A SIEM alert is a tool most commonly used by SOCs to protect an organization. SOCs entrust the reliability of the processes on their IT systems to this kind of automated technology, which reports any issue that may occur.

Ah, but what is a SIEM, you ask?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a software solution that aggregates and analyzes activity from many different resources across your entire IT infrastructure. A SIEM collects security data from network devices, servers, domain controllers, and more. SIEMs store, normalize, aggregate, and apply analytics to that data to discover trends, detect threats, and enable organizations to investigate any alerts.

Some 575 organizations that work in threat hunting or alongside threat hunters were surveyed in the SANS 2019 Threat Hunting Survey: The Differing Needs of New and Experienced Hunters. The results showed that SIEM alerts are still widely used in organizations, and that 66.2% of organizations employ a SIEM because they are easy to use.

SIEMs tools analyze the state of the processes that are occurring on the IT system and classify thousands of events to evaluate their behavior and detect possible anomalies that could lead to a cyberattack. And should an attack happen, this kind of alert scours the system in order to analyze the possible causes of the attack and how to stop it.

Keep in mind, though SIEM alerts are one of the most commonly used tools does not mean that they are everything you need to keep your network secure. One of the difficulties with checking SIEM data for values is there is no standardized format for information that is contained in these messages. Therefore, the data needs to be normalized into a standard model. From this, alert rules can be created, which check for correlation and aggregation across multiple devices or apps. Additionally, the standardized data model also helps with noticing specific occurrences of value on particular devices or apps. Also, SIEMs are based on searches for threats that they already know, but not for unknown threats. These unknown threats will be at the mercy of customized alerts. Customizing alerts to discover new threats is an insurmountable task for most organizations, since many SOCs do not have enough professionals to update search criteria frequently.

SIEM alerts can evaluate many events individually, but when an event occurs with others, they may fall short. One of the constant challenges when writing alerts is balancing the goals of reducing false positives and preventing inundation while still alerting on all suspicious events. Security teams are constantly looking for opportunities to improve alerts to reduce the false positive rate. With a SIEM, an alert taken in isolation could be a threat, but when run with other events, is not dangerous. This causes an increase in false positives detected.

As a rule, SIEM alerts should not be used alone, but in conjunction with a proactive security approach and strategy, which constantly hunts for previously unknown threats, and which acts autonomously to detect and classify them.

Cofense Intelligence delivers threat intelligence in multiple forms:

  • Machine-readable threat intelligence (MRTI) follows industry standards for quick integration with your existing security devices, like a SIEM.
  • Analysis reports in PDF and HTML format are optimized for threat analysts and incident response teams.
  • Published threat intelligence that shows how individual elements of an attack are related and the relationships between seemingly disparate attacks.

Our proactive approach enables you to prime your existing security infrastructure to disrupt these potentially dangerous attacks. Tactics used to penetrate your network are also exposed along with the relationships between phishing campaigns and Indicators of Compromise (IOCs). The combination of actionable threat intelligence and understanding the correlation between phishing attacks and their motivators helps your team prioritize, investigate, and respond.

Cofense Intelligence key benefits:

Integrates with existing security solutions to speed phishing threat response

Provides timely, accurate, and actionable phishing threat intelligence

Expert threat analysts to help operationalize threat intelligence and provide guidance

Attack analysis and context to help make rapid, informed decisions

Our unique combination of technology and human insight — paired with our 26M+ strong global reporters network — makes it easy to get the information you need to protect your organization.