Managed SIEM: The Digital Detective Helping to Fight Cybercrime

When I think about how business security has changed, I am often reminded of the first recorded case of financial fraud.

Back in 300 B.C., a Greek merchant by the name of Hegestratos acquired a loan to buy a shipment of corn, which would be paid back once the cargo was delivered. He also took out an insurance policy known as bottomry, where he used his ship as collateral against the loan. If the boat sunk, the lender lost out.

Hegestratos’ plan was to sell the corn and then deliberately sink his empty ship to avoid repaying the loan. Things didn’t go as planned, and Hegestratos drowned trying to flee his crew after they exposed him.

Cybercriminals Outpacing CISOs

A repeat of this precise plot is unlikely since digital data is the main target for financial fraudsters these days. Although their attacks may be subtler, they carry far more severe consequences due to the value and volume of data. Cyberthreats are not only more costly, but also more frequent. Today’s tech-savvy generation produces more and more cybercriminals.

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2015 “Cost of a Data Breach Study,” a typical organization of 15,000 employees can fall victim to 1,764,121 security incidents per week. Worryingly, only approximately 100 of these breaches are detected.

That’s just one part of the problem. Despite being at such high risk, 59 percent of respondents to IBM’s 2015 CISO study strongly agree that the sophistication of attackers was far greater than their organization’s defenses.

This tells us that businesses are well aware of the threat to their customers’ data, but they either subscribe to the “can’t happen to me” school of thought, lack the talent to defeat attackers or fail to invest in the right areas.

Evolving Challenge for IT Teams

Today’s business setup is a little different from what it was a decade or even five years ago. Thanks to mobility and the cloud, a host of applications, data and other sensitive piles of information are stored off-site and managed by third-party organizations.

The growing importance of technology in the workplace has added strain to internal IT teams. They often find themselves short on resources and expertise, yet increasingly critical to the everyday running of the business.

Traditional IT security isn’t set up for this new way of operating, meaning your business is more vulnerable to an increasing number of attacks. More attacks means more pressure to detect and prevent them, and the multitude of technologies required to protect your business is driving up cost and complexity. A new approach is necessary to minimize both of these things.

Managed SIEM: A Digital Detective

A much better option is to use a managed security information and event management (SIEM) system, a kind of digital detective, to complement your human expertise.

In short, managed SIEM systems allow you to quickly analyze potential security threats to your business by monitoring users’ actions. The managed aspect involves a SIEM provider consulting on the best system for your business, piecing it all together and then deploying the platform across your organization.

The case for managed SIEM is a strong one, and it’s only getting stronger as cyberthreats increase. If you’ve already invested in an SIEM solution, upgrading to managed SIEM can help you optimize the platform for better outcomes. Managed SIEM can help your company achieve faster threat identification, more accurate risk predictions and simpler reporting through consolidated data at an overall lower cost. Furthermore, your company will no longer have to find, retain and pay for 24/7 resources.

Knowing your enemy is another important step to take to protect your business. Helpfully, researchers are delivering in-depth cybercrime reports to keep you up to speed with recent threats in your industry.

Watch the on-demand webinar: Extend Your Market Reach with IBM Security QRadar for the MSP

Contributor'photo

Bill Doak

Security Services Business Leader, IBM

William N. Doak is the Security Services Business Leader for IBM MEA since 2014. He has been with IBM since 1998 and...