What is a SIEM and How Does it Benefit My MSP Business?


Interested in learning more about a SIEM, but unsure what it offers? A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform detects security threats, malware, unusual behavior, and suspicious network traffic, and alerts you when a network is under attack for rapid mobilization. According to Ponemon Institute research, over half of Small- and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) have experienced a cybersecurity breach. The average data breach takes 99 days to detect, which is a lot of time for threat actors to steal sensitive data, plant malware, compromise systems, and damage your client’s brand reputation and customer trust.

What are effective SIEM use cases?

While compliance is often the initial catalyst for a SIEM, additional security benefits include the ability to proactively uncover vulnerabilities and rapidly remediate threats. An effective SIEM must address the following eight crucial use cases:

A SIEM enables organizations of all sizes and industries to understand their unique risks and prepare for today’s advanced threats. View the “2019 SIEM Report” from Cybersecurity Insiders for additional information on real-world SIEM research and user benefits.

How can MSPs benefit from SIEM?

Adding SIEM to your portfolio offers several advantages to Managed Service Providers (MSPs). When end customers learn SIEM’s role and security benefits, they are interested in implementing it, which contributes to the global adoption and stable market of $2.6 billion in 2018. SIEM enables MSPs to generate increased revenue, improve profit margins, and strengthen customer loyalty. SIEM platforms have continued to evolve, bundling or augmenting with behavior analytics, vulnerability assessments, and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).

What are some SIEM deployment models?

After an assessment of security posture and requirements, evaluate which type of SIEM deployment best meets your client’s needs. There are three types of SIEM deployments:

  1. Hardware appliances
  2. Software-based solutions
  3. Cloud-based approaches, like monitoring for Microsoft Office 365

Selecting the wrong solution can be expensive, time-consuming, and dilute attention away from other IT and security priorities. Poor implementation can also create security gaps rather than solve them. A hybrid approach gaining traction is SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) that provides MSP partners with incident management services without having to directly procure or provide hands-on management of the hardware or software.

Why is a managed SIEM gaining traction with MSP clients?

While there are software-only SIEM solutions available, many organizations opt for a managed approach to augment their in-house staff and enable them to focus on other internal IT and security priorities. A managed SOCaaS provides your clients with affordable 24/7 monitoring that reduces false positives and raises alerts to clients with full recommendations and threat context.

How is a SIEM different from other security tools like firewall or anti-virus?

Other legacy security tools such as a firewall or anti-virus can help, but they do not protect against today’s evolving and mutating threats that bypass detection. A SIEM platform with behavior analytics such as EventTracker Managed SIEM for MSPs provides visibility into insider threats and suspicious user activity, which can be even more challenging to detect than external threats. More advanced threats require more advanced techniques and expertise.

How does SIEM address threat mitigation?

Managed SIEM enables real-time visibility and monitoring of all endpoints and servers. SIEM correlation and machine learning are also useful for rapid assessment of safe versus suspicious behavior worthy of further attention. An outsourced 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) further analyzes and reduces false positives that waste valuable time and create “alert fatigue.” Easy-to-use dashboards and reports summarize alerts for rapid incident investigation. For example, EventTracker SIEM reports provide threat intelligence context and remediation recommendations that increase your effectiveness. Pre-built reports for frameworks such as PCI DSS compliance solutions ensure you and your clients are always audit ready. Given that MSPs are also actively being targeted by cyber attackers due to supply chain connections, increased visibility and rapid remediation are also a plus.

What criteria should MSPs look for in a SIEM?

Look in depth at your client’s requirements to figure out their security needs before assuming that a “big name SIEM” is perfect for your organization. A mid-sized SIEM provider may offer greater flexibility and responsiveness along with partner program benefits, like better margins. Some considerations include:

  • What log and data sources are provided? Can they add other sources quickly?
  • How long are logs stored?
  • Are compliance regulations addressed?
  • What reports for decision makers and users are available?
  • What security and SIEM expertise is provided?
  • Is the SIEM multi-tenant?
  • What other add-on capabilities are available such as Vulnerability Assessments or EDR?
  • What is the track record of the SIEM provider? Are they flexible enough to adapt to your needs and your client’s needs now and in the future?

Cut through the vendor claims, hype, and preconceived solutions to select the right SIEM solution for your business and your client requirements. Learn more about what you can expect from SOCaaS capabilities that quickly accelerate your security portfolio and expertise.

Blog courtesy of Netsurion, which offers the EventTracker security platform. Read more Netsurion guest blogs here.