With the increase in the number of cyberattacks, the need for a core security component like SIEM has become crucial for modern organizations. The leading tool not only helps discover the attack but further allows users to track how and why the attack took place.
The SIEM tools enable businesses to use log data to generate quality insights for past attacks and events.
Today, many firewalls and antivirus packages are available in the market, but they might not be enough to fully protect a network. For example, zero-day attacks can still penetrate the systems.
However, SIEM tools can address this problem and update users on the past behavior of the attacks. As a result, you can improve your system’s incident protection and save it from future damage.
Here, we will discuss SIEM tools, and their advantages and disadvantages. Further, we will compare the two popular tools – Arcsight and Splunk. Hence, making it easier for you to choose between the two.
What Are SIEM Tools?
SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management, a set of security monitoring tools used by organizations to discover and identify malicious behavior on a network, endpoint, and servers. The tools provide a holistic view of different information security systems.
It is a combination of Security Information Management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) that allows admins to monitor and analyze all events. It is one of the popular security solutions that enable businesses to discover threats and vulnerabilities before that attacker makes any move.
SIEM is no longer limited to log management. It also provides advanced user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), manages ever-evolving threats, reporting, etc. Using artificial intelligence, one can also automate different manual processes linked with incident response and threat detection.
The best part about SIEM tools is they provide automatic security event notifications. It has a dashboard that updates security issues and provides instant notifications on detecting threats.
Other benefits of SIEM tools are:
- Reduces time to identify and react to real-time threats
- Offers centralized compliance auditing and reporting options
- Allows integration with powerful Security Orchestration Automation and Response
- Helps improve inter-departmental efficiencies
- Enables businesses to detect advanced and unknown threats like Phishing attacks, SQL Injections, DDoS Attacks, etc.
- Conducts digital forensic investigations
Today, you can find a large number of security information and event management solutions in the market. Here, we will discuss the two popular SIEM tools – Arcsight and Splunk.
Arcsight Product Highlights
ArcSight is one of the popular security management solutions that can operate with multiple products and manages all security issues to boost productivity. The main purpose of designing the SIEM tool was to track, detect, and analyze data insights, and resolve cyber threats and compliance policy guidelines components.
Here are a few features of ArcSight:
- Blocking Threats It has dashboards where users can track threats and block them after getting notifications. Further, it provides other latest security solutions, such as rules, use cases, and reports.
- Source ingestion The best part about the SIEM ArcSight tool is it supports analysis of previous data and cyber threat data intelligence using STIX and CIF standard dashboards. APIs, firewall logs, XML/JSON, database connectivity, and other sensible interfaces make up source ingestion.
- Implementation ArcSight supports threat management and runs 100,000 EPS (events per second). In most cases, the API feature also allows for broad data integration.
- Support It offers good data management and support services but at a price.
- Scalability It allows scaling up to scale 100,000 EPS using distributed correlation.
It is an Enterprise Security Manager that supports real-time event management, log management, compliance management, automatic response, and other features essential for managing security policy. With the help of this tool, users can quickly monitor events and track behavior across multiple users, servers, IPs, and workstations.
Further, it is one of the robust and adaptive SIEMs that enables businesses to detect threats in real-time and supports native SOAR technology that helps empower the security operations team. The tool collects event data from the network using SmartConnectors which later converts it into a standardized schema.
The Enterprise Security Manager processes and stores all the collected event data in the CORR-Engine.
With the help of ArcSight Console or the ArcSight Command Center, users can easily track events, generate resources, perform analysis, manage systems, spot issues like data staging, email exfiltration, privileged account abuse, and create reports. Also, using the SIEM tools, users can drive event flow and ease the process of analysis.
Further, it provides security alerts and incident responses to users on detecting threats.
Arcsight SIEM Platform, ArcSight ESM, ArcSight Logger, ArcSight Express, and ArcSight SmartConnectors are a few components that help gather and preserve data for long-term use.
- Allows users to process millions of EPS files quickly.
- Allows integration with all end-point security management products like Firewall, Anti-Virus, IPS/IDS
- Supports the creation of clusters
- Integrates with IT infrastructure, including web applications, threat feeds, and ticketing system.
- Correlation in real-time
- Dashboards and visualizations are compelling
- Fully customized to support threat management
- Up-to-date threat intelligence is available
- Integration of UEBA
- Supports Web and Network Scanning
- Supports Vulnerability Assessment and Prioritization features
- It is an efficient and scalable ESM Platform
- Offers Extensive Community Support solutions
- Storage issues are available that must be addressed for better management
- Search Function also requires improvement.
- It takes time to set up and maintain the sophisticated tool.
- If you have a large environment, you might face troubleshooting issues with ArcSight.
- The User terminal takes time to load as it is fairly huge.
- It has a solid integration, yet creating a direct connection with new popular apps is also an issue.
- The user interface requires attention and improvement.
Splunk Product Highlights
Splunk is a free software program that monitors, scans, visualizes, and analyses all computer or machine-generated data in real-time. The collected data is generated by web servers, mobile app logs, IoT devices, etc. The best part about Splunk is it can read all the information available in unstructured, semi-structured, or structured form.
Here are a few features of Splunk:
- Data Ingestion Splunk supports different data types, such as XML, JSON, etc., as well as unstructured computer or machine-generated data including weblogs and application logs. Another feature of Splunk is you can model the unstructured data into a structured one as per the requirement.
- Data Indexing It allows indexing of ingested data for fast searches and querying.
- Data Searching Searching in Splunk involves the use of indexed data to generate metrics, detect patterns, and forecast future trends.
- Alert/Notification Splunk immediately sends email or RSS feeds to the operator or detects issues in the data.
- Dashboards It has an amazing dashboard that shows search results in the form of charts, pivot tables, reports, etc.
- Data Model The tool allows representing indexed data in more than one data set based on specialized domain knowledge. Thus, making it easier for end-users to understand use cases without expert knowledge related to the complexities of search processing language in Splunk.
Further, you can quickly generate reports, search, and categorize data once read using the tool. It allows users to collect big data from multiple sources and run analyses. It is not exactly a SIEM but used for similar purposes like log management and performing analysis. Another role of Splunk is to store all the real-time event data in the form of indexers or a searchable format.
With Splunk, customers ensure improved security and get access to a real-time view of the health and performance of all layers.
It comprises a Universal Forwarder (transmits log data), load balancer, Heavy forward (enables data filtering), Indexer (storing and indexing data), Search head (collects data and generates report), Deployment Server (deploys configuration), License Manager (checks the licensing details).
It is a group of security modules available in two packages – Splunk User Behavior Analytics, and Splunk Phantom. Additionally, its components are compatible with various platforms, including Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris 11, Linux, macOS, and AIX.
If you are looking for an extensible data platform suitable for the hybrid world, look no further. Splunk has an integrated observability and security team to meet your requirements and goals. It supports an expansive set of use cases and provides end-to-end data coverage.
- It is a simple-to-use software program that enables businesses to track and search big data.
- Any department in the company can use this tool for tracking the data
- Offers various plugins and customization options.
- It comprises an easy-to-use dashboard, search, and charting option.
- No additional requirements for external databases.
- It can manage a large number of data in different formats.
- Indexes IT data in real-time.
- Automatically discover relevant information in data. Thus, making it easier to perform other tasks.
- Saves all the searches and allows tagging of useful information.
- Supports alert feature that helps in automating system monitoring.
- Allows creation of insightful reports, including interactive charts, tables, and graphs.
- Allows team collaboration and sharing of reports.
- Allows faster troubleshooting and is ideal for root cause analysis
- Allows monitoring of business metrics for better decision making
- Provides better log management
- Enables users to predict resources required for scaling infrastructure
- For Operational Intelligence, it allows generating knowledge of objects
- To analyze large data quantities, users need to switch to paid packages
- Optimization of searches is more than science
- Compared to Tableau, Splunk’s dashboard is a bit harsh
- Splunk is making constant efforts to replace it with open source alternatives
Arcsight vs Splunk: Head-to-Head
There are various roles and requirements of a SIEM tool, such as generating reports, meeting regulatory requirements, protecting against emerging attacks, etc.
If you wish to purchase a security information and event management (SIEM) solution and are confused between Arcsight and Splunk, we have shared a few parameters that will help compare and make it easier for businesses to make a final decision.
- Definition ArcSight is a security management solution that can be implemented on-premises and in the cloud for detecting, analyzing data insights, and tracking behavior across multiple users, servers, IPs, and workstations. Splunk, on the other hand, is a software program installed as a SaaS solution to track, scan, and analyze all machine-generated data in real-time.
- Deployment ArcSight supports centralized and distributed deployments, whereas Splunk supports hybrid deployment. Also, ArcSight can be executed on-premises or in the cloud in the form of an application or software. Splunk can be installed as a SaaS solution in a private or public cloud.
- Use Cases Use cases of ArcSight are enterprises, whereas Splunk includes highly-regulated industries.
- Intelligence ArcSight integrates will all machine learning and intelligence platforms, whereas the Splunk tool integrates with UBA and other machine learning toolkit
ArcSight supports multiple pricing and licensing models, but its cost is calculated based on ingested data and events per second (EPS), whereas, for the Splunk tool, its cost is calculated based on max daily data volumes and data ingested per day. The price generally starts at $1,800/GB/day.
Splunk users ingest multiple petabytes daily, whereas, ArcSight accounts for 350+ data sources and 100,000 EPS (events per second).
Arcsight vs Splunk: The Verdict
In this blog, we have discussed some of the popular SIEM tools that play a key role in discovering attacks, and tracking how and why the attacks occurred in the first place. These tools are core security components vital for all modern organizations as cyberattack is on the rise.
Even if your company has installed firewalls and antivirus, you require a better security tool that will also protect you against Zero-day attacks. Today, most companies trust SIEM tools because they update users on the past behavior of the attacks, aid in monitoring and analyzing all events, etc.
SIEM is a combination of security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) that is not restricted to only log management but covers other areas, including threat detection, reporting, etc. Further, the tool allows integration with powerful Security Orchestration Automation and Response.
We have also compared its popular tools – Arcsight vs Splunk. Both the SIEM tools are highly advantageous but have a few points of difference.
ArcSight is a robust and adaptive security management solution that supports native SOAR technology and enables businesses to track, detect, analyze data insights, and resolve cyber threats. It also provides security alerts and incident responses to users on detecting threats.
One can also integrate the tool with IT infrastructure, including web applications, threat feeds, and a ticketing system.
Splunk, on the other hand, is a free software program that quickly generates reports, allows searching, and categorizing of data once read. With the help of Splunk, you can collect big data from multiple sources and run analyses.
It allows monitoring, scanning, visualizing, and analyses of all computer or machine-generated data in real-time.
There are many more points of difference, such as ArcSight supports centralized and distributed deployments, whereas Splunk supports hybrid deployment. Enterprises are the use cases of ArcSight, whereas highly-regulated industries are the use cases for Splunk.
If you are confused between the two tools, follow the above-listed features, pros, and cons to compare and make a final call.