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The future of SIEM: What needs to change for it to stay relevant?

Compared to security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) software, SIEM systems are dated. Expert Andrew Froehlich explains how SIEM needs to adapt to keep up.

At its core, a security information and event management (SIEM) system is a great way to collect various log and event information from disparate network, security and data center hardware and software. It's also useful for initial analysis and categorizing alerts. From those two standpoints, SIEM remains relevant. However, when this question of SIEM's relevancy is raised, it is often when comparing a SIEM to the newer, increasingly popular security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) tools. SOAR has some useful features traditional SIEM products do not. Let's look at the future of SIEM and the changes that need to be made to catch up to SOAR.

First, SIEM products need to become more intelligent about providing alerts when action is required. The biggest complaint about a SIEM installed in a large IT infrastructure is that the security team becomes inundated with potential threats they should track down but can't due to lack of manpower. By comparison, newer SOAR platforms offer more advanced analysis and correlation engines that lessen the number of false positives.

Second, SIEM can't simply provide alerts about a potential security problem and be done. Instead, it needs to take SOAR's example and provide actionable steps a security administrator should take to quickly investigate and remediate the threat.

Lastly, the future of SIEM should provide two-way communication between the devices sourcing log and event data. Having a way to communicate back to the source device provides opportunities to use AI and automation to find a solution to a security issue, as well as remediate it without human intervention.

The logical conclusion is that SIEM and SOAR will soon evolve into a single tool for security departments to manage. Look for traditional SIEM products to take on the benefits of SOAR, but don't be surprised to see SOAR vendors respond by expanding their capabilities.

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