Cloud Security, SOCs and SIEMs
Arctic Wolf Networks

Securing the Cloud: Why SIEM Is Not Right for SaaS Security

Security information and event management (SIEM) plays an integral role in network threat detection and response. Think of it as the pipeline, or the single source of truth, for all of your organization’s log data. Every single event that occurs at any layer of your network is stored here.

Naturally, this makes SIEM a valuable resource for security analysts. Since the data lives in one place, it’s easier to sift through network alerts that indicate a potential threat. SIEM is also rules-based, which means it can flag events that deviate from its configurations.

Enter the Disrupters: SaaS and Other Cloud Offerings

With the introduction of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and other cloud offerings, the number of log sources multiplies, and the rules, which your staff have worked so hard to fine-tune, completely change.

SIEM was originally designed to function with on-premises applications. Even then, the amount of labor that went into implementation was substantial, sometimes demanding six months to a year or longer just to get it running properly. This inherent cost and complexity acted as a deterrent for many small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) then. Today, you have the added complexity of a hybrid cloud environment replete with SaaS applications, microservices and more.

The cloud introduces data integration and configuration challenges that SIEM is not equipped to handle.The cloud introduces data integration and configuration challenges that SIEM is not equipped to handle.

Equally troubling, on-prem SIEM configurations are not well-suited to a hybrid cloud environment. Users can now access SaaS applications from multiple endpoints, and from nearly any location with an internet connection. This introduces a sort of blurred network perimeter whereby the rules-based approach to governing network activity is far from sufficient.

Consequently, many organizations that have traditionally leveraged a SIEM for their on-prem resources simply cut their losses, and lose critical visibility into their cloud footprint. This invariably introduces risk, since SaaS providers are not necessarily accountable for your organization’s data security.

The Unifying Factor: SOC-as-a-Service

While SIEM still has its place in cybersecurity, it no longer has a place in organizations with hybrid cloud environments. Businesses can get significantly more bang for their buck by outsourcing their security operations to a SOC-as-a-service provider that has the resources to ingest and parse all of your log data sources, and the expertise on hand to provide continuous threat detection and incident response services.

To learn more about SOC-as-a-service for cloud and hybrid IT environments, download our free white paper.