The risks and rewards of using SIEM for small businesses

The risks and rewards of using SIEM for small businesses


Large corporations are often believed to be the main targets of cybercriminals, but the truth is far more disturbing. Small Business Trends reported that 43% of cyberattacks actually target small businesses, and only 14% believe that they can effectively deal with these attacks. Worse, 60% of these companies go out of business within six months following the attack.

This is why you need to beef up your defenses with SIEM (security information and event management). This will help you detect attacks in real time and block them before any harm is done. But before you jump into the system, it’s important to understand how it can help you.

SIEM is named from the marriage of SIM (security information management) and SEM (security event management) to form one security management system. It combines security data from different sources (like antivirus events and firewall logs), identifies what’s wrong, and prevents problems before they happen or get worse. For instance, when the software catches a potential threat, it sends alerts and triggers other security measures to block any suspicious activity.

Is your SIEM a blessing or a curse?

Because SIEM solutions enable better reporting of unusual activities, they can easily point out threats and help IT professionals respond quickly. This increases the security capabilities of big or small organizations.

But that’s not saying the system is perfect. For some, SIEM is a blessing, but it can also be a curse. Research conducted by the Ponemon Institute that studied users in 559 organization across the United States showed that while 76% consider SIEM an important security tool, only 48% were satisfied with its performance.

Why is this so? Here are four facts about the system that may turn people off:

1. It’s expensive

SIEM isn’t cheap. It can be pricey, and it’s not easy to tell where your money is going since systems differ from one another and have their own idiosyncrasies. The Ponemon Institute said that only 25% of total SIEM cost was spent on the software, while the rest went into installation, maintenance, and staffing. That can add up to a lot of expenses.

2. You need specialists

To get the most out of your SIEM system, you need highly trained security analysts — something that 68% of survey respondents agree on. However, a 451 Research survey revealed that 44% of organizations don’t have the right people to operate SIEM.

The IT staff that most companies have isn’t good enough for the job, and 64% of organizations admitted that they pay more than a million dollars yearly for external SIEM consultants. Research company Gartner added that at least 8 to 12 analysts are needed for 24/7 monitoring, which is too much for small businesses.

3. The system is “noisy”

SIEM brings up too many alerts that can be distracting and take your attention away from other important matters. The software can generate up to 200 or more alerts daily, and more than half of organizations surveyed by Rapid 7 said that they can only look into 10 alerts a day. The Ponemon Institute revealed that 70% of users want fewer but more accurate alerts.

4. Reports can be difficult to understand

A Netwrix survey said that 63% of respondents had a hard time understanding SIEM reports, and a further 53% had to make this readable to non-tech stakeholders. Translating these reports into layman’s language is not only time-consuming, but costly as well.

If you’re considering SIEM or struggling with the one you have, you might want to try SOC-as-a-service, which is more affordable and easier to manage. SOC is short for security operations center. This is a security team whose members have extensive background in cybersecurity operations.

SOC protects businesses from cyberattacks. Its members are trained to detect, analyze, and neutralize cyberthreats and prevent them from happening. They can also identify system vulnerabilities and remove bugs or viruses from compromised networks.

Why SOC is better

SOC-as-a-Service is a subscription- or software-based service that keeps an eye on company logs, devices, and networks. This is done remotely by a third party like Arctic Wolf, and greatly helps organizations that can’t afford in-house cybersecurity experts or invest huge sums in security hardware.

Arctic Wolf’s SOC-as-a-service has a cloud-based SIEM platform, which means small businesses don’t need to spend a lot on SIEM or hire expensive security analysts to manage the whole thing. You can use the AWN CyberSOC service in minutes and enjoy the protection of the Arctic Wolf Concierge Security team 24/7 without breaking the bank.

What’s more, AWN CyberSOC SIEM won’t bother you with many false positives. It gives fewer alerts so you can focus on other important things. For more information, go here.

Worried about cybersecurity? Consult the friendly experts of Capstone IT who will analyze your network and tell you what’s wrong. Our reliable IT services and IT support team has helped many small business owners in the Rochester-Buffalo areas. Call us today to learn more!

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