Many people don’t know that there are two major classifications of SIEM platforms, although the two play the primary role of ensuring no cyber threat goes undetected. These two classes of SIEM are there mostly because of the differences they have in the technologies they employ, features, and operational processes.
A next-gen SIEM platform and the traditional/legacy ones are two major classifications of SIEM. In this article, we will provide you with a detailed explanation of the difference that separates these two from each other.
What is SIEM?
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a security technology that helps an organization monitor and detect any lurking threat constantly. Basically, what this type of solution does is that it collects all the data of devices that enter a network. When it is done collecting data, the next phase for this technology is that it create a baseline that differentiates between normal network activity.
So, this is where the monitoring comes in as it overviews all the devices that connect to a network, waiting to notice when there’s malicious activity. Most of the time, the type of security threats SIEMs are able to detect often prove too much for standalone web security solutions. As time goes on, there’s now a new category of SIEMs, with one then classified as the legacy or old version of SIEMs and the next-gen SIEMs.
What is Legacy SIEM?
There’s basically a method of operation for legacy SIEMs that is different in certain processes from those of the next-gen SIEMs. However, they both have the same function of trying to monitor and protect users from web attacks by detecting malicious activity. The major focus or mode of operation of legacy SIEM is collecting and indexing log outputs from applications and devices — these log outputs are basically used to search and find a particular device.
Traditional or legacy SIEM is often limited compared to many features that are found in the next-gen category. The whole concentration of the legacy is recording logs so as to search and detect devices. They don’t feature more advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, which provide a more improved method of monitoring and detecting threats. Furthermore, another important thing to point out is that the legacy SIEM doesn’t often feature an incident response system, making the security team respond to web threats manually.
What is Next-gen SIEM?
Next-gen SIEM technologies such as those of Stellar Cyber are a combination of security tools that provide a holistic monitoring of a network. The first striking feature of a next-gen SIEM is that it is very proactive in the threat detection process and response. Hence, it goes all the way to search in every nook and cranny of a network to find a security threat.
Basically, a next-gen SIEM does not provide predictive results regarding a security threat — it uses AI and machine learning to pinpoint exactly what is happening in a network. Unlike the legacy SIEM, there’s no need for the security team to go through hundreds or thousands of pieces of data to figure out what is happening. There are advanced and refined models of technologies in an SIEM that can tell if a potential attack is ransomware, brute force, insider attack, phishing, or any other.
A major aspect of next-gen is their extensive leveraging of artificial intelligence and machine learning (note that they don’t rely on it). Hence, it can tell the type of device, its capabilities, and its suspected users. Simply put, the event correlation of next-gen SIEMs is next level, making the work of the security team much more automated, efficient, and effective. These are features that legacy SIEMs can’t promise or provide.
What Are the Differences Between Legacy SIEM and Next-gen SIEM
Below is a more detailed insight into some of the differences an organization can immediately see when using a legacy and a next-gen SIEM.
● Use of AI and Machine Learning
One of the features that can immediately differentiate a legacy SIEM from a next-gen is AI or machine learning capabilities. The fact remains that the integration of an AI or ML feature in any form of SIEM takes it to the next level. Almost every traditional SIEM doesn’t feature AI or machine learning abilities — This is a flagship feature in a next-gen SIEM.
● Threat Detection
Threat Detection comes from a combination of web security processes to fish out any potential or presently occurring threat. One of the ways to differentiate between a legacy and next-gen SIEM is that the latter features a sophisticated threat detection system. Anomaly detection techniques, threat intelligence, and web threat hunting is often the process that makes up threat detection in a next-gen SIEM. When using Network Detection and Response solutions like Stellar Cyber, they can easily monitor and detect even the most sophisticated threats in a matter of minutes.
● Incident Response
Detecting threats isn’t the only thing next-gen SIEMs do better than the legacy ones, as it is almost non-existent with the traditional SIEMs. Next-gen SIEMs already have an incident response plan programmed depending on the needs of the organization or client using it. Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) is a term that explains the process of next-gen SIEMs, from monitoring, detecting, correlating, and responding to threats.
● Compliance Consideration
Many organizations are heavily fined when their web security technology does not meet the regulatory requirements. Apparently, the major difference between a legacy and next-gen SIEM is that the latter provides a client with high-end security infrastructure that meets compliance.
● The Environment of Operation
The environment of operation can be one of the things that will completely differentiate a legacy SIEM from the next-gen. The new trend within the tech sector is that many solutions are moving over to the cloud due to the numerous benefits that come from doing so. Next-gen SIEMs are often known to offer a cloud-hosted solution, which provides more processing power, space, and threat detection effectiveness.
The function of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is to monitor, collect data, and help detect malicious activity in a network. But there are two classes of this type of web security technology: the legacy and next-gen SIEM.
The major difference is that the functions of the legacy SIEM mostly end in collecting data logs and storing them. However, on the part of the next-gen SIEM, it employs more advanced technologies such as AI and ML to provide a more sophisticated security framework.