Evaluation criteria for SIEM

One security manager's key questions for choosing a security information and event management product

Mike Mahoney, manager of IT security and compliance at Liz Claiborne Inc., used the following evaluation criteria when choosing a SIEM product, eventually deciding on Q1 Labs' QRadar. He asked several teams within the organization to rank these criteria in terms of their importance to getting their jobs done, both for statistical work (trending, historical, matrices and reporting) and for correlation (normalization and analyzing).

  • Threat identification: Raw log form vs. descriptive.
  • Threat tracking: Ability to track through the various events, from source to destination.
  • Policy enforcement: Ability to enforce defined polices.
  • Application analysis: Ability to analyze application at Layer 7 if necessary.
  • Business relevance of events: Ability to assign business risk to events and have weighted threat levels.
  • Measuring changes and improvements: Ability to track configuration changes to devices.
  • Asset-based information: Ability to gather information on devices on the network.
  • Anomalous behavior (server): Ability to trend and see changes in how it communicates to others.
  • Anomalous behavior (network): Ability to trend and see how communications pass throughout the network.
  • Anomalous behavior (application): Ability to trend and see changes in how it communicates to others.
  • User monitoring: User activity, logging in, applications usage, etc.

Mahoney also asked the teams to respond to the following questions:

  • What devices would be candidates for log and event collection?
  • What policies would you like to track?
  • What information would you like to have available if a threat or vulnerability was identified?
  • What sort of devices and information would be valuable for your area, in terms of asset collection?
  • What length of time for access to current/archival information is acceptable?

More on SIEM:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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