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4 Reasons SOC Teams Need CIEM

Author: Kelly Speiser | Date: September 15, 2021
Read Time: 5 minutes
Skill Level: Executive
Skill Level: Executive
4 Reasons SOC Teams Need CIEM

In the ever-changing and growing IT security field, the security operations center teams need tools and options that help them perform their jobs with a high level of reliability. CIEM is the latest and most versatile way to provide additional security for multi-cloud and hybrid environments. Last year, Gartner created the CIEM category, and it's the latest option in the world of cloud security.

Building an effective security operations center (SOC) is crucial for organizations of all sizes. Just like the enterprises themselves, every security team is different. Enterprises that recognize the importance of security will invest the necessary amount of resources to ensure that their data and environment remain safe and that their SOC team has the resources necessary to deal with risk. When considering all of the cloud security tools available, how does the SOC team decide on tools?

1. SIEM is Not Enough For Zero Trust Architecture

SOC teams require the best solutions to perform their jobs effectively. SOC personnel incorporated security information and event management (SIEM) many years ago and added this tool as a key component of operations. However, SIEM is not enough in the rapidly changing world of public cloud security.

SIEM stands for security information and event management and provides organizations with detection, analytics and response. SIEM software combines security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) to provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware. SIEM software matches events against rules and analytics engines and indexes them for sub-second search to detect and analyze advanced threats using globally gathered intelligence. This gives security teams both insight into and a track record of the activities within their IT environment by providing data analysis, event correlation, aggregation, reporting, and log management. SIEM primarily covers threat detection, investigation, and response. However, it's notorious for having issues identifying some articles of incoming data, which leaves gaps in its coverage.

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlements Management (CIEM) solutions manage identities and access privileges in cloud and multi-cloud environments. Sometimes referred to as Cloud Entitlements Management solutions or Cloud Permissions Management solutions, CIEM solutions apply the Principle of Least Privilege access to cloud infrastructure, identities, resources, and services, helping organizations defend against data breaches, data leakage, privilege escalations, and other risks posed by excessive cloud permissions.

Essentially, CIEM is an advancement from SIEM for cloud-based security needs that manages permission and entitlements using zero trust architecture. It's a solution for managing Cloud Permissions Gap both Zero Trust Access and Principle of Least Privilege

2. Advanced Technology Demands Advanced Security

In the middle 2000s, SIEM appeared on the scene and allowed enterprises to gather information about server logs and then analyze it to determine if any security threat was detected. At the time, it was the latest and greatest solution for the technology and security needs of enterprises using enterprise SOC teams. However, today's technology demands advanced security with capabilities for better protecting assets and data.

IT security companies need advanced solutions now more than ever with the threat of more advanced risks resulting from security failures related to the lack of adequate identity management and access privileges.  Hybrid and multi-cloud processes are dramatically different, which requires the use of CIEM to offer the best security.

3. CIEM Helps SOC Teams Find Risk

CIEM is still advancing and developing to meet new technology security needs for cloud-based entities so new use cases are created frequently. Here are a few ways to provide better support for SOC teams and allow them to operate efficiently with a greater level of effectiveness:

Unusual actions of non-people identities. Most non-people identities are repetitive and perform the same actions regularly. Any changes or new actions would indicate that tampering or misuse of credentials within the network. 

Enterprise teams need help to track and monitoring permissions and new services. CIEM can offer that extra support and handle those processes effortlessly, thus reducing demands on SOC teams. 

CIEM monitors and reduces risk when identities are allowed multiple access points and their accounts are accessible by third parties. CIEM effectively reduces costly errors and misconfiguration that compromised accounts. 

Controlling and eliminating over-permissioned identities is one of the primary concerns for SOC teams, and it's also where CIEM can prove invaluable. CIEM should provide anomaly detection with a focus on protection and compliance.

4. CIEM Reduces Blind Spots

The future of enterprise environments is identity, and identity is the new perimeter. The practices of simply using passwords to authenticate and grant access to accounts and stored data are a thing of the past. These methods no longer provide a solid method for preventing unauthorized entry and tampering. Password stealing is a common practice among cybercriminals, and the old methods such as SIEM have blind spots.

They can overlook attempts and anomalies that CIEM will catch and respond to without additionally pressuring the SOC team to track and document manually. Today's security needs for various identities require customized identity parameters controlled by central IT to fit each user's role in the cloud environment. 

Evaluating CIEM Solutions

A comprehensive CIEM and identity solution can reduce risk in your public cloud. But how do SOC teams know what to look for in a CIEM solution? Here are the top three questions all teams evaluating a CIEM solution should ask:

  1. Scope: Does the platform address the three core pillars of CIEM? Gartner outlines identity and authorization management, anomaly detection and response, and continuous compliance as core pillars.
  2. Ease of deployment and use: Can the CIEM solution function across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, with quick deployment and uptime?
  3. Integrations: How does the offering integrate within your existing security stack?

Today's rapidly evolving change to cloud-based environments creates new security challenges such as managing identities and granting access to resources within an organization. The past security measures are inadequate to effectively prevent cyber attacks and security breaches, so the best solution is to team up with top IT and cloud security providers to gain options like CIEM. 

Don't risk overlooking misconfigured identities and assume the Cloud Service Provider has taken responsibility and has the necessary resource to address the problem. A misconfigured identity can lead to potentially granting access to all information across the cloud and leave sensitive data vulnerable to theft. 

Enterprises currently using the multi-cloud or even hybrid operation model can vastly benefit. They can increase their level of security by implementing CIEM and use identities to set customized perimeters to gain access to certain information and accounts to prevent unauthorized use.

SOC Teams New Approach

Cloud environments need a better solution for their growing security needs. SOC teams will have the tools and support necessary to maintain a higher level of safety by using an identity-based approach. Now is the time to implement this multi-faceted approach capable of growing and expanding with the environment to meet both current and future needs.

You can monitor with a broader scope with fewer blind spots and address and mitigate over-permissioned identities. You can detect anomalies and drift that indicate attempts to enter the environment.

Security is the primary concern of any multi-cloud or hybrid environment. Staying compliant and safeguarding sensitive information, identities, and data is essential, which is why you need to update outdated methods with gaps and blind spots and implement the newest and best way to enable SOC teams to perform.

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