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March 19, 2021

Why You Should Consider Azure Sentinel in Your Security Strategy


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SIEM is a huge help to security, especially in large, complex networks. It aids in catching threats that might otherwise go unnoticed for a long time. Information comes together from many sources to get a big picture and catch anomalies more reliably.

The downside is that SIEM has traditionally been very complicated to set up and maintain. It needs to access many data sources and process large volumes of data. The sources include log data in many formats. Sometimes it’s necessary to reconfigure the network. If not done properly, SIEM operations can drag down the network yet not provide adequate insights.

Azure Sentinel, the first native cloud SIEM system, makes setup and maintenance much easier and cost effective. It can protect multiple clouds and on-premises systems, giving a view of all current cases from a single dashboard.

What is SIEM?

The term SIEM (pronounced “sim”) stands for “security information and event management.” It builds on the concepts of intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems. Unlike its simpler predecessors, it doesn’t just operate on the network perimeter or protect a single system. SIEM brings together log data from many applications, firewalls, and servers to build a comprehensive picture of network security status.

Those logs are SIEM’s primary source of information. It analyzes them as a connected ecosystem, looking for suspicious events. Threat intelligence sources feed your SIEM with content to an unusual activity so that your security team can take the necessary action.

How Sentinel Makes SIEM Simpler

Unlike any previous SIEM from a major provider, Azure Sentinel was created as a cloud SIEM service. The headaches of installing SIEM on a network go away. It’s easily scaled to cover more systems and applications.

Sentinel works smoothly with Azure services, such as Microsoft 365. It isn’t limited to them, though. Sentinel’s abilities include monitoring and analyzing events on multiple clouds and on-premises systems. Its AI-based behavior analytics aid in identifying issues while keeping false positives low. A broad repertoire of built-in connectors simplifies collecting log data from diverse sources.

Sentinel builds on Microsoft’s rich set of security tools. It uses Azure Monitor to ingest log data on a massive scale and the Kusto query language to let administrators create queries. Microsoft Cloud App Security works seamlessly with Sentinel to protect cloud applications and automate security processes.

Working with Sentinel’s Cloud SIEM

Getting started with Sentinel from an existing Azure account is straightforward. The first steps are to set up a Log Analytics workspace and enable Sentinel from the Azure Portal.

Monitoring Azure services under the same account is just a matter of selecting the resources. With other systems and applications, you will need to deploy agents or connectors to pull the necessary logs.

The Sentinel dashboard groups events into incidents, which are groups of related alerts that likely stem from the same cause. The administrator or security analyst can see the number of alerts associated with an incident. A jump in the alert count could signify an attack in progress. Administrators can stick with the practices built into Sentinel, or they can adjust the cloud security settings for an incident’s severity.

Sentinel Workbooks provides data analysis and visual reports from various data sources that expand beyond Azure. Security consultants also have the ability to create their own custom workbooks to match their needs. 

Cloud SIEM with Sentinel is just one of the cloud security services we can help your business with. We understand that everyone’s needs are different and will help you find the security approach that best suits your business.

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