December 2, 2016 By Jeremy Goldstein 3 min read

Bet on Security Intelligence

A few years back, I invested in a video gaming platform that was a little different. To play it, you had to get off the couch, fling your arms around, jump, balance and more. I continued to buy into new games and gadgets that even allowed me to use  a lightsaber.

But after several years its usefulness had pretty much ended, as developers and users alike shifted their attention to the newer generation of devices. As a user, my choices were to invest in a new console capability or just make the switch to a different platform. Video games evolved, and nobody wanted a platform stuck in the past or unsupported by the manufacturer. It’s not a really big decision when it only involves entertainment, but it could be potentially disastrous if you’re a chief information security officer (CISO) and the defunct system is your security intelligence platform.

Download the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SIEM

Seeing the Big Picture

Many organizations struggle with the multiple point product solutions they’ve acquired over the years to address security concerns. IT security wasn’t so complicated ten years ago. The name of the game was to build a perimeter — you bought a few firewalls, managed identities and probably deployed an intrusion prevention system (IPS).

But organizations in finance, government and those running critical infrastructure capabilities saw the bigger picture and bought into a more comprehensive security analytics system. To address the explosion of IoT and ever-changing compliance mandates, they knew that visibility was the linchpin and invested in security information and event management (SIEM) solutions. However, deploying and tuning these systems often required specially trained operators.

Uncertain Futures

A few years ago, some of these earlier platform players made news regarding sales to a private equity firm, a U.K.-based software vendor and, recently, being split and sold off to a chip manufacturer. For different reasons, the owners of these security intelligence solutions didn’t find security to be in their strategic interests.

When a franchise is sold, the future becomes unclear. Features, bug fixes and dates slide right, and efforts to improve profitability can shake up teams. Adding insult to injury, some security solutions can also start costing more as service and support fees follow a graduated payment schedule. All the skills you built writing search routines become banter for reunions of the similarly disenfranchised.

Make a Move

A stale security intelligence solution puts you in a dangerous predicament. Lack of investment in a SIEM solution leads customers to struggle when deploying new use cases and adapting to evolving security demands, such as insider threat detection or vulnerabilities in cloud environments. Unlike ten years ago, cybercriminals are growing exponentially sophisticated, and what worked last week may not work tomorrow. You need to make a move, but you’re concerned about data migration and rendering the skills your team has built through training and certifications obsolete.

You need a new platform backed by a track record of investment — something that won’t take you a year to deploy. IBM QRadar meets these objectives. In fact, we have seen many clients adopt QRadar due to frustration with support from another SIEM vendor. Almost 40 percent of our new security intelligence clients saw value within days of deploying the platform and didn’t feel the need to hire a professional services team. If you do need help, however, we have experts who can assist you.

As a CISO, if you decide to stay with a solution that’s undergoing a transition of ownership or strategy, all the burden for updating it may fall upon your team. Consider whether any collaborative defense capabilities exist and what might have already happened within those user and partner communities.

IBM Security’s App Exchange and X-Force Exchange provide QRadar with new feature enhancements, integrations  and actionable threat intelligence research. Why go it alone when you can choose a leader dedicated to the game for over ten?

Download the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for SIEM

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