The Importance of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Software

The Critical Importance of SIEM Software

Among the most important underlying technologies serving FinServ companies is Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software.

“From a cybersecurity perspective, SIEM—especially in regulated industries like FinServ—is of utmost importance because it aggregates log traffic and data information from everything that goes on in the network environment,” says Scott Spatz, partner and President of Cooperative Systems. 

From an overall standpoint, SIEM software tracks everything that traverses your network, including inbound and outbound communications. It also drills down into how data repositories are being accessed—by when and by whom—and where traffic is transmitting from inside and outside of your organization. It also integrates with some of your core applications and tracks who is transmitting multifactor authentication requests.

“Most importantly, SIEM platforms have the capacity to log data and aggregate the data from all of those different components and correlate it to look for anomalies,” says Spatz. “Those anomalies can then be red-flagged for further investigation to see if it’s something normal or abnormal. The data offers insight into whether a potential attack is occuring, data is being compromised, or other key issues.”

Essentially, SIEM software is sort of like a cybersecurity Swiss army knife. It’s a tool that utilizes multiple security monitoring instruments and capabilities, and fits easily into on-premise or cloud environments. It also enables compliance with major financial regulatory requirements, like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and more. It is even capable of dealing with the changes in the regulatory environment.

Forensic Benefits

“Another key advantage is that you’ll retain that SIEM log data for a decent amount of time, typically for a year if not longer,” adds Spatz. “From a forensic perspective, having that data allows you to go back and identify what happened and when, helping you find and correlate anomalies that don’t make sense or if something’s changed in the environment that you hadn’t expected.”

To that end, if there is an infiltration, SIEM can help determine how long an attacker has been in your system and the movements that show the path of their reconnaissance work. 

“The reality is that most attackers are in a target’s environment for a period of time before they either encrypt it for ransomware, exfiltrate data, or take other action,” Spatz says. “SIEM allows you to identify where you might first have been compromised and where changes are occurring.”

“So, for a number of excellent reasons,” he concludes, “the historical data SIEM provides is invaluable.”

Contact us to learn how Cooperative Systems can optimize your firm’s cybersecurity and technology.

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