What is SIEM and How Has It Evolved?

Security information and event management (SIEM) is a security management approach that combines two core functions: SIM (security information management) and SEM (security event management).  

Over time, SIEM has evolved to include AI-enhanced features, helpful automation capabilities and more robust system monitoring. Still, SIEM on its own is limited in scope. Organizations frequently add complementary tools to round out the SIEM experience. Some are turning toward third-wave AI platforms like MixMode, which work in a fundamentally different way to detect real-time threats. 

What is SIEM?

IBM defines SIEM as a “security solution that helps organizations recognize potential security threats and vulnerabilities before they have a chance to disrupt business operations.” The company identifies several key features common to many SIEM platforms, including:

  • Automation of manual threat detection processes
  • The ability to surface behavior anomalies
  • AI-enhanced features
  • Event analysis
  • Tracking and logging of security data

Why is SIEM used?

Organizations use SIEM to gain more control over the data they collect, store, analyze and transmit. In addition to security benefits, SIEM platforms can help with overall data management strategies. To work well, SIEM requires organizations to organize and label data in specific ways, which can help them get a better handle on data stored in multiple locations, especially when it comes to security and compliance issues. 

Many of the SIEM platforms organizations rely on fall into the “legacy” category at this stage. Older SIEM is typically not able to handle modern network advances like cloud data repositories, requiring companies to add tools to their legacy systems to increase functionality. This solution may work in the short term, but in the long view, more permanent upgrades will deliver better performance.  

The evolution of modern SIEM

SIEM has evolved from basic log management to systems that utilize advanced user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA). Today, SIEM platforms are an integral part of comprehensive Cybersecurity solutions and play a large role in regulatory and compliance reporting for many organizations. 

As Cybersecurity threats have morphed into more sophisticated techniques, it has become clear that standalone SIEM solutions that may have worked well several years ago fall short of where they need to be to combat modern threats. SIEM vendors recognize this and offer a variety of additive tools to enhance the effectiveness of their platforms. Common add-ons include:

  • Network traffic analysis (NTA)
  • Network detection and response (NDA)
  • Cloud monitoring features
  • Automation add-ons

SIEM and MixMode 

One of the primary limitations of SIEM is its ability to detect anomalous behavior in real-time. While NDR and NTA can help organizations achieve this goal, the process is clunky and error-prone. MixMode is different. 

MixMode’s next generation SOC solution combines the power of SIEM, NTA, UEBA and NDR, allowing security teams to uncover threats more efficiently, gain better visibility, significantly decrease costs and minimize risk, all from a single platform. Utilizing patented unsupervised AI, MixMode reduces alert noise by 95% and detects threats and anomalies much faster than SIEM standalone platforms. 

MixMode also saves organizational costs in the form of storage. Because the platform does not require log storage like legacy SIEM platforms, MixMode customers typically save between 50-75% on associated fees.

Learn more about MixMode and set up a demo today.

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