If you are an IT security professional then you have probably come across various security services and products in the last couple of years. Two of the most common products in this regard include SEIM (Security Information and Event Management) and UEBA (User and Entity Behavioral Analytics) products.
What are SIEM and UEBA all about? What are the differences between them? In this blog post, we break down SIEM and UEBA and how they can provide value to your IT security.
What is SIEM?
SIEM tools are focused on log collection and data aggregation, that can help you identify and categorize events and incidents. Most SIEM products will provide you with rule-based search engines so that you can filter out results as needed.
For analysts, SIEM provides aggregated event logs that can be queried to find out more information about known security threats and past incidents. SIEMs can be considered to be a blend of SEM (Security Event Management) and SIM (Security Information Management) tools.
What is UEBA?
As opposed to SIEM, UEBA products make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyze historic data and determine patterns of human behavior in real-time.
UEBAs can help you discover anomalies that can be indicators for known (or unknown) security risks. For security teams that are looking to take a proactive approach towards cybersecurity, UEBA products provide a great platform to start with.
Differences Between SIEM and UEBA
We have broken down the major differences between SIEM and UEBA technologies below:
- Real-time vs. Point-in-time Analytics
SIEM products are focused on point-in-time analysis of historic event data. It is a core technology that is limited by the volume of data that it can process in a given time-frame. Furthermore, SIEMs do not correlate logical security events with physical security events, a connection that often needs to be made to better understand security risks.
On the other hand, UEBA can process huge volumes of information in real-time. It makes use of machine learning and behavioral analytics to provide actionable intelligence that can be used to identify and eliminate threats before they can cause harm to your business.
- Automated vs. Manual Threat Identification
For security professionals that are looking for consolidated event data that they can manually go through, SIEM does an excellent job. It tells you what happened, where it happened, and when it happened. However, you still need to manually analyze this information to identify vulnerabilities and anomalies.
Meanwhile, UEBA products perform automated threat identification by making use of machine learning to quickly analyze and process all information needed to respond to security incidents as they happen. Some UEBAs even offer predictive analytics that can help you anticipate what will happen.
- Multidimensional Data vs. Log Data
SIEMs can ingest logs that are often structured and well-defined. If you wish to add new data types, you often need to manually upgrade the configurations and data stores. Due to the limited processing that SIEM products do, they do not correlate between users and their behavior or determine correlations between threats across systems.
UEBA tools, on the other hand, are made to process massive volumes of data, of various data types, from several sources. UEBAs can handle both structured and unstructured datasets. Additionally, due to their machine learning capabilities,
UEBA products can also analyze relationships between the data over time, including user behavior analytics and threat correlation across applications and systems. This can help you automate the process of identifying, preventing, and predicting threats.
- Long-Term vs. Short Term Analysis
SIEM products are very useful for IT security professionals that want to compile short-term snapshots of events. However, in the long term, the amount of information can become overwhelming and SIEM products face difficulties in storing and retrieving data over long periods.
As opposed to this, UEBA is designed for both short-term and long-term processing. You can make use of the information that is generated by UEBAs in various use cases including risk mitigation, threat detection, and user-based insights associated with IoT and other devices.
- Risk Score Calculation vs. Alert Score Generation
SIEM tools are all about managing the security events that are generated by systems, applications, the network, and other security devices. These products can be configured to generate alerts automatically based on certain types of events that may or may not be threats. Consequently, SIEMs generate a high number of false-positive alerts that may not all be worth investigating.
UEBA products focus on risk scoring rather than alert generation. Risk scoring allows you to rank threats, based on a multitude of factors. By ranking the risks for all the users in a network, UEBA allows businesses to apply different rules to different users, based on what level of risk they pose. This not only allows you to easily investigate the most critical threats but also reduces the number of false positives significantly.
Both SIEMs and UEBAs provide a lot of value for security teams. Each type of product excels at its specific use cases and can help professionals in different ways. It is important to understand that SIEM is focused on short-term point-in-time analysis whereas UEBA is focused on real-time analysis and predictive analytics to detect both known and unknown threats. Apvera Insight360 is a comprehensive solution that combines both SIEM and UEBA and enables you to perform real-time analysis of threats for both short-term and long-term using risk scoring and behavioral analytics based on advanced machine learning algorithms.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you secure your business, please get in touch with our team.