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Megan SHAW May 25, 2022 11:27:00 PM 4 min read

How to use SIEM to monitor and protect critical infrastructure

Security information and event management (SIEM) systems are essential tools for monitoring and protecting critical infrastructure. In this post, we will discuss what critical infrastructure is, the role of SIEM in protecting it, and how to effectively use a SIEM system to monitor and protect your organization's critical assets.

What is critical infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure refers to the systems and assets that are essential for the functioning of a society and economy. This includes facilities, networks, and equipment that provide essential services such as power, water, communication, transportation, and healthcare. These assets are often interconnected and interdependent, meaning that the failure of one can have cascading effects on others.

The importance of protecting critical infrastructure cannot be overstated. In today's interconnected world, critical infrastructure is a prime target for cyber attacks, natural disasters, and other threats. If compromised, these assets can disrupt vital services and have far-reaching consequences for public safety, national security, and the economy.

The role of SIEM in protecting critical infrastructure

SIEM systems are designed to provide real-time visibility into an organization's IT environment and help identify potential security threats. They do this by collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources, such as security devices, applications, and network traffic.

One of the key benefits of SIEM is its ability to detect anomalies and suspicious activities that may indicate a security breach. For example, if a user's account is accessed from an unusual location or at an unusual time, a SIEM system can alert security personnel to investigate. Similarly, if a network device starts communicating with an unknown server, a SIEM system can flag it as a potential threat.

In addition to detecting threats, SIEM systems can also help prevent them. Many SIEM systems come with built-in rules and algorithms that can automatically block suspicious activities or alert security personnel to take action. For example, if a user attempts to access a sensitive file without the proper permissions, a SIEM system can deny the access and alert security personnel.

How to effectively use SIEM to protect critical infrastructure

To effectively use a SIEM system to protect critical infrastructure, it is important to properly configure and manage the system. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Identify and prioritize your critical assets: Start by identifying the assets that are most critical to your organization and prioritize them based on their importance and potential impact. This will help you focus your SIEM efforts on the assets that matter most and ensure that they are adequately protected.
  2. Configure the SIEM system to collect the right data: Next, configure the SIEM system to collect data from the right sources. This might include security devices, applications, network traffic, and other relevant sources. Make sure to also collect data from the critical assets that you identified in step 1.
  3. Establish rules and alerts: Establish rules and alerts that can help you identify and respond to potential threats. This might include alerts for unusual user behavior, unauthorized access to sensitive data, or unusual network activity. Make sure to also include alerts for potential threats to your critical assets.
  4. Monitor and review: Regularly monitor and review the data collected by the SIEM system. This will help you identify potential threats and take action to prevent them. It is also important to review the rules and alerts established in step 3 to ensure that they are effective and up to date.

Megan SHAW

Product advocate to current customers, I am old school with a varied set of experiences.