Team With Experts for Security Analytics in the Cloud

You know the goal, but maybe dread all the steps to get there. Expanding your security practices beyond traditional perimeter defenses requires careful thought and planning to ensure a favorable outcome. In a way, it reminds me of vacation planning: I want to take the family somewhere great, but it’s hard to find the time to plan it all out.

Are We There Yet?

Many security analytics offerings are available only as an on-premises deployment. They may be able to detect attacks and breaches, but they can require a significant upfront capital investment and considerable tuning services after the initial deployment. A report by Nucleus Research found that, although companies are increasing spending on security, those deploying to the cloud spend on average 22 percent less than those on premise.

Free Trial: IBM QRadar on Cloud

You’d likely call a travel agent for help with a complex family vacation, as the destination is rewarding but the road to get there can be very long. Why not take the same approach with security?  You could get there sooner by relying on experts who do this work every day and could get you up and running in a week or less.

Ready-Made Security Analytics

IBM QRadar on Cloud could be the answer. The service delivers leadership in security analytics using an operational expense model that avoids mundane tasks such as hardware acquisition, initial setup, patches and upgrades. It’s like outsourcing all the logistics so that you can focus on the experience and the benefits.

Establishing an effective security program requires organizational competencies in a number of areas, including:

  1. Deployment and implementation;
  2. Upgrades and maintenance; and
  3. Environmental monitoring, analytics and threat intelligence.

It’s no secret that the depth of available talent is often as shallow as the wading pool at a family resort. While many people can rack-and-stack appliances, it is sometimes difficult to find trained security specialists who can provide end-to-end life cycle monitoring and management.

What’s more, it seems like a misuse of resource to burden analysts with system maintenance when they should be watching their screens. If you are looking to enable enterprise security analytics quickly, investing in a cloud-based service may be the right option for your organization.

Fast and Easy Implementation

Unless one of your relatives works in the travel industry or you’re willing to pay an agent to help you decide where to go on vacation, there’s a lot of prep involved. It’s the same with security intelligence. As with any on-premises IT effort, you have to deploy some hardware or assign virtual resources, as well as install the right software.

Many of these deployment tasks simply go away when implementing SIEM-as-a-service. With QRadar on Cloud, for example, the only installation that’s required at your facility is a data gateway. These gateways serve as aggregation points for the collection and secure transmission of log source events from your premises to IBM’s secured cloud facilities.

The service is flexible and scalable, with IBM taking care of the ongoing patching and maintaining of the environment. The near immediate benefits can be likened to teleporting from your house to the hotel, all bags and buddies intact.

Maintenance: Charge It to the Room

Another good reason to choose IBM QRadar on Cloud is that security software tends to rely upon a dynamic base of code to keep ahead of the cybercriminals. There are numerous ongoing enhancements, patches, report templates and new integrations available independent of formal release cycles — and it pays to stay current. Using your own staff to attend to these details means they have less time to hunt for threats or monitor for anomalous behaviors.

When SIEM is leveraged as a service, the dedicated environment is patched continuously. It takes away all the annoying interruptions and distracting activities so you can have a better experience. Why drag your wallet with IDs and credit cards all over that plush destination resort when you can simply charge everything to the room?

Environmental Monitoring, Analytics and Threat Intelligence

Rule tuning, content management and offense management is a critical domain of expertise in and of itself. Use cases need to be tailored and rules written to correlate and, where necessary, alert on critical information coming from log sources, network flows and other event streams.

Being effective and productive requires some experience. It’s the same reason you ask the hotel concierge for directions or a dinner recommendation rather than going it alone.

Not every organization can find security experts or employees willing to work around the clock. As an option, you can add threat monitoring services that go beyond deploying and maintaining your security infrastructure to provide 24×7 threat analyst coverage, or “eyes on glass.” With these add-on services, experienced QRadar professionals can deliver rule tuning, content management and offense management so that you are armed with the analytics necessary to formulate the best plan and response.

IBM QRadar on Cloud allows you to team with cloud security experts who can provide you with a security analytics platform as well as the ability to control your evolving security environment. To learn more about the advantages of moving security to the cloud, watch the on-demand webinar with Nucleus Research.

Get the Nucleus Research Guidebook: IBM QRadar on Cloud

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Chris Collard

Offering Manager for QRadar SaaS, Cloud and MSS, IBM

Chris is an information security professional with over 15 years of experience managing information systems and services. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and holds a Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) from the Cloud Security Alliance.