SIEM Replacement or SIEM Augmentation? How About Both!

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems have been the backbone of many organizations’ security strategy for years. However, as the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, legacy SIEMs often struggle to keep up, leading to a need for SIEM replacement or SIEM augmentation. In this blog we’re going to explore why legacy SIEMs need to be replaced, but how doing so can be a daunting challenge. We’ll then introduce the idea of SIEM augmentation as the initial step toward a SIEM replacement strategy. The goal is to showcase how organizations can immediately reap the benefits of modern Next-Gen SIEM capabilities, relieve the pressure on maxed-out legacy SIEMs and take the first step toward a strategic and thoughtful full SIEM replacement and SOC modernization.

Why Legacy SIEM Replacement is Paramount

Legacy SIEMs face several challenges in today’s complex IT environments. Their architectures, designed during a time when IT systems were less dynamic and complex, often struggle to handle the volume, velocity, and variety of data generated by modern IT systems. Legacy SIEMs were adequate for compliance and log management. However, in-order to deliver on the threat detection expectations of today’s SOC teams they need to be augmented and ultimately replaced.

The limitations of legacy SIEMs typically manifest in the form of:

  1. Inadequate Scalability: Traditional SIEMs often struggle to scale effectively, hindering their ability to ingest and process the vast amounts of data generated by modern IT environments. Often you’re left with expensive ingestion based cost spikes and hefty 3rd party service or software fee’s to get the data required.
  2. Limited Visibility: Legacy SIEMs do not easily provide comprehensive visibility into hybrid, multi-cloud, and distributed IT environments, creating blind spots that can be exploited by malicious actors.
  3. Poor Threat Detection Capabilities: Traditional SIEMs primarily rely on correlation-based rules for threat detection, which result in a high number of false positives and can miss novel or sophisticated threats.
  4. Complex and Costly Management: Legacy SIEMs can be costly and complex to manage, with organizations often needing to invest significant resources into SIEM tuning, rule creation, and maintenance.
  5. Operational Impacts: With everything listed above, the nail in the coffin for legacy SIEMs is the impact on your day-to-day analysts. With a shortage of skilled cybersecurity practitioners you need them focusing on the most critical aspects of security. However, often they are left conducting mundane swivel-chair exercises due to technologically induced operational complexity that can be avoided.

As a result, many organizations are recognizing the need for a SIEM replacement to address these challenges. However, the thought of replacing an existing SIEM can be unnerving due to the significant level of effort as well as the potential to be a disruptive task. This is where the concept of SIEM augmentation comes into play.

Challenges of Undergoing a Complete SIEM Replacement

Opting for a complete SIEM replacement can be a formidable task for various reasons. Firstly, the inherent complexity of these systems makes the process resource-intensive. It requires a considerable amount of time and effort to ensure seamless migration and integration with the existing security infrastructure. Secondly, team training and familiarization pose significant challenges. It’s vital to equip your team with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate the new system effectively, which can take considerable time. Lastly, change management is a critical aspect that goes beyond simple technology replacement. It involves altering organizational processes and culture, which can be a huge hurdle in achieving a successful transition. Hence, these factors make a complete SIEM replacement a challenging endeavor, if done hastily.

SIEM Augmentation: The First Step to SIEM Replacement

SIEM Augmentation involves using a next-generation SIEM solution alongside your existing legacy SIEM. This approach allows organizations to benefit from advanced capabilities without the disruption and cost of a full rip-and-replace strategy. Augmentation can also be achieved by introducing siloed or bolt-on technologies like UEBA and XDR. While these solutions offer benefits, when implemented as standalone bandaids they do little to resolve the underlying issues of your existing SIEM and often create more operational headaches. Next-Gen SIEMs offer the capabilities of UEBA and XDR, with the added benefit of covering all legacy SIEM use cases when your organization is ready for a unified platform to truly transform your SOC.

By augmenting your legacy SIEM with a next-gen SIEM solution, you can:

  • Improve Visibility: Next-gen SIEMs can ingest data from a diverse array of sources, including cloud, network, endpoint, and application data, providing comprehensive visibility for advanced threat detection across your IT environment..
  • Enhance Threat Detection: Leveraging machine learning and AI, Next-Gen SIEMs can detect both known and unknown threats, reducing false positives and improving detection accuracy.
  • Accelerate Response Times: With automated incident response capabilities, Next-Gen SIEMs can help organizations respond to threats faster and more effectively.
  • Streamline Data Ingestion: Next-gen SIEMs offer streamlined data ingestion capabilities, simplifying the process of collecting and processing security data and removing the need for middleware parsing and data streaming services such as Cribl.
  • Control and Rebalance Costs: Flexible pricing combined with an intelligent data processing fabric which decouples analytics from storage gives you the freedom and flexibility to architect the solution to optimize your costs. Feed your legacy SIEM what it needs for compliance and optimize costs by sending all other security or non-security data to your Next-Gen SIEM.
  • Empower Analysts: Analysts will spend less time on false positives, piecemeal investigations, and static correlation rules. Instead, they’ll have fully contextualized true positives, automated investigation and response capabilities, and AI augmentation for improved efficacy and professional development.

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Key Use Cases for SIEM Augmentation

SIEM Augmentation can support a number of critical security use cases. Listed below are SIEM augmentation use case categories, each including an array of focused use cases nested within each category for further exploration:

SIEM Replacement or SIEM Augmentation? With Gurucul, the Choice is Yours

Gurucul is leading the way with our unified threat detection platform, commonly referred to as a Next-Gen SIEM. The platform is open, flexible and modular making it seamless to integrate with your existing SIEM, enhancing its capabilities and addressing its shortcomings.

The following design principles of Gurucul’s unified threat detection plan underpin our ability to start where you’re at and scale at your pace toward SOC modernization.

  • Unified, Open, and Scalable Architecture: We offer a wide range of options for deploying our platform, allowing you to choose what works best for your unique requirements. Bring your own security data lake, use ours or leverage your existing SIEM storage, we’ve got you covered. This flexibility means you can protect your current investments or explore a more cost-effective data store architecture. Additionally, our cloud-native architecture is designed to handle any speed or scale, and the unified nature of all platform components ensures that data duplication is kept to a minimum.
  • Intelligent Data Fabric: The platform offers built-in data filtering and forwarding features similar to CRIBL. With its easy API integrations and low/no code processes, the platform can handle any type of data, whether it’s related to security or not. The platform also provides out-of-the-box ingestion and pipeline monitoring to ensure that there are no issues with data failures and real-time data enrichment. Ultimately, this natively built functionality saves you time and money by removing the need for middleware data parsing and streaming software. It also eliminates the need for expensive vendor services to cover your data portfolio.
  • Purpose-Built Content: Go from data ingestion to high-fidelity detections quickly with our purpose-built content. Our extensive library of pre-built security content is fully enabled out-of-the-box, allowing you to deliver high-value detections right away. Additionally, our content can be easily customized to suit your specific environment. Our library offers a wide range of resources, including: ML models, dashboards, reports, ingestion pipelines, integrations, playbooks, common queries and MITRE framework mapping.
  • Advanced Analytics: Reduce false positives and uncover “unknown unknowns” in real-time with our extensive library of machine learning (ML) models. These models have been developed and refined over the course of more than a decade. They can be combined to trigger, confirm, filter, and cross-validate alerts, ensuring that only the most important information is brought to your attention. Our threat detection models are built on behavioral analytics, which establish dynamic peer group baselines from day one. By analyzing telemetry from identity and access analytics, security events, business application data, and threat intelligence feeds, our ML models provide context for anomalous behavior.
  • Risk Quantification Engine: Quantify and elevate business risk specific to your enterprise using our customizable, dynamic risk engine. The engine adjusts in real-time, normalizes scores from 0-100, and can be customized to meet your desired risk tolerance.
  • Powered by AI: The entire platform benefits from our native, secure AI that improves the analyst day-to-today operations, reducing Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR). Our AI constantly improves the effectiveness of our detections, develops new models, and suggests response playbooks behind the scenes. For analysts, we have built a large language model (LLM) that enables natural language searches, that can query both enterprise data or public sources in a single interface to streamline investigations and hunting processes.

In conclusion, while legacy SIEM solutions may struggle to meet the demands of modern IT environments, SIEM Augmentation offers a manageable way forward, enabling organizations to leverage the best of both legacy and next-gen SIEMs. By adopting this approach, you can improve your organization’s threat detection and response capabilities, gain greater visibility into your IT environment, and control your security costs, all while minimizing disruption to your existing security operations and strategically progressing toward complete SIEM replacement.

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