Organizations require secure networks and digital assets to ensure the safety of their operations. Thus, information security teams often utilize SIEM tools and software products to gain insights and knowledge of security threats. SIEM stands for security information and event management and encompasses actions of detecting, analyzing and responding to security threats. While many SIEM tools exist on the market today, not all of them provide the same features and capabilities to ensure the safety of an organizational network. Read on as we compare and evaluate two popular SIEM solutions, SolarWinds and Splunk.
What is SolarWinds Security Event Manager?
SolarWinds Security Event Manager is a SIEM tool that collects and analyzes security event log records to help organizations improve their security and compliance practices.
What is Splunk?
Splunk also provides SIEM solutions for detecting, investigating and responding to security threats. The following comparison weighs these tools based on their SIEM solution features and capabilities.
SolarWinds vs. Splunk: Which SIEM tool has better threat detection?
SolarWinds Security Event Manager has real-time automated threat detection capabilities, with continuous system-wide threat detection, monitoring and alerting. Users can set custom alerts to identify threats, including IDS/IPS systems with infection symptoms, antivirus software addressing potential infections, event stream triggers, system errors and crash reports. Additionally, the SolarWinds tool collects, organizes and normalizes network raw log data into the system, which helps prevent threats from going undetected.
Splunk SIEM solutions use machine data from multicloud and on-premises deployments to offer full visibility for malicious threat detection. Splunk Enterprise Security and Splunk User Behavior Analytics solutions detect unknown, outside and insider threats within organizational networks. Splunk Enterprise Security is built on a data platform that provides scale and visibility into all security-relevant data and is augmented with business context to offer valuable insights. Meanwhile, the Splunk User Behavior Analytics tool uses machine learning to detect unknown threats and anomalies. The tools detect threats and analyze them based on their risk scoring algorithms.
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SolarWinds vs. Splunk: Which SIEM tool has better data analysis?
SolarWinds’ solution collects logs from endpoints, including firewalls, IDS/IPS devices and apps, servers, routers, switches, OS logs and other applications. Then, users can compare the system-wide log data against potential issues from an out-of-the-box threat database feed. Meantime, their real-time analysis uses event-time correlation to detect security risks. Forensic analysis is supported by their advanced search and event-time correlation capabilities. Their SIEM log analyzer tool can even forward correlated log data to external sources for further analysis.
Splunk’s machine learning enables users to perform investigations, gain meaningful insights, find the cause of an incident and draw on historical trends. Splunk also leverages graph analysis and behavior analytics to detect threats through compromised accounts, privileged account abuse, lateral movement and data exfiltration. Through these capabilities, users can quickly contextualize data and analyze the impacts of detected threats.
SolarWinds vs. Splunk: Which SIEM tool has better security alerts?
SolarWinds Security Event Manager automation capabilities are designed to minimize the need for user detection efforts. However, users can set custom alerts to flag potential security issues in real time, which will allow them to take manual action when they see fit. For suspicious activity, their Fine-tune File Integrity Monitoring filters ensure that only higher-priority file changes trigger alerts. SolarWinds Security Event Manager isn’t its only solution with security risk alerts. SolarWinds Access Rights Manager lets users enable alerts for suspected cases of ransomware on file servers to proactively inform users of unusual user-initiated file server events.
Splunk addresses alert fatigue by using risk-based alerting. Risk attributions are created and sent to the risk index when suspicious activity is detected within a network. If the organization’s risk score meets their threshold, the solution will provide analysts with context to process the threats. In addition, users can apply context to customize their risk attributions, allowing for better and more relevant risk-based alerting. Finally, each event becomes context within the Splunk software that informs high-fidelity alerts. That way, users are alerted only when necessary, based on the event’s aggregated user risk score.
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SolarWinds vs. Splunk: Which SIEM tool offers better incident response?
SolarWinds Security Event Manager can respond against malicious applications, accounts and more. Users can automate their responses to expedite detected cyber threats’ remediation based on event types or log activity. In addition, administrators can configure the tool to customize their responses to flagged security threats, operational threats and policy-driven events. Some of the automated Active Responses include logging off users, killing processes, blocking potentially dangerous USB devices, blocking IP addresses and quarantining infected devices. Users can also configure threshold-based alarms and notifications to initiate real-time threat remediation.
Splunk Enterprise Security allows users to conduct detailed investigations to make informed decisions and utilize rapid-response capabilities. With rapid investigations, users can manage threats with their Notable Event, Risk Scoring and Threat Intelligence to determine the best incident response. In addition, Splunk Adaptive Response can automate verification and response actions, enabling users to manage threats quickly and make decisions and actions when responding and adapting to them. The Adaptive Response Framework, which resides within Splunk Enterprise Security, uses a workflow-based context for threat detection and remediation. It helps users manage their responses to address threats across their network environment appropriately.
SolarWinds vs. Splunk: How to choose which SIEM tool is best for you
SolarWinds and Splunk offer reputable SIEM software solutions, but which is the best SIEM for your organization? Depending on your network’s security requirements, one of these options may be able to offer you more security and protection.
For example, a large organization with a more extensive network and advanced information security team may benefit from a more user-managed security solution. Therefore, Splunk’s software with full visibility features and advanced incident response options may be best. However, for an organization with a network that spans fewer devices and requires less intensive security responses, a SIEM tool with more automated features like SolarWinds may do the trick.
When deciding on a SIEM solution, it is beneficial to assess the characteristics of your organization to determine which features of a SIEM product may be more helpful in addressing your security needs.
For more comparisons of SIEM tools, check out these TechRepublic articles: QRadar vs. Splunk: SIEM tool comparison, LogRhythm vs. Splunk: SIEM tool comparison and Exabeam vs. Splunk: SIEM tool comparison.
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