SIEM vs. SOAR vs. XDR vs. UEBA: How Are They Different?
Each covering different cybersecurity areas, often with one requiring functions of another, using these tools in combination may be the best solution.
- SIEM is a type of security software used to aggregate log data from multiple sources into one centralized platform.
- SOAR is specifically designed to minimize decision-making, using a three-step process to collect data from IT systems and devices.
- XDR is a new approach to threat detection that provides more complete protection against cyberattacks, as well as unauthorized access and misuse of data.
- UEBA uses algorithms and machine learning to detect anomalies in the behavior of users, as well as in the routers, servers, and endpoints of the network.
The world of data and network security moves fast, with new tools and systems being developed to assist businesses and security professionals in protecting against cyberthreats and vulnerabilities. Various security responses have been created to collect and monitor data and provide security solutions.
These solutions can be a little confusing, and it can be challenging to establish how the various software tools differ and which will be most suitable for your organization. With that in mind, the below guide aims to clarify the distinctions between four of the main security software tools and provide insight into their benefits.
Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) and security, information, and event management (SIEM) are both cybersecurity tools developed to collect data. This data helps security professionals protect networks against cyberthreats. However, although SOAR and SIEM gather log and event data from applications and devices, they function differently. For instance, SIEM has log repository and analysis capabilities, whereas SOAR platforms generally do not.
User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) is a system that uses behavioral analytics to monitor activities and infrastructure. Essentially it establishes a baseline of activity within a network and then monitors data looking for deviations from this. Finally, extended detection and response (XDR) encompasses a more complete approach to threat detection and response, streamlining data gathering, analysis, and prevention.
What is SIEM?
Security information and event management, commonly known as SIEM, is a type of security software used to aggregate log data from multiple sources into one centralized platform. SIEM allows businesses to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities before gaps can be exploited.
It uses real-time monitoring of data logs and analysis of events to recognize abnormalities, replacing many threat detection processes previously carried out manually with AI programming responses. The advanced user and behavior analytics make it a popular choice for security operation centers (SOCs) worldwide.
What is SOAR?
Security orchestration, automation, and response, commonly known as SOAR, is specifically designed to minimize decision-making, using a three-step process to collect data from IT systems and devices. This includes orchestration, automation, and response. SOAR hunts down and identifies vulnerabilities based on vast amounts of collected SIEM data, making immediate and accurate decisions and eliminating the risk of human error.
What is XDR?
Extended detection and response, or XDR, is a new approach to threat detection. It provides more complete protection against cyberattacks, as well as unauthorized access and misuse of data. XDR allows security teams to discover hidden and advanced threats and provides them with the tools to automate complex, multi-step responses.
What is UEBA?
User and entity behavior analytics, or UEBA, is a cybersecurity solution that uses algorithms and machine learning to detect anomalies in the behavior of users, as well as in the routers, servers, and endpoints of the network. It seeks out unusual behavior and irregularities from patterns and alerts the network administrator or uses automatic disconnect functions to nullify threats before they become serious.
Key Differences: SIEM vs. SOAR vs. XDR vs. UEBA
So, how do you compare SIEM vs. SOAR vs. XDR vs. UEBA? Do these security tools differ from one another significantly, and in what ways are they similar?
SIEM and SOAR both collect data from similar sources, although SOAR is broader in its scope as it can also collect data from external applications. However, the main difference between the two is in how these tools respond when a threat is discovered. If SOAR identifies a vulnerability in the network, it will use AI bots to take specific action against this threat, making it a more efficient response process than SIEM. This automated response to low-level threats encourages greater efficiency and effectiveness within an organization. However, SIEM utilizes pattern matching software to generate alerts that security staff can then investigate more fully and uses AI to reduce the number of false positives.
In many respects, UEBA is an extension of SIEM, emphasizing user and entity behavior. However, it is applied to a slightly different part of information security than SIEM.
XDR has been developed to try and fill the gaps that can be left by SIEM and SOAR, using a different approach for endpoint data and optimization. The advanced analysis capability of XDR allows it to focus on high-priority events and reduces response times.
Benefits of Each
It may be useful to look at the benefits of the three newer security tools available when compared against the more established SIEM.
SIEM helps organizations to monitor and sift through large volumes of data generated by their networks. In doing so, they provide crucial insights into both real-time and historical threats. This allows security teams to prioritize their response to incidents and investigate the root cause of attacks. Additionally, SIEM tools can be used for compliance purposes, helping organizations to meet the requirements of various security standards. However, SIEM tools can be complex and expensive to implement and manage. As a result, they are typically only used by large organizations with mature security programs.
In general, SOAR tools are more robust and are capable of automated workflows. This means that threats can be mitigated without human intervention, streamlining processes, and increasing efficiency. However, it should be noted that SOAR is dependent on SIEM data in order to identify and respond to vulnerabilities, which is why SIEM and SOAR are often used in conjunction.
XDR has been touted as the next big thing in security and has significant advantages, such as unifying detection and response security data, providing accurate solutions, improving ROI for security investments, and increasing the efficiency of operations within SOCs. However, these new capabilities and enhanced protection do not replace the need for SIEM or SOAR altogether.
The benefits of UEBA include accurate threat detection by focusing on abnormal behavior, preventing the misuse of privileged account access, and using behavioral analytics to identify weak spots in the network. However, at this moment in time, it has a less broad scope of use than SIEM or SOAR, and the open-source market is not yet sufficiently developed.
How to Choose the Right Solution for Your Organization
In order to gain the highest level of security for your organization, you do not necessarily need to choose between the above software. It might be that one or another of SIEM, SOAR, UEBA, or XDR are best suited to your security needs. However, the most likely scenario is that a combination of these software options will ensure the highest levels of protection.
As they all cover slightly different areas of cybersecurity, often with one requiring specific functions of another in order to work most effectively, using these tools in combination may be the best solution. Try not to think of it as XDR vs. SOAR vs. SIEM vs. UEBA but as separate facets of a more comprehensive security approach.
The Bottom Line: SIEM vs. SOAR vs. XDR vs. UEBA
It’s important to remember that SIEM, SOAR, XDR, and UEBA technologies all provide excellent security benefits to your business. Each works in a slightly different way, so it is worth taking the time to fully understand your existing toolkit to see if any of the functions and benefits of either could be of use.
While there is no real benefit in simply employing security software for the sake of it, as it can complicate matters further, businesses of all shapes and sizes will certainly reap the rewards of applicable and focused software used in the correct way.
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