SIEMs Like a Good Idea: Federal Agencies Need More Than Just Perimeter Defenses to Protect Against Cyber Threats

It’s a scary new world. Cyber threats and information security incidents – particularly at the federal government level – are on the rise, which signals that many of the security systems that federal government agencies have been using to detect and prevent information security breaches simply aren’t cutting it.

More specifically, no longer are traditional perimeter defenses, such as firewalls and intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPS/IDS), enough to keep the breaches at bay.

Indeed, steeling oneself against threats in a virtual world can prove to be just as perplexing as preventing threats on terra firma. To wit: The cyber threats lurking in the nation’s virtual shadows are ever evolving, with numerous threat actors leveraging increasingly refined methods for exploiting security systems’ Achilles heels.

So, what’s a federal organization – entrusted with protecting precious public information – to do? Enter Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions. SIEM solutions work by reinforcing the monitoring of internal systems, which allows federal agencies to more thoroughly protect information in both the public and private sectors.

Consider this: Advanced threats are capable of sidestepping security measures and going undetected for months and, in some cases, years. Conventional perimeter defense devices as a means of resisting these types of threats quite simply fall short when it comes to considering the malicious insider. Additionally, employing a single, solitary device to anticipate a specific threat makes very little economic sense (or cents, for that matter).

The safer bet – from both an operational and economical perspective – is to implement an advanced security intelligence system, such as a SIEM solution, to successfully foil advanced cyber threats.

To be sure, SIEM systems yield top-notch security capabilities; draw on the inbuilt value of previous investments; and offer a bird’s eye view and insight into the host network. Obviously, the best SIEM systems will combine this trifecta of offerings, so that users can feel confident they have in place a security system that is just as sophisticated as the threats they encounter.

Perhaps the greatest value that a SIEM solution lends a network environment is its capacity to openly detect actual risks rather than just perceived risks. This capability brings with it the ability to sniff out sophisticated threats before they become maddeningly wedged in sensitive information systems.

It’s an inescapable fact that the federal government’s computer networks are hyper-vulnerable to cyber threats, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s also becoming increasingly apparent that only a SIEM solution can recognize and adequately deal with these threats, much more so than a traditional perimeter defense system. All of a sudden, the world SIEMs a little less scary.

Kim Kay

Kim Kay is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who specializes in technology and possesses more than 20 years of experience in B2B and consumer publishing. A noted writer and editor across a myriad of mediums in both in the U.S. and overseas, she has also served as the Editor-in-Chief ofComputer Technology Review for more than a decade.

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