Preventative Medicine: Get a Health Check for Your SIEM

As a child, I used to dread going for my annual checkup. Whether it was the anxiety of receiving shots or being poked and prodded, the lollipop at the end never really made up for the angst beforehand. With age comes wisdom, however, and I now understand why a health check is important for the human body to function properly.

In a security scenario, a health checkup has become indispensable, from basic patch hygiene to monitoring the configuration of a security information and event management (SIEM) solution itself. That’s why IBM Security and ScienceSoft have joined forces to introduce the Health Check Framework Manager app for IBM QRadar to help security analysts conduct checkups on their QRadar deployment.

The app allows access to set up and administrate the Health Check Framework (HCF) for IBM QRadar SIEM. The HCF helps analysts understand the state of QRadar performance to identify whether it’s flawless or has misconfigurations that may result in overlooked attacks on the IT environment.

Checking the Vital Signs of Your SIEM

The HCF monitors a variety of essential QRadar performance parameters through 60 operational metrics and 25 health markers. The solution delivers statistics such as as events per second (EPS) and flow per interval (FPI), event and flow timelines, and incoming log data quality according to a preset schedule or on demand.

Once the checkup is complete, the HCF automatically generates a comprehensive report and sends it to QRadar admins. The report delivers a detailed analysis of QRadar’s essential features, showing whether the parameters meet the baseline requirements. It also provides a clear vision of the deployment state and pinpoints anomalies to address.

Overall, the Health Check Framework Manager app delivers:

  • An overall view of QRadar operation by analyzing a variety of essential parameters;
  • A capture of QRadar performance, serving as a snapshot that security admins can monitor over time to spot changes, if any, to further investigate;
  • Automated monitoring that does not require supervision from a security team; and
  • Post-monitoring reports with recommendations for steps to eliminate detected anomalies in QRadar performance.

A Checkup a Day Keeps the Incident Away

The HCF is a unique solution to review the QRadar operational state. Manual checks can consume unreasonable amounts of human effort and time, since the average number of events per second checked with QRadar can reach 10,000 or higher. Developing custom add-ons is more expensive compared to the HCF.

One recent high-level project involved delivering the HCF for QRadar to a big North American bank that services more than 15 million clients worldwide. The bank’s broad IT environment required an automated monitoring tool. The HCF and Manager app were installed to detect and report any deviations in the security network so the bank’s security team could respond quickly and prevent the instances of missed offenses.

Make an Appointment Today

Regular health checks are vital for any security tool to ensure proper functioning, so don’t put off that checkup any longer. Make an appointment with the security doctor by downloading the new app on IBM Security App Exchange to integrate HCF and QRadar SIEM.

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Pamela Cobb

Market Segment Manager, IBM X-Force and Security Intelligence

Pamela Cobb directs product marketing activities for the IBM X-Force and Threat Protection offerings developing messaging, collateral, website content. She came to IBM through the acquisition of Internet Security Systems, where she managed the Competitive Intelligence function. Elsewhere in IBM, Pam has worked in database marketing and market insights focusing on Midmarket and Hardware products She's earned the IBM Forward Thinker Award and IBM Global Best Database Marketing Practice Award, and has been published in the Journal of Competitive Intelligence.