Industries such as finance, insurance, and healthcare are heavily regulated by laws and standards that require businesses to strictly adhere to certain data privacy conditions. The main condition of most of these regulations is the registration and analysis of all security events that occur in the enterprise information system.
How to achieve compliance with these requirements and why is SIEM the most elegant solution when it comes to meeting the criteria set by the dominant standards? We will talk about this in this article, and also look at several SIEM use cases for compliance.
What is SIEM?
Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) is a technology that collects, analyzes and accumulates data on security events. A set of software products that form SIEM allows you to process a wide range of application log formats, as well as to quickly search for data in these logs. Information about security events is analyzed by the system in real time, due to which security analysts can respond to threats in a timely manner. In addition, using structured data stored in SIEM, an enterprise can prepare reports for regulatory authorities, and use this information for certification.
Why is SIEM important for certification and regulatory compliance?
Constant monitoring of a huge data stream is a time-consuming process both for a small startup, due to limited resources, and for medium and large businesses, where the amount of information generated and processed is simply huge. The presence of SIEM allows you to automate and simplify the above tasks, and free up the attention of employees who deal with information security so that they can do their job more efficiently.
For highly regulated business sectors, SIEM is simply a vital thing in the enterprise. In fact, this system makes it possible to obtain appropriate certificates, such as the ISO 27001 certificate, and bring your business to a truly professional level, as well as avoid costly fines and sanctions.
And despite the fact that laws in no way explicitly require companies to implement such technologies, based on the requirements of these documents, we naturally come to the conclusion that it is the presence of SIEM that turns out to be the most balanced and optimal solution for meeting security requirements at once several standards.
How does SIEM make certification and compliance with the requirements easier?
The main advantage of SIEM in terms of compliance is the ability to create reports containing information about all the security measures that are taken in the enterprise. In addition, such a system greatly simplifies the process of storing evidence of compliance with the requirements, and, of course, provides continuous security analysis and threat detection. Consequently, the process of information processing becomes manageable and transparent enough to be sufficient to achieve the goals of many regulations. Let us look at this issue using a few main laws and standards as an example.
Using SIEM to comply with laws and standards
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an international law passed in the European Union (EU). One of its main features is that it applies to all companies that process personal data of citizens and residents of all countries in the EU. Violating the GDPR can result in multimillion-euro fines and reputational losses.
According to the GDPR, it is extremely important for an enterprise to ensure the appropriate level of monitoring, response and reporting. And SIEM allows a company to meet these challenges through security analysis and reporting.
A few specific examples:
- Data protection: SIEM can demonstrate that user data has been properly processed and stored securely;
- Formation of the logs: information in SIEM is stored in a structured form, which also allows, if necessary, to create reports;
- Intrusion notification: SIEM notifies the information security department staff about security events in real time;
- Proper data processing: SIEM components allow to identify and control events related to changes in personal data.
It should be noted that one of the principles of the GDPR is data minimization and storage limitation. That is, the company should not collect more information than is necessary to solve certain problems, and store this information for longer than necessary. Therefore, given that SIEM constantly collects and stores a significant amount of data, legal collisions may arise here. Therefore, you need to pay special attention to this delicate issue and consult with experienced professionals.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a payment card industry data security standard that was developed, accordingly, to improve the security of cardholder data. It applies to everyone who processes cards, including merchants and service providers who come into contact with payment data. The PCI DSS requirements describe 12 security areas that must be strengthened to protect data.
In the context of this standard, SIEM allows you to detect abnormal traffic as well as suspicious activity. At the same time, security personnel receive appropriate notifications. With the help of SIEM, all collected information about security events is securely stored and can be used to generate reports.
Additional SIEM benefits for compliance with the PCI DSS requirements:
- Data protection: detection of unauthorized network connections;
- Tracking events: this refers to any events that lead to a change in information in the system;
- Threat detection: real-time monitoring of security events;
- Audit and reporting: one of the main features of SIEM, which allows you to systematize information and generate structured reports for regulators.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a US law that applies to organizations of all sizes that process and transmit electronic health information. Among other things, the law requires businesses to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge and to analyze the risks associated with the processing of this information, as well as properly manage these risks, and carry out checks on the operation of the information system.
SIEM can help you comply with HIPAA requirements in the following ways:
- Security management: real-time information security system monitoring;
- Information access control: tracking successful and unsuccessful logins, changing user accounts;
- Threat detection: automatic detection of threats and warning about them;
- Security of information transmission: detection of unauthorized connections to the network.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is a US law that was passed to protect investors by improving the reliability and accuracy of financial data released by companies organized under securities laws. The law contains cybersecurity provisions requiring businesses to deal with cybersecurity threats that could adversely affect financial transactions and the integrity of sensitive information. In addition, SOX requires an organization to have adequate systems of internal control in relation to financial reporting.
The presence of SIEM in an enterprise system can help with compliance with such SOX requirements:
- Control of compliance with security policies and standards: SIEM can determine which IT systems comply with standards and signal violations in real time;
- Access to information: monitoring requests to change information;
- Network security: monitoring signals from edge security devices;
- Monitoring: tracking and notification about security events;
Segregation of duties: according to SOX, the entire data processing process must be carried out by employees of different departments. Having a SIEM can ensure that employees only have access to the information they create.
As you can see, the presence of SIEM in the IT system of an enterprise cannot be overestimated when it comes to compliance with financial regulation or standardization. In this article, as an example, we have analyzed several regulations that SIEM integration can contribute to compliance with. However, the full list of laws and standards is not limited to those listed.
If you have any questions related to certification according to international information security standards, or preparation for an audit for compliance with laws that include provisions on the security of information systems, ESKA experts are ready to provide you with appropriate services for consulting, preparing for certification and SIEM implementation. Contact us in any way convenient for you to schedule a comfortable time for a consultation.