Bulk Up Security with SIEM and XDR

Makayla Mota

Ransomware attacks have increased significantly due to the shifting remote and hybrid workforce. Your organization’s IT structure now spans across on-premises, hybrid-cloud, and multi-cloud environments. This gives security and IT operations staff a much larger area to protect as employees now access resources—and your network—from their company-issued or personal devices.

There are many variations of products available for deployment to safeguard against this broadened landscape of threats. While these tools can be immensely helpful in defending specific workloads, assets, and users, they can also complicate the challenging security environment by creating multiple silos for data and detection. Security teams need a better way of viewing threats across both multi-cloud and on-premises environments to help them detect and respond to incidents more quickly and better protect their resources. So, what is the next step in the changing landscape of security operations? The integration of cloud-native security information and management (SIEM) capabilities with extended detection and response (XDR).

What Is XDR?

An XDR platform helps organizations protect their digital ecosystem by collecting, correlating, and analyzing security measurements from endpoints, networks, applications, cloud workloads, and identity infrastructure. By consolidating the staggering amount of information the XDR platform is collecting, your organization’s security operations team can uncover threats and attacks at a much faster pace than having to track multiple products that have been siloed.

XDR enhances the operational efficiency of security operations teams by delivering comprehensive telemetry across integrated workloads. This technology minimizes the volume of alerts that security teams need to investigate by using correlation and behavioral analysis on consolidated threat data—thereby eliminating false positives and low-fidelity alerts. The tools integrated in an XDR system perform automated threat investigation and the remediation of compromised assets, often without requiring human intervention. Security teams can then employ the tailored recommendations provided by the virtual data room (VDR) tools to establish defenses against identified vulnerabilities.

Microsoft 365 Defender and Microsoft Defender for Cloud both live inside the Microsoft XDR solution and contribute to cross-domain security. Microsoft 365 Defender can block an array of threats at the network perimeter to prevent intrusions. It also gathers, correlates, and analyzes threat and alert data—from email, applications, endpoint devices, and identities—by leveraging a combination of artificial intelligence and automation.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud integrates cloud security posture management with cloud workload protection capabilities. This ensures security operations teams can safeguard against cloud threats while continuously evaluating their cloud environment. It alerts them to detected threats in cloud workloads and resources, provides customized recommendations for addressing these threats, and offers suggestions on fortifying cloud assets.

What Is SIEM?

SIEM—pronounced “sim”—is short for security information and event management. SIEM is a solution that detects, analyzes, and responds to security threats before they can harm organizations. SIEM combines security information management with security event management. While collecting data from a range of sources, SIEM identifies abnormal activity with real-time analysis and takes the proper action. With the advancement of AI integration, SIEM technology has evolved to make threat detection and incident responses faster and smarter.

Microsoft Sentinel—a cloud-native SIEM platform—distills extensive data into alerts regarding an organization’s security stance by using a correlation engine and AI-driven behavioral analytics to swiftly address identified threats and incidents.

What Are the Benefits of Layering XDR on a SIEM Platform?

Integrating XDR data into SIEM allows organizations to achieve greater value from both technologies. A unified SIEM and XDR environment offers consolidated dashboards to monitor and manage threats seamlessly across multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud, and on-premises environments. This assimilation minimizes billions of pieces of signal data from XDR and various sources into thousands of alerts and tens of incidents, reducing alert fatigue and false positives.

The integration of SIEM and XDR also improves a security operations team’s capacity to conduct centralized, context-driven threat detection, analysis, and response. This step provides a better understanding of past incidents and streamlines proactive measures to prevent the recurrence of similar events.

What Are Microsoft’s SIEM and XDR Platforms?
How Do They Protect Your Environment?

Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native SIEM platform. It analyzes security and threat data from devices, applications, infrastructure, and users in the cloud and on-premises. With Microsoft Sentinel, organizations can detect threats they may have missed thanks to Sentinel’s advanced inline orchestration and automation capabilities that accelerate threat response and remediation.

Microsoft 365 Defender

Your Microsoft solution offers XDR for emails, identities, apps, and endpoints. With Microsoft 365 Defender, the following services are included and provide powerfully upgraded XDR capabilities:

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint analyzes behavior signals from within Windows 11 endpoint environments and detects threats that other tools might miss. This process involves employing cloud security analytics to interpret behavioral cues and converts them into useful insights and threat identifications.

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 safeguards against email threats like malicious links and attachments. Organizations can utilize it for shielding Microsoft Exchange environments from widespread, volume-based, and known attacks.

Microsoft Defender for Identity protects cloud-based Azure Active Directory environments from identity-based risks. It can be used to secure user identities and credentials in Active Directory as well as monitor users, entity behavior, and more.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps works across multiple cloud environments—such as virtual machines, containers, databases, and the Internet of things—as a cloud access security guard. It helps organizations protect against threats to and from cloud apps and services. Connection is here to help with your Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft 365 Defender, and Microsoft Defender for Cloud security needs. Reach out to your Account Team to discuss your options today.

Makayla Mota is a Partner Marketing Specialist at Connection with a background in educational technology training on Microsoft solutions in the classroom. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, antiquing, hiking, and watching movies.