques, and procedures that malicious actors use to carry out their illicit activities.
It stands to reason that you won’t find anything if you don’t know what you’re looking for. And managed SIEM providers know what they are looking for. These qualified and well-practiced professionals have years of experience to draw on when developing their threat-hunting methodologies.
They will use a combination of well-defined threat profiles and industry threat intelligence to uncover malware that may otherwise remain undetected.
Managed SIEM Provides More Advanced Security
As we mentioned in the previous section, a certain level of nuance and expertise goes into furnishing cutting-edge cybersecurity measures. Even advanced cybersecurity professionals will often rely on third-party software vendors’ expertise when managing platforms like SIEM.
Rather than hiring someone to run a system that they will have to master over time, it might make more sense for your organization to hire an entire team of professionals for a fraction of the cost.
Managed SIEM platforms are operated by leading cybersecurity experts with diverse backgrounds, and they have intimate, firsthand knowledge of how these systems work. When you entrust your network and cloud security to a managed SIEM provider, you know you are getting the best insights, advice, and guidance the cybersecurity industry can offer.
Managed SIEM Facilitates Compliance and Reporting
Many organizations operate within sectors subject to government oversight and regulatory bodies, and meeting these requirements can be difficult for those who lack the necessary experience.
Organizations like hospitals, financial institutions, and legal entities face much more stringent criteria for compliance than many other businesses, and they need a security solution designed to facilitate this level of adherence.
In order to develop the appropriate strategies for these kinds of organizations to remain in compliance and produce the proper evidence, they may need to bring on experts in these areas and consult with professional regulatory experts to ensure that they are observing all of the rules for their industry.
Meanwhile, managed SIEM services are aware of the regulatory requirements that certain industries must comply with, and they have solutions in place to meet these standards. Managed SIEM platforms have advanced reporting features built into their systems, which makes evidentiary reporting a simple task for highly-regulated businesses.
Managed SIEM Services Provide 24/7 Monitoring
Keeping your SOC running around the clock is a costly endeavor. Not only will you need to staff overlapping shifts from morning to night, but you will also face increased operational costs for providing a 24-hour work environment.
A managed SIEM service provider’s SOC is always operating, which means that your organization will be protected day in and day out for the same monthly fee. That means there’s no additional cost for the constant monitoring and protection you need.
NetWitness Managed SIEM
If you’re looking for a comprehensive cybersecurity solution managed by a team of experts, NetWitness is here for you. With our highly-trained and highly-experienced staff monitoring your network around the clock, you can focus on running your business, knowing that your digital assets are safe.
NetWitness employs proprietary technology that relies on advanced statistical analysis and automation to detect and deter even the most advanced cyber threats.
Click here to request a free demo of our managed SIEM platform!