Understanding co-managed SIEM

| By: Kevin Prince

Effectively protecting your online data from cyberthreats takes a combination of experience and knowledge about both current online threats and your business’s networks. But while expertise is a must if you want to keep your business safe from cybercriminals and online attacks, you might not want to give cybersecurity companies complete control over your cybersecurity, or at least not quite yet. So, what do you do? Do you take all the responsibility into your own hands? 

According to cybersecurity companies, the best option in a situation such as this is to consider co-managed SIEM. If you’re unfamiliar with co-managed SIEM, that’s okay, it’s a concept that not many companies considerLet’s dive in to help you understand the basics of co-managed SIEM. 

What is co-managed SIEM? 

Co-managed SIEM services are a middle ground solution for companies who want to invest in cybersecurity without giving up complete control to the cybersecurity companies. Co-managed SIEM allows for the collaboration between cybersecurity companies and a business’s in-house IT team to work together, combining the contextual knowledge from said cybersecurity companies and the inside knowledge from the company’s IT team. 

How does co-managed SIEM benefit companies 

Co-managed SIEM is extremely beneficial to companies, as it helps you with three major things: 

  • You’ll always be in the loop - You won’t have to worry about cybersecurity companies leaving you in the dark.Co-managed SIEM services help companies know exactly what’s going on with their online security. 
  • Professional assistance - Through co-managed SIEM, you’ll be working directly with professionals in the cybersecurity industry who will help your team learn new techniques in protecting your online data. 
  • Even workload - Both sides work together to ensure that no one side is doing too much work, which leads to efficiency in threat detection and prevention. 

Co-managed SIEM gives you the luxury of having a professional cybersecurity company helping you with your cybersecurity needs while also allowing you to maintain some control over your online protection.  

What is a Managed SIEM service? 

To understand what a managed SIEM service is, first we’ll need to dive into SIEM in general.  

SIEM stands for security information and event management. To put it simply, organizations of any size use SIEM solutions in order to detect and respond to potential cybersecurity threats.  

However, it goes deeper than that. 

Perhaps the defining feature of a SIEM solution is the ability to collect information across an IT infrastructure and display it across a single interface. Instead of having SOC analysts sift through heaps of incident data coming in from all different security technologies, SIEM tools, using complex machine learning, identify and categorize cyber incidents.  

In short, SIEM tools greatly lighten the load for SOC analysts and can remove an abundance of stressful work from their plates. While they do still require human input in order to function correctly, the process of categorizing incident reports largely becomes automated. 

The problems with traditional SIEM solutions 

Up to now, SIEM solutions sound like a pretty great deal, don’t they? A comprehensive way to collect an abundance of data and categorize it, all while making life a whole lot easier for SOC analysts.  

Here’s the kicker though: Traditional in-house managed SIEM solutions come with their own set of problems.  

Now, we’re not saying that managing SIEM in-house isn’t a viable solution. For enterprise-level organizations with the appropriate level of resources and staff, it can definitely work. However, for those who don’t fall into that category, it’s important that you’re fully aware of what you’re getting yourself into when you decide to manage your own SIEM tools in-house. 

  • Costs -Your expenses can rise exponentially when managing your own SIEM. Whether it’s the cost of hiring new personnel, the cost of special equipment to host the software, or even the cost of specialized training for your staff, in-house SIEM management can rack up a hefty bill. 
  • Constant tuning and maintenance - This point ties into costs as well. For SIEM solutions to function properly and effectively, there’s always going to be a level of expert human-input required. System updates, configuration, tuning, and even alert confirmation are tasks that consistently require attention. Without the proper budget allocation and staff, your solution will end up performing poorly and leave you worse off than where you started. 
  • False positives and negatives - False positives and negatives can often lead to missed alerts and notification overload. Again, without an expert team to address these false alarms, an in-house managed SIEM solution won’t have the level of effectiveness needed to keep your organization protected.  

By now, chances are you’re thinking to yourself: “What’s the upside? These are a bunch of issues I really don’t feel like dealing with!” 

Don’t worry. There’s a fairly simple answer when it comes to bypassing many of the issues associated with in-house SIEM management…  

So, what is a managed SIEM service, exactly? 

By now, you’re aware of the main problems with in-house managed SIEM tools.  

But just to recap: Organizations will require extra resources and personnel in order to effectively manage their own SIEM tools. Resources that are often only found within enterprise-level businesses. And even then, the cost of assembling a dedicated team to manage SIEM tools is often not worth the trouble.  

This is where managed SIEM solutions come in.  

Managed SIEM is essentially the outsourcing of SIEM monitoring to a third party. From there, experienced SIEM professionals do the work for you.  

With managed SIEM services, you get 24/7 management of your SIEM. 

Managed SIEM solutions offer other benefits as well, such as:  

  • Increased efficiency due to not having to delegate any staff to manage an in-house SIEM 
  • Decreased costs  
  • Experienced SIEM management teams keeping up to date with any changes or updated processes 

SIEM management can be complicated and costly. There’s no doubt about that. So why not look into managed SIEM solutions? The benefits are numerous.