From the Influencers

451 Research Uncovers High Security Spend, but Lack of Expertise with SIEM Security Software

January 11, 2016

451 Research, an information technology advisory firm and research company, recently released its quarterly study, “Voice of the Enterprise: Information Security.”

In the study, researchers found that spending on security (primarily in North America and the Middle East) continues to be strong and that 44 percent of security managers said they planned to increase their spending on security in the next 90 days. This comes in contrast to only four percent of managers who plan to decrease their spending on security.

Many companies are reportedly looking toward security information and event management (SIEM) software to help them bolster their defenses. However, the same researchers also found a lack of expertise for those types of products (reported at 44.4 percent of surveyed institutions) and an inadequate number of staff for handling this software at many businesses (reported at 27.8 percent of institutions). Daniel Kennedy, the research director of information security at 451 Research, commented that this problem persists because, although they can be effective, SIEM products also have a reputation for being difficult to set up and manage.

“SIEM solutions hold a lot of promise as the centralized solution for unlocking all the secrets held in the logs of enterprise systems and marrying them with the use of threat intelligence,” Kennedy said. “That promise comes at a cost, SIEM solutions still retain a reputation for being difficult to set up, difficult to add new feeds to, and difficult to tune. That said, their value to the enterprise security manager is increasingly understood, and while many SIEM implementations may have started out as a compliance check mark, they have transcended those roots.”

Kennedy’s comment marks the reality that many companies understand how valuable a properly-managed SIEM product can be. At the same time, those same companies also know how difficult it can be to continue using these setups. Approximately 1,000 IT customers and 25 interviews with security professionals showed this quarter that only about 57 percent of companies are able to dedicated more than one professional to oversee SIEM deployments. One official even noted that he continues to witness a drought of security professionals in the U.S.

What this means for businesses is that they will continue to address their security concerns – such as “hackers with malicious intent” that 41 percent of respondents noted as their primary concern – with fewer staff that may also not have adequate training to deal with all security issues their organizations encounter. Still, they will need to remain compliant with industry regulations and therefore will be strained to make everything work together smoothly and effectively.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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