What is SIEM in cybersecurity?

SIEM (“sim”) is a cybersecurity acronym for security information and event management. Part of traditional IT security, SIEM solutions collect and analyze asset and event logs and other data to support threat detection and management. By aggregating and analyzing event data from an enterprise’s networks and other assets, SIEM tools help monitor for and detect anomalies, alerting the security operations center to potential threats. 

One of the purposes of SIEM in cybersecurity is to deliver complete visibility into assets and events across the IT environment. However, as the number of unmanaged devices on organizations’ networks increases, traditional SIEM solutions are unable to detect  a growing proportion of digital assets and suspicious events. 

Logged event data collection and management

SIEM monitors activities and logs according to the rules set by the organization’s security team and the solution’s built-in rules. Typically, SIEM platforms track networks, firewalls, endpoints, cloud assets, and other systems. This monitoring helps organizations detect unexpected asset behavior and unusual user behavior, such as remote logins from new locations. SIEM log management can also help the organization analyze security trends over time and meet compliance requirements for documentation of events. 

Security incident management 

When SIEM detects a potential threat, it generates an alert for the security team to review. Based on that review, the team may decide to take immediate action, prioritize the alert as a lower-level threat, or determine that the alert is a false positive. The accuracy of the context and information the team relies on to make these decisions depends on the quality and completeness of the data and logs gathered by the SIEM solution. 

The more contextual data that the SIEM provides, and the more integrated the data is across systems, the more useful it is for threat response. At large organizations, the volume of SIEM alerts — an average of 10,000 per day — can pose challenges to the security team’s ability to evaluate and respond to threats. 

Security information and event management and unmanaged devices

Prior to the rapid introduction of large numbers of unmanaged assets, including IoT, IIoT, IoMT, and smart devices, and when OT and ICS hardware was was “air-gapped”, SIEM security was considered comprehensive. Now, with OT/IT convergence accelerating and unmanaged devices comprising at least 37% of enterprise devices, SIEM solutions can’t see and protect everything in the modern environment. 

Total device visibility and monitoring, easy SIEM integration

A solution that provides total visibility of unmanaged and managed devices, continuous device activity monitoring, and easy integration with other tools can enhance the value of SIEM in cybersecurity while providing the context and data unification security teams need for effective responses. 
The Armis platform feeds comprehensive device data—for every type of IT and OT asset— to SIEMs for better decision making, faster responses, and comprehensive reporting.