Enhancing the Power of Your SIEM With Threat Stack’s Intrusion Detection Platform

Trying to manage security with only one security tool (or, for example, having to use log files alone) can be a major headache. The right combination, however — like a SIEM coupled with an intrusion detection platform — can produce great results, including better data, smaller amounts of data, shorter processing times, and lower operating costs.

Many top SIEM providers including Splunk, Sumo Logic, and Graylog, do a great job correlating events from multiple sources, but they’re expensive to use because of the infrastructure that’s needed to manage, store, and backup all this data. Many SIEM providers charge for the amount of data they handle/store, so it stands to reason that a solution that cuts the amount of data as well as processing times would be worth identifying. And that’s exactly what you can do by teaming your SIEM with Threat Stack’s intrusion detection platform.

A SIEM coupled with Threat Stack will enable the shift away from a significant upfront data ingesting process that requires considerable backend processing to sort and identify potential issues, to one where targeted, focused alerts that help manage infrastructure costs are sent directly to your dashboard of choice.

This removes the heavy lift of data processing, and provides a shorter path to Mean Time to Know. A solution like Threat Stack does all the backend work for you, and by selecting only the specific types of alerts you are looking for, you can significantly reduce the amount of data your SIEM has to deal with. Here’s what you get:

Your SIEM + Threat Stack

SIEMs collect security-focused log events from a company’s many hosts (both on-prem and in the cloud) and ideally, store relevant data in a central location. The SIEM can then enable centralized data analysis and reporting of an organization’s security events.

Companies deploy SIEMs for three key reasons:

  • Streamlining compliance reporting
  • Enhancing detection of security incidents
  • Improving the efficiency of incident handling activities

However, these capabilities can come at a cost, particularly for small and mid-sized companies that rely on a SIEM alone. The logs generated by a company’s servers can contain large volumes of mostly irrelevant data, which is difficult to analyze and expensive to process and store.

Fortunately, deploying an intrusion detection platform like Threat Stack between the company’s servers and the SIEM can significantly reduce storage costs, improve the quality of the data in the SIEM, and produce a corresponding improvement in the quality of its reporting and analysis. It can also provide real-time alerting of severe security events, which can be pushed to the SIEM for incident response and potential remediation.

Streamline Compliance Reporting

Many organizations deploy SIEMs for streamlined compliance reporting alone — streamlining their reporting efforts through a centralized logging solution. A single SIEM server can receive log data from many hosts and generate a single report that addresses all the relevant security events that have been logged among these hosts. When Threat Stack is coupled with your SIEM, this data can be augmented with high priority alerts driven by compliance-focused rules that address specific auditable controls such as PCI, HIPAA, SOC 2, FFIEC, HITRUST, etc.

An organization without a SIEM often does not have the robust centralized logging capability that can provide detailed, custom reports. These reports often take time to create and build up and to correlate alert and log data to controls. Managing and analyzing this raw log data can be very cumbersome and may require extensive code development with in-house customization that many organizations are not equipped to handle. Adding Threat Stack streamlines this by providing actionable alerts containing event data, already correlated by host, showing who did what and when.

Enhance Detection of Security Incidents

Many hosts that are logging security events do not have built-in incident detection capabilities. Although host services such as auditd can monitor the large volume of events produced by a typical host and generate audit log entries for them, they cannot analyze logs or provide event correlation to identify signs of malicious activity. Threat Stack generates alerts only on truly anomalous, risky, or suspicious user and system behaviors and thus provides a greatly reduced volume of security incident data to the SIEM.

Improve the Efficiency of Incident Handling Activities

Deploying the Threat Stack’s intrusion detection platform between hosts and the SIEM significantly reduces the volume of data the SIEM needs to take care of and thus significantly increases the efficiency of the security incident workflow. A more efficient workflow not only saves security teams time and resources, but also helps to more quickly contain, and thus reduce, the damage that many security incidents can cause.

Help to Expedite Incident Handling

It is essential to understand that a SIEM by itself does not take the place of near real-time security controls for attack detection, such as intrusion detection systems like Threat Stack, firewalls, and antivirus technologies. Threat Stack-enabled SIEMs can help an organization see the “big picture” of events within their enterprise, by bringing together all the system log data from host operating systems, enterprise security controls, applications, devices, and other software components, and process the data in an efficient, cost-effective, timely manner.

Final Words . . .

Threat Stack coupled with a SIEM is a great combination that will yield stronger security, faster results, and lower operational expenses.

If you’re using a SIEM, put it on a diet that consists of less but better quality data by coupling it with a robust intrusion detection platform. This will trim your times and costs and get you to MTTK more quickly. You will also be able to take advantage of the intrusion detection platform’s ability to provide alerts that notify you only about anomalous behaviors that are truly threatening, thereby letting your security team focus on what really matters.

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