Today, there are two major classifications of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), and it all depends on how they function. It is not only about how they function but also about the technological integrations these two forms of SIEM can accept.
The two classifications of SIEM platforms are legacy and next-gen, and they have basic features and qualities that differentiate them. Knowing the differences between these two will help an individual or organization to choose exactly what suits their needs. Hence, this article aims to provide insight into features differentiating legacy and next-gen SIEM.
Understanding the Meaning of SIEM
Security information and event management (SIEM) is a security technology or solution that aims to help provide an overview of an organization’s current security framework. The major characteristic of how SIEM works is that it specializes in gathering data from all angles in an organization’s network. After gathering this data, it then proceeds to differentiate its sources and determine if the activities on these data are normal or abnormal.
Many organizations are deploying this type of security solution because of how effective it is and the wide range of threats it can fight against. Recently, there has been a classification concerning the two types of SIEM. One is the legacy SIEM, and the other is the next-gen SIEM. The argument is often that the next-gen SIEM capabilities are more enhanced and better than the legacy, and we will look into that below.
What Are Legacy SIEMs?
A legacy SIEM is the old or outdated classification of security information and event management, and they are said to be behind the capabilities of the next-gen. The legacy or traditional SIEM is the first generation of this type of security tool, and they no longer appear to be updated to fight modern security threats.
Many things differentiate legacy SIEM from the next-gen. Unlike next-gen SIEMs such as Stellar Cyber, the legacy ones often cannot handle large volumes of data in a network. Besides managing large volumes of data, they also have up-to-date analytics that help in providing a comprehensive overview of a company’s security.
What Are Next-Gen SIEMs?
Next-gen SIEMs are said to be the new generation of SIEM, and their primary characteristic is that they often contain new features and technologies that can’t be found in a legacy SIEM. Next-gen SIEMs can handle large volumes of data and employ updated web security tools to identify and respond to threats.
Since it includes the latest technologies, it can detect a broader range of threats and is more active in monitoring, identifying, and responding to threats. One of the technologies in a next-gen SIEM is the Extended Detection and Response. So, the principal function of this feature is that it helps a SIEM to monitor a larger volume of cloud workloads, endpoints, web servers, and networks.
What Are the Differences Between the Next-gen and Legacy SIEMs
Below, we will discuss some of the major things and characteristics that often separate the legacy SIEM from the next-gen SIEM.
- Model of Delivery
The delivery model is one of the major differences between the next-gen SIEMs like Stellar Cyber and the legacy SIEMs. The legacy, or traditional SIEM, often possesses the characteristics of being delivered in an on-premise environment. On the other hand, next-gen SIEM’s delivery model is often a SaaS (software as a service), and other cloud solutions accompany it.
- Threat Detection Methods
Another major factor differentiating the legacy SIEMs from the next-gen is the methods they employ in threat detection. Threat detection detects patterns and actions within servers and networks that can be deemed an anomaly.
The legacy SIEM’s threat detection methods are often outdated and can’t handle large volumes of data from the network. Another thing with legacy SIEM is that they are often not as proactive as next-gen SIEM concerning threat detection. For the next-gen, they employ up-to-date technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to monitor and detect threats consistently. A major boost an organization gets from using machine learning in its SIEM is that it can easily adapt to its environment and adjust to monitor large volumes of data.
- Adherence to Compliance Rules
Some organizations operate in industries with already set compliance, which they must abide by to avoid facing fines and bans. On the part of the organizations, their duty is primarily to protect the personal information of customers or users.
To do this, they often employ the services of SIEM solutions. With regards to compliance, next-gen SIEM solutions such as Stellar Cyber are recommended. Next-gen SIEMs can adhere to compliance standards such as GDPR, SOC, PCI DSS, CMMC, and many others.
- Method of Security Alerts
Another thing that separates next-gen SIEM from the legacy ones is the method of security alerts. Legacy SIEMs are known for sending uncategorized security alerts to an organization’s security team. Due to the large amounts of necessary and unnecessary alerts legacy SIEMs might send to the security team, it might lead to what is called alert fatigue.
Alert fatigue, in this case, is when the security team categorizes crucial alerts as false positives. On the other hand, integrating next-level technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning helps next-gen SIEMs rank security alerts.
- Incident Response Methods
Incident response methods are another thing that creates a gap between legacy and next-gen SIEMs, as they often react differently upon detecting a security threat. Some legacy SIEMs can’t respond to threats by themselves and often rely on the security team to provide any form of response. On the other hand, next-gen SIEMs have a personalized incident response plan, which helps them respond to threats either by themselves or wait for the security team.
In the basic definition, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a security tool that helps prevent data breaches and other threats. This web security tool has two major classifications: legacy and next-gen SIEM.
Some of the major differences between these two lie in the delivery model, with the legacy SIEM being more on-premise while next-gen SIEM comes as a SaaS. Other differences are incident response methods, threat detection methods, adherence to compliance standards, and many others.