Data breaches cost an average of $3.86 million, according to Ponemon’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study—up from the previous year by more than six percent. With the implementation of regulations like GDPR, those breaches could end up costing businesses a hefty sum in fines.
Despite these costly repercussions, many businesses try to reduce costs by using open-source security information and event management (SIEM) tools for threat detection. These tools are certainly better than nothing; however, cybersecurity is too important to leave to free tools.
At the end of the day, businesses selling SIEM software have more skin in the game. Their company’s existence depends on the happiness of their customers, and it often shows in how they build and support the product. Below are are four areas where a paid vendor can help.
1. Ongoing maintenance
The vendors behind commercial SIEM tools stake their business on the efficacy of their software. Open- source projects typically lack the same financial incentives. If someone finds a critical bug (or security vulnerability), commercial vendors often work tirelessly to fix the issue. When it comes to security, you want the people behind your tools to act fast when a problem arises.
Beyond that, commercial vendors base their roadmaps on market needs as they arise. With the cybersecurity landscape constantly changing, this forward-looking development cycle can potentially help you stay ahead of these threats.
SIEM tools can be resource-intensive, and scaling your SIEM protection across multiple complex customer environments can quickly become difficult. Performance can lag without the right resources (and code) behind the software.
Commercial vendors work to ensure high performance at scale. Good vendors invest significantly in performance—particularly if they want to meet the needs of MSPs or MSSPs with multiple customers in complex environments.
Setting up and configuring SIEM tools can take ample time and effort. If you get stuck setting up a customer environment or using a new feature, open-source tools offer little in the way of customer support. You can often post to a community forum, but you’ll have to wait for a response (and even then, the person responding may not have the expertise to fix the issue).
With a commercially backed product, you can typically call support when you get stuck. If you’re trying to set up a new customer, this speedy response can help ensure smooth onboarding (and keep the customer happy).
Let’s be honest—many security changes are driven by compliance. Commercial vendors can often respond to regulatory changes quickly. They can hire in-house technical and legal expertise to help ensure the product meets standards. Beyond that, they can hire the user experience talent to make sure the compliance reports you need are easily accessible. For example, SolarWinds® Threat Monitor is designed to provide easy-to-use, audit-ready reports.
Is open source truly free?
You may be tempted to start with an open-source SIEM, but this can often create more trouble than it’s worth. The truth is open-source tools can be complicated, bringing complexity and management overhead that paid tools simply don’t have. And if you get stuck? You can’t just call a support rep on the phone and fix the issue. Either one of these can cost you valuable hours your employees could be spending on providing service to customers.
If you’ve been looking at free tools, price likely plays a factor. SolarWinds Threat Monitor is a cloud-based SIEM designed to be affordable for businesses of almost any size. Built for MSPs and MSSPs, Threat Monitor helps simplify the process of detecting and responding to threats, and it even includes audit-ready compliance reporting. The system is built on a multitenant architecture to help MSPs and MSSPs scale across their customer bases. Full support is available whenever you get stuck.