The Role of SIEM Alerts in Security Operations Center (SOC)

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a security solution many businesses and companies are using to help them sort out their web security. SIEM helps an organization monitor its IT infrastructure, detect potential cyber threats, and provide quick responses to such threats.

Most SIEMs have an alert system that alerts the organization’s security team concerning security incidents and issues. We will be discussing how these SIEM alerts work and how it can be vital for organizations to detect and respond to threats.

What is SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), And How Do SIEM Alerts Work?

SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) is a security protocol that protects organizations from cyber threats, from simple phishing to advanced attacks. SIEMs usually collect data logs, analyze such data to create security policies, monitor and detect abnormal network traffic, and respond to threats. Hence, one of the most important steps in responding to cyber threats for SIEM systems is sending alerts to the security operations center (SOC).

Before discussing what are the best practices for SIEM alerts, we will explore their core meaning and how they work in SIEM systems. In its simple definition, SIEM alerts are a type of notification that notifies the security operations center of an organization of a potential or current cyber attack. Before these alerts are sent, there must have been other processes, such as monitoring, detection, correlation, and data aggregation of data logs and human behaviors.

What is the Security Operations Center (SOC) in an Organization?

The security operations center, commonly known as SOC, contains professionals, processes, and different technologies that combine to monitor and handle the affairs of an organization’s security. In many organizations, the SOCs are often centralized and act as the core location for prevention, detection, and response to cyber security incidents.

At the SOC, they have substantial knowledge of the devices, cloud resources, information stores, and networks connected to an organization’s IT infrastructure. Thus, the security operations center correlates with SIEM alerts. For any organization with legacy or next-gen SIEM solutions like Stellar Cyber, the SOCs often receive the alerts. They aim to have real-time knowledge of what is happening and provide immediate and comprehensive responses to security incidents.

What Are The Roles Of Siem Alert And How Is It Generated?

SIEM alerts do not just happen on their own — many things happen behind the scene that triggers an alert to the SOC, and they include:

●     Data Logs/Event Collection

Nothing happens without the collection of data logs, and the same happens in the generation of SIEM alerts. The first thing that happens is that the SIEM system becomes aware of the IT infrastructure by collecting data logs from different sources. These data logs/ event swathes are stored at a centralized location for analytical purposes.

●     Analyzing Events/ Detection

By analyzing events from the data logs, SIEM systems can use already-defined rules to know when a behavior within an organization’s IT infrastructure is normal or abnormal. An excellent example is when there are multiple and consistent failed attempts to log into a sensitive account or when someone tries to log in from an unspecified or unknown location.

●     Correlation/Aggregation of Events

Correlation is very important in detecting complex security attack processes, which the security team might overlook in a simple setting. On the other hand, aggregation of events prevents sending false alerts to the SOC by providing a comprehensive view of each security incident.

●     Sending of Alert

After these processes and the SIEM system identify a potential cyber threat, it is quick to send an alert to the security operations center. Note that these alerts are of different types and have certain variations of importance depending on the type of cyber threat.

How to Fine Tune SIEM Alerts to Prevent Fatigue and False Positives

While SIEM alerts are critical in SIEM systems, sometimes there can be fatigue on the part of the security team due to numerous false positives. In its basic definition, this is when the security team is alerted for events that do not threaten the IT infrastructure. Below, we will discuss how to fine-tune SIEM alerts to get the best results:

●     Use SIEM With Next-gen Capabilities

One of the major factors in fine-tuning SIEM alerts that offer next-gen capabilities. The reason is that these solutions, such as those of Stellar Cyber, have AI and machine learning capabilities that reduce the possibility of errors. Subsequently, this ensures that each alert sent to the security team is on point and comprehensive.

●     Regular Alert Configuration

Instead of operating the SIEM system under generic rules, configuring the SIEM alert rules and system settings regularly is a very important routine. The benefits of this configuration are that it brings about the accommodation of new endpoints and devices and also meets new compliance requirements.

●     Stay Updated on the Cyber Threat Landscape

Cyber threats are constantly evolving on the web and will need organizations to be updated or miss out on important security updates. Hence, the SIEM alert settings must be constantly updated to keep up with the current threat landscape.

●     Provide Updates On Baselines

It is already established that SIEM systems create baselines that help them detect when an activity within an organization’s network infrastructure is normal or a threat. Hence, there should be regular updates on the baselines of an SIEM system to prevent sending false alerts to the security operations center.

●     Run System Updates and Apply Patches

For the SIEM software they use, some organizations don’t often update these software and apply the specified patches coming from these updates. Applying systems updates and new security patches helps the SIEM solution maintain its sophistication and effectiveness and stay updated with the current security dynamics.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, SIEMs go a long way in helping an organization cater to its security needs by providing a holistic threat monitoring, detection, and response system. SIEM alert serves as a notification system that notifies the security operations center about threats that could potentially happen or could happen. Furthermore, SIEM alerts are generated through certain processes such as event collection, event analysis, correlation of events, and finally, sending the alerts.