5 Best Practices for SIEM Implementation

By Quinn Cosgrove

May 3, 2022 9:00:00 AM

About 4 minutes

Security incident and event management (SIEM) is emerging as a must-have technology because of the push toward a Zero Trust approach to IT security. SIEM allows companies to achieve the network visibility needed to detect, identify, and respond to threats. Today’s SIEM solutions have evolved to include built-in advanced analytics and the ability to protect cloud environments and endpoints from internal and external threats. 

Organizations may be eager to deploy SIEM solutions. However, when implementing SIEM, there is a right way and a wrong way. Some typical mistakes organizations make when deploying SIEM are:

  • Not planning ahead
  • Failing to scope the project properly
  • Using a one-size-fits-all approach
  • Lacking discrimination in monitoring

To help you make a successful transition to SIEM, here’s an overview of 5 SIEM implementation best practices: 

1) Define the Scope of the Project

SIEM projects need to be scoped to ensure your company has all the resources in place necessary to successfully complete implementation. You need to determine the required budget, timeline, and staffing needs. Because SIEM is part of many compliance requirements, you should guarantee that the scope of the project covers these needs. Today’s SIEM solutions are designed to protect complex environments, so you need to account for all cloud instances and endpoints. 

2) Define Key Sources of Data

A major part of the function of a SIEM is logging events, so you should map out and prioritize all the relevant sources of threat data. Defining sources of data ensures that you are gaining full visibility into risk while filtering out the white noise. Sources of data could include network infrastructure, such as routers, switches, and controllers; databases; security software, including firewalls and web filters; and IT assets, such as mobile and IoT devices. 

3) Develop an Implementation Plan

Before starting the implementation, you need to have a plan in place to set goals, keep things on track, and avoid any surprises. The implementation plan can include development of the SIEM architecture, setting policies for sending alerts and reporting, and creating processes for long-term management. Part of the implementation plan should include a process through which the implementation team hands over the SIEM to your IT team so they can take over management.

4) Conduct a Pilot Run

Instead of taking your SIEM implementation live across your entire infrastructure, try it out on a segment of your resources. By conducting a pilot run, you can troubleshoot any issues on a smaller scale. You can also avoid interrupting your entire business with downtime. To gain the most value from the pilot run, choose a subset that represents your key sources of data. The pilot run can function as a proof of concept (POC) for the implementation. 

5) Evaluate and Adjust Your Deployment

Once you have implemented your SIEM, you should review the threat data and event logs to see if you are getting the results you want. Find out if all your logs are useful and if alert thresholds are set at the right level. Based on initial findings, you can adjust policies so that you are detecting threats with accuracy, sending appropriate alerts, meeting compliance, and storing the right event data in your logs. 

Start Your SIEM Journey on the Right Foot

Your company doesn’t need to take on its SIEM deployment process alone. Working with an experienced technology partner will help you to carry out a successful SIEM implementation. 

ProActive Solutions provides leading SIEM solutions as part of our Security & Compliance offerings and can help you evaluate vendors to find the right option for your company’s needs. We take a consultative approach to SIEM implementation, working with your team to develop, execute, and support your plan using best practices. 

Find out more about how to properly implement SIEM as part of your overall security strategy. Ask for a whiteboard session conducted by a ProActive security expert. 

Tags: Zero Trust security, SIEM, SIEM implementation, SIEM implementation best practices