Security information management systems (SIMS) is a type of software that collects and analyzes data about cybersecurity threats to help an organization react appropriately.
SIMS often come into play when the security team needs to respond to a DDoS attack, malware infection, or other more serious threats, but they can also be used for more mundane tasks like policy auditing or compliance monitoring.
Let’s explore six things you need to know about security information management systems.
1. Who Needs a Security Information Management System?
Any organization that wants comprehensive visibility of activity on their network from any device whatsoever. A SIMS will make it much easier for your company to identify threats and take appropriate action.
If you have more than 500 users, it's a good idea to get one of these systems in place to ensure any security risks can be discovered quickly. This includes home computers that employees may be accessing remotely, which is an important feature now that many more people are working from home than ever before.
2. SIMS Can Audit Compliance
A security information management system is also very helpful for auditing policy compliance across the company or at specific, individual locations. This reduces potential security risks by identifying deviations from standard procedures promptly so that they can be corrected before serious damage is done.
SIMS provides a complete overview of an organization's network including all the devices that are connected to it.
The number one benefit of the system is that you’ll know what your employees are doing on their work laptops at home when they access the internet – even if there was no malicious intent behind it.
You'll also have a full audit trail history stored securely inside the system so you can see exactly who has accessed specific items and when these events occurred. This provides more assurance than just relying on employee honesty alone because, in the busyness of the day, things can fall through the cracks.
In the industrial security world, even the tiniest slip can result in a breach.
3. SIMS Provide Data on Architectural Compliance
Security information management systems provide organizations with all data required for architectural compliance, which means less time spent searching for documents later.
This is especially valuable if there were to be some type of structural failure or damage.
4. Security Information Management Systems Protect Data
Security information management systems can help to protect data by controlling access to sensitive files and folders. They can also prevent the installation of unauthorized hardware or software, such as malware-laden USB sticks.
5. SIMS Can Correlate Data From Various Sources
Security information management systems help organizations efficiently manage data that comes from different sources.
They also provide a complete picture of what's happening on the network, quickly identifying threats or risks, for example, by monitoring changes in user behavior patterns and detecting activity that doesn't align with known work habits.
To do its job, the system needs to analyze log-in attempts, firewall configurations, file access events (including who accessed them), security alerts generated by third-party applications such as antivirus programs or firewalls/intrusion detection devices.
The SIMS will then assess this data against predefined rulesets so it knows if an action is suspicious and should be blocked – or not even logged at all since nothing happened.
6. SIMS Can Monitor Events in Real-Time
When combined with other detection methods such as alarms from intrusion-detection devices (IDS), firewalls, antivirus software, web sensors, or host-based antivirus programs (HIPS), the result is a powerful set of tools to respond proactively to potential security breaches before they happen.
Do You Have the Right Security Information Management System on Your Side?
The most important thing to remember about security information management systems is that they are designed to help you better understand and control the security posture of your organization.
And that by analyzing event data in real-time, SIMS can also be used for quick response times during a crisis situation.
It's important to remember that a SIMS is only as good as the policies and processes they report on.
A SIMS without a process is not much better than an expensive ticker-tape machine, providing you with raw data that needs to be transformed into actionable information before it can help your business make decisions and take actions that improve security.
Topics from this blog: Compliance