3 Must-Have Requirements When Selecting Your Next (or First) SIEM

Selecting the right SIEM solution will make a big impact in advancing your computer security incident response plan (CSIRP). The goal is to have a SIEM you can trust and rely upon to accelerate and automate your efforts, so you have success in protecting and defending your organization. Whether you’re looking for your first SIEM solution or are considering a new one, this article will provide helpful guidance on the critical considerations for selecting a modern cloud SIEM. Provide your organization with the best fit now and in the years to come.

While not comprehensive, evaluating a SIEM platform’s capabilities across the following areas will ensure it provides a strong fit for your organization’s needs.

Requirement #1: Take your SIEM to the cloud for scalability and management efficiency

There is so much that a SIEM must do to be effective, so, as a starting point, it’s important to make a firm decision on the solution’s architecture to ensure it can scale to meet the demands that will be put on it. That decision should be laser-focused on selecting a cloud-native solution.

As SIEM vendors sprinted to bring cloud offerings to market, many “SaaS-ified” their solution by porting their legacy software code to a cloud-hosted environment. This approach gave vendors a way to claim support for the “cloud revolution,” but this approach doesn’t support the true scalability requirements that organizations should expect from their SIEM solution.

The distinction between a cloud-native and cloud-based solution is especially important, because only cloud-native technology can provide the performance and simplicity SOC teams require to scale for big data analytics that addresses an organization’s wide range of security use cases—from user monitoring to network traffic analysis, privileged user activity, and more. For a SIEM to provide accuracy in detecting anomalous activity and advanced attacks, organizations will want to ingest all of security relevant data from across their infrastructure footprint, including structured, unstructured, and streamed data.

When you think about the scalability requirements through that lens, it provides a better understanding of the magnitude of scale your solution should provide. In terms of numbers, a cloud-native solution should support processing hundreds of petabytes of data per day.

Selecting a solution that is built in the cloud also minimizes the attack exposure to the SIEM. While an on-premises SIEM can potentially be accessed and compromised from many entry points, selecting a cloud-native SIEM narrows security down to one service to monitor.

Requirement #2: Quickly identify Indicators Of Compromise (IOC) throughout Hybrid Environments

Attackers can gain access to your data and environment from any unsuspecting avenue, so a modern cloud SIEM solution should support ingestion from your company-wide data sources. And, when it comes to data sources, to say there are a lot is an understatement.

From your servers and HVAC controls in the data center to your keycard access to protected areas—all of your data should be monitored. Then, there are your security controls, such as your firewall, IDS/IPS, endpoint security, and more that should be covered. Finally, your multi-cloud services, data workloads, and the traffic connections made between them and the Internet, as well as what they’re reaching out to should be monitored by your SIEM. If your SIEM can’t hook into all this data, then it should be removed from your vendor short list.

A cloud-native architecture also adds value here as it provides an API-driven approach, which makes data integrations easy. This is especially important because third-party integrations are a key factor to gain quick insights.

In addition to ensuring your SIEM can support all of the data ingestion, it’s essentially important that the solution provides analytics capabilities that go well beyond traditional SIEM correlation rules to free you from the manual effort of triaging every alert for validity. The right SIEM solution should apply the power of analytics and automation to reduce your alert funnel from millions down to a couple hundred, for example, to accelerate and streamline your efforts in detecting those “needle in a haystack” IOCs.

Requirement #3: Serves as a single platform that unifies teams and consolidates tools

Because today’s traditional SIEM has provided limited analytics, typically leaving security analysts with an overwhelming number of alerts, SOC teams have looked to separate correlation tools to try to fill the gap. SOC teams have invested in network traffic analysis (NTA), endpoint security, threat intelligence, and other tools, however the result is a piecemeal and complex process.

According to Ponemon research, the greater the number of tools a security team uses creates an adverse effect on their ability to detect and respond to an incident. Their study found that SOC teams with more than 50 tools ranked 8% lower in their ability to detect and 7% lower in their ability to respond to an attack. Your cloud SIEM solution should help mitigate the overload of tools by allowing you to use a single platform that provides these capabilities.


There’s one thing organizations can count on: cybercriminals will continue to innovate and evolve their attack techniques. Your SIEM solution must provide the essential capabilities to support your investigations at speed and at scale.

The ideal solution should be built on a cloud-native architecture to support the scalability required for data analysis. It should also be easy for your existing SOC team to manage, and it should alleviate many of the investigation burdens organizations face today, including scalability and alert fatigue.

Bonus: Read more in the Cloud SIEM Buyer’s Guide, The essential requirements to modernize your security operations

Guest blog courtesy of Sumo Logic. Read more Sumo Logic guest blogs here.