Log Management (LM) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) techs have always been used in tandem since they both provide critical visibility into what is going on in your network. Both solutions capture all event data from all the devices and applications on your network although SIEM goes further as to collect data that describe the state of your system.
With all the SIEM and log management solutions in the market today, it is confusing to find a solution that is right for your business especially when you cannot differentiate between the two. But this is just a storm in a tea cup compared to the fact that these solutions have failed to completely prevent the ever-expanding onslaught of security threats that continue to haunt many organizations.
Logs or audit trails are large volumes of computer-generated messages that come from every computing device in your IT infrastructure. They are text-based and show every event that takes place in your devices and applications. These logs are stored in local or remote servers for security purposes, but their importance does not lie in the logs themselves but in their analysis.
Companies hire security analysts who analyze these logs to detect weaknesses and address them before a security breach occurs.
SIEM combines the best techniques including log management, security event management, security information management and security event correlation to give you an indication of what is happening in your network. It provides a comprehensive approach to your network security, and numerous vendors sell them either as products or managed services together with other security components.
LM and SIEM challenges
While LM and SIEM products have significantly evolved over the years, it is clear that they continue to face many challenges that have made it hard for IT security teams to outmaneuver security threats to their networks.
Logs are useful in identification of security threats, fraudulent activities, operational problems and policy violations. It also helps in making trend predictions, understanding system statistics, establishing baselines as well as performing internal investigations, audits and analysis. These are very important insights for IT security teams although there still many challenges in collection, analysis, review and archiving of log data.
Today’s tech is highly evolving and log management has become highly complex with any improper implementation leading to dire consequences as a result of non-compliances, data loss and security breaches.
The main challenge with SIEMs is that they require constant maintenance and operationalization because they are not things that you can just set and forget. They also deliver poor information or false positives that make it difficult detect high priority and relevant events. In terms of making sense of the data, you will need to come up with good use cases so that you get the correct indicators of suspicious behavior and other valuable insights no matter the software that you are using.
It is important for large enterprises to implement SIEM instead of log management in order to get a more comprehensive approach to their network security. If you are using a log management solution for your business, it is good to use a free syslog server to manage your syslog messages since it can be really difficult and complicated. Also consider the solution’s visibility, storage capabilities, indexing and querying capabilities and compliance through activity and event data logging.
It is true that many organizations continue to fall victims of attacks and are also facing significant fines for failing to meet compliance requirements. The problem is that tech infrastructure is highly expanding and collecting and managing continuous supply of distributed log data can easily overwhelm your IT organization.