By Gui Alvarenga, Product Marketing Manager
Deploying Cloud computing infrastructure is an excellent way for enterprises to stay agile, especially in today’s demanding, fast paced, digitally transforming world – if you’re in business and not meeting those demands, well, then you’re probably out of business
More applications and workloads, faster deployment, at higher scale, all translates to a lot of data being stored and collected in the cloud. What does this mean for the adversaries of the world? It means more opportunity for cyber-attacks. Hence, the desperate need for intelligent cybersecurity solutions to protect from these application and workloads from both known and uknown ‘zero-day’ attacks, as well as DDoS, DOS, SQL injection, MitM, and more advanced attacks.
To combat these cyberattacks, a myriad of security solutions exist. Perhaps topping the list in terms of essentiality is Security information and events management systems (SIEM). We’ve come a long way since Gartner first coined the term SIEM back in 2005. On its own and over many years, it has become the widely accepted security practitioner’s tool. But over those years it has barely evolved beyond the ability to provide a better, more searchable rule-based log engine. By the nature of cloud, searching for logs at scale is a problem. So let’s imagine if you could one day give your SIEM a boost so it becomes an artificial-intelligence-driven defense tool that can help security practitioners respond at scale to the most sophisticated attacks in the cloud. Is there such a thing? Keep reading to find out. First more about that SIEM and its benefits:
Benefits of SIEM Tools
So what are those benefits that make the SIEM such a widely accepted tool in the security world today?
1. Unify data for compliance reporting
SIEM tools make it easy to create compliance reports with log data gathered from different security services. Without a SIEM system, organizations will find it difficult to correlate data from various security systems which may have different proprietary ways of logging.
SIEM ties all these together seamlessly to create a single compliance report such as those mandated by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
2. Centralized Incident Response
Incident handling is more consolidated with SIEM. They enable easy handling of security log data by centralizing them on a single interface. This enales a security analyst to assess incidents quickly, track the movement of an attack, rapidly pinpoint all the affected hosts and deploy quick solutions through one view. In the end, conserving time and other resources for the organization.
3. Detect subtle threats
With the ability to tie together security log data from different parts of the enterprise, SIEM can use a bird’s eye view to recognize an attack distributed on several hosts. These threats would otherwise have gone undetected. But with SIEM, correlated events from analyses of various hosts’ log entries help to detect malicious activity.
Why SIEM Alone Isn’t Good Enough for Today’s Cyber Threats
Picture this: A threat is captured by your SIEM. Your SIEM software makes a log (with a bunch of numbers) and associates this with the IP address of the threat – as per routine protocol. In today’s world of cyber security adversaries, there is no relation between IP address and that of the source of the attack. The IP address of the attack can change; and because of this you might see the same IP address doing something completely different under some other unrelated log. It is hard for SIEM solutions to research those logs and understand the different stages of the attack, if the IP keeps changing.
In another case, there could be a spike in traffic due to some anomaly. There are many reasons why this could happen on the network. You can spend hours scouring logs to find out the exact reason (or pattern) behind this unique case, and not get far in your investigation
As much as SIEM provides valuable insights and alerts regarding threats, it doesn’t provide a complete cybersecurity monitoring solution on its own. These are just two limitations when it comes to monitoring logs at scale in the cloud.
The Missing Link: SIEM Integration With Cloud Security Intelligence
Recently, Microsoft joined AWS and Google in using AI and machine learning to augment its cloud security posture management service Azure Sentinel. All three leading public cloud providers now recognize that cloud security needs to be supplemented with automated security intelligence to offer a more effective solution in dealing with today’s cyber security threats. And if the SIEM were to remain in a majority of enterprise without being “ripped and replaced” it needs to be integrated with other 3rd party cloud security intelligence solutions.
One particular solution that integrated with many of the leading SIEM solutions is Check PointCloudGuard Log.ic. As shown illustrated in the diagram below, CloudGuard Log.ic advanced cloud security intelligence utilizes AI algorithms, cloud network security analytics and machine learning to identify and perform a comprehensive investigation of security threats, enriching the logs ingested, and delivering more actionable insights into SIEM solutions.
How to Improve Incident Response with Cloud Security Analytics
Research shows that most companies only detect data breaches after 6 months. Considering that hackers launch an attack every 39 seconds on average, this is a challenging problem to solve. Security Operation Center (SOC) teams are limited, and with the challenge of trying to deal with incidents in a responsive manner, while working through considerable amounts of log data, the task of effective incident response become daunting. . More so, a lot of today’s SIEM tools provide unrelated data, and a lot of it. This causes SOC teams to face a well know common phenomenon of alert fatigue – dealing with too many alerts and not knowing which the ones that important are, and which should be ignored.
So, how can cloud security analysts improve incident response and effectively stop an attack before it causes catastrophic damage, in some cases a breach.
1. Real-time Cloud Security Monitoring and Automation
The longer it takes to discover a threat or malicious activity, the more damage it can potentially cause. Automated security monitoring, detecting and mitigating hidden threats, misconfigurations and anomalies in multi-cloud environments, allows security engineers and analysts to address advanced security threats and investigations.
2. Simplified Network Traffic Visualization
Lack of visibility into the cloud infrastructure, security, and compliance is one of the top challenges for security teams. Comprehensive, and yet simplified visualization, with rich and contextualized information available in real-time enables security teams to scale security analysis and forensics.
3. Advanced Cloud Security Intelligence
Advanced cloud security intelligence, as described previously, is a powerful tool to efficiently scale and automate incident response. It provides you contextual information, deep event correlation, querying, relevant intrusion alerts and notifications of policy violations. You don’t have to manually plow through logs, debate the root cause of an abnormal application behavior or base security constructs on static object definitions.
Transforming Logs into Security Logic
Check Point CloudGuard Log.ic delivers advanced cloud intelligence and simplified visualization for faster and more efficient incident response. It provides highly effective incident detection and auto-remediation, augmented through AI and ML, across multi-cloud environments, such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure & Google GCP. This enables enterprises to remain agile in the face of threats, deploying quick solutions for an efficient incident response that prevents unnecessary downtime and keeps your bottom line green.
SIEM is an extremely valuable tool identifying threats, centralizing the logs, and sending alerts; however with the ephemeral nature of the cloud, CloudGuard Log.ic gives the SIEM the automated boost in needs, through contextual insights to scale cloud security and prevent more advanced cloud security threats. CloudGuard Log.ic includes out-of-the-box integrations with leading SIEM vendors, such as Splunk, ArcSight, LogRhythm, Radar, and Sumo Logic, delivering enriched and contextualized critical data, relevant alerts and more actionable insights.