Is Your SIEM Data Ingestion Keeping Pace?

Reading Time : 2min read
Abstract purple fibers representing data ingestion

The ability for your SIEM to ingest data at scale is critical, especially in a world where threats target a vast array of attack surfaces. Ensuring full visibility of all log data is paramount, and you need a SIEM that can ingest any event, in any format, to effectively hunt for threats. Remember, you can’t secure what you can’t see. Whether you’re taking a close look at your current solution or evaluating new potential vendors, here’s what to consider around SIEM data ingestion.

Time for an Upgrade? Two Big Red Flags to Look For

Your Data Visibility Is Limited: The first sign of trouble in your data ingestion is a lack of full visibility into all log data. Just like a foggy windshield can be a hazard on the road, obscured data visibility is a threat to your organization’s security. It’s crucial to have a solution capable of ingesting all event types in any format.

Your Data Is Indexed When Ingested: The second red flag is not being able to store, index, and access data efficiently. Traditional SIEMs require indexing on ingestion, which delays data usability. This is like buying a new car but being told to wait a few days before you can drive it.

Still Not Sure? Here’s How Different SIEMs Ingest Data

To technically evaluate a platform’s scalability, you have to scrutinize how your SIEM stores data, how it indexes it, and the compression ratio of ingest to storage. Here’s how different SIEM providers measure up:

Traditional SIEM deployed in the Cloud: These SIEMs use standard ingestion methods but have to index data before it can be queried or alerted on. This limitation negatively impacts performance and detection time. Moreover, a fixed data schema can lead to problems when log data formats change, causing data gaps and alert breaks until data is re-indexed.

Cloud-provider SIEM + a Data Lake: Data ingestion is relatively easy as long as the data originates from the same cloud provider. However, third-party sources require additional steps, and any non-standard data must be converted before ingestion, leading to maintenance overhead and a lack of real-time analytics.

SIEM Bundled with Vendor-specific Tools: These SIEMs, although relatively new, still suffer from fixed data schemas that impact data indexing and searching. Also, since their data analysis is primarily based on their platform logs, they might not show the complete picture.

SIEM Optimized for a Single Use Case: These SIEMs, which originated as User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) platforms, have scalability and stability issues at scale. They use cloud-provider native tools, inheriting limitations not optimized for security detection or reporting.

Invest in Modern Data Ingestion ASAP

Your SIEM needs to bypass waiting periods and offer immediate access to your data after ingestion. This is a game-changer for your SOC and allows analysts to stay ahead of potential threats. A modern security data platform offers just that — and helps ensure you have the data you need at any scale.

To learn more about how current SIEM providers handle data ingestion, read our full 2024 SIEM Buyer’s Guide.

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