The Ultimate Guide to Building Effective Security Use Cases

It’s no secret: cybersecurity isn’t a one size fits all world. Every organization has different needs and complexities, which means that the usefulness of the security use cases you develop will vary depending on what your business does.

And now you’re probably wondering, “How do I find out which security use cases are worth investing in?” Well before we answer that question let’s take a look at some of the basics.

What is a SIEM?

A SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management, is a powerful tool for security teams to gain visibility into their environment. By providing quick alerting, SIEM technology enables a SOC, or Security Operations Center, to not only detect malicious activity but also respond appropriately during time sensitive situations.

The core element of successfully leveraging this solution? You guessed right: security use cases!

In order for organizations to be successful, their SIEM must have business-specific use cases. Having a security use case strategy will help security analysts spend more time on valuable tasks and less time dealing with alerts that are unimportant to business operations.

Security Use Case Considerations

A good place to start when developing your use case strategy is to create a threat profile that identifies any risks that could affect your environment. There’s always something that needs protection, so make sure you consider your threats fully before moving forward.

Here’s a list we’ve made before for reference, but be aware these are just examples:

  • Industry Vertical
  • Operating Regions
  • Business Requirements
  • Company Assets and User Types
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Insider Threats
  • Apps and Services
  • Security Products / Tools
  • Adversary Behaviors / Trends
  • Cyber Security Incidents

Build the Best SIEM Use Cases for Your Business

Security teams will quickly become overwhelmed with alert fatigue when they don’t have proper plans in place. Without an effective way to manage security use cases, an organization risks creating too many use cases, which can lead to wild and out of control SIEM, or visibility gaps, which are an additional security issue.

The Joker would never agree with this, but in order to make sure everything goes smoothly it’s essential to have a plan for your SIEM.

These are our top 6 pro recommendations for you.

1.) Frame Your Security Use Cases

Once you’ve considered the threat landscape and better understand your business-specific security risks, it’s time to define your use cases based on risk-driven insights.

Pro Tip: By building use cases that are relevant to your environment, security teams can avoid scope creep (i.e., use cases that end up expanding beyond their management or monitoring capabilities) and ensure they stay on track.

2.) Identify Specific Data Sources

There are a lot of different data sources out there and you need to make sure that the information is relevant for your top priority risks. The sooner you identify which data sources are most appropriate for your needs, the better.

Pro Tip: It’s important to focus on your prioritized objectives first. If you have the license and capability, then data from “just in case” data sources may be brought in–additional context will always come in handy during an investigation!

3.) Apply Data-Powered Analytics

Choosing the right data analytics can help identify anomalies quickly. This will also help ensure your SIEM is aligned with your objectives.

Pro Tip: Don’t get caught up in the moment. Before you try to perform complex analytics, make sure that the simpler SIEM use case analytics can be managed first before you advance further.

4.) Catalog Your Use Case Set

SIEMs can be expensive to implement and maintain. Organizing your use cases into families and subfamilies will help you maximize efficiency while also ensuring optimal return on investment.

Pro Splunk Tip: If you leverage Splunk Enterprise Security, you will want to use Analytic Stories. This capability provides contextual and actionable guidance to help you better define your use cases and organize your content.

If you need any help, Hurricane Labs specializes in providing custom Splunk SIEM capabilities for our customers!

5.) Prioritize Your Use Cases

Again, there are many ways that deploying use cases that have not been built for your business requirements may decrease the effectiveness of a SIEM. This is especially true for security teams that do not have the advanced skill sets to handle the complexity of their use case deployments.

Pro Tip: Determine which use cases should take priority before deploying them.

6.) Understand the Use Case Life Cycle

Security use cases go through multiple stages–including planning, deployment, and evaluation–that need to be managed to ensure their effectiveness.

Pro Tip: You should review your use cases at regular intervals, such as once a year or more often if necessary, to make sure they still align with the originally intended goal. During your review, include any new data ingested into your SIEM, or that are still relevant to your organization and current level of defensive measures.

How Managed Services Providers Can Play a Meaningful Role in Your SIEM Success

The challenge of supporting mission critical tasks can be a major roadblock for many security teams. A good strategy to help enhance your cybersecurity posture is using a SIEM, but it takes the necessary staffing and tools required with this type of system so they are effective in their purpose.

The best way to keep your business secure is with an expert by your side. With the help of a dedicated managed services provider (MSP), like Hurricane Labs, you can rest assured knowing that all aspects will be taken care of! They can help you determine which security measures are most important, create custom detection rules or automate processes; all while providing complete implementation and administration of these solutions with ease!

Hurricane Labs is an MSP that helps businesses optimize their Splunk security solutions. We ensure you’re following best practices and driving success for your organization’s data protection strategy with our experts on board!

We’re here to ensure that your SIEM is up and running with the right partner for success. Let us know if you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about our services.

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Hurricane Labs authored by Kelsey Clark. Read the original post at: