The best approach to security is a proactive one, but nobody is perfect. What happens when a determined attacker finds their way into your network? How do you know where they have been, what they have seen, when they got in, and how they gained access? How do you prioritize remediation and confirm that the bad guys are out of your network? Incident responders, like ProCircular's Aaron Heikkila, are at the ready to swoop down and stop the attackers in their tracks!
Security Information & Event Management, or SIEM (pronounced "sim," with a silent "e"), is gaining a reputation outside of the cybersecurity community. Advertisements on YouTube and Hulu tout the product’s incomparable security and real-time effectiveness, but they struggle to convey what a SIEM really does. Technical security lingo tends to make non-technical people tune out, and trying to simplify the concept diminishes its value.
If you were going to test the fault-points of a building, you wouldn’t hire the architect, you’d hire a demolitions expert. Similarly, you don’t want the designer of your network testing its security. If the team that configures your network does so incorrectly, they are most likely unaware. The creator of the environment has an inherent bias based on the angle from which they view it. They are blind to vulnerabilities, not necessarily because they are under-qualified, but because they are too close to the project. A security team has a “black box perspective”, which means they have the same outside view of the system that an attacker would. This outsider point of view is just one of the advantages a security expert has over an internal IT team. They also have the training, experience, time, and resources that would be impossible to lump in with a standard IT program.
You’re sitting on your couch at home, it’s 8:00 on a Saturday night and one of your interns emails you about a new security vulnerability he just heard about on the latest and greatest podcast. You know that this new vulnerability is going to be the first thing to come up during the morning water cooler talk Monday morning. It’s time for you, the great server admin, to take flight and protect your kin!