ISSA Milwaukee June 2011 Meeting

Yesterday afternoon I attended the June 2011 general meeting of the Milwaukee Chapter of the ISSA. The meeting was held at the New Berlin Ale House and was well attended by approximately 30-35 people.

The guest speaker for the meeting was Robert Clark, Eastern US Channel Manager for TriGeo Network Security, and the topic was, “What Can a SIEM do for You?” “SIEM,” of course, stands for “Security Information & Event Management.” Mr. Clark’s talk was relatively quick and not very technical, but he did bring up some useful questions to ask your SIEM vendor, including:

  • What does the solution have to offer out of the box and does it require several modules to meet your requirements?
  • Are there any ongoing professional services and what are the costs?
  • Will you need to provide the hardware?
  • Is the data evaluated in real-time or is it primarily a forensics solution?
  • Does the correlation engine process events in memory or query the database?
  • How intuitive is the interface? Can you easily build or customize rules, filters, etc.?
  • How long is the implementation process and does it require on-site technicians?

Two of the attendees explained how they evaluated SIEM solutions. Their advice was to commit to developing an in-house expert; otherwise professional service fees will eat your budget and you’ll never get a proper ROI on a SIEM solution. One person suggested this might be a valid reason for some organizations to consider a Managed Security Services (MSS) solution.

One attendee also suggested following Anton Chuvakin’s Blog, as he frequently blogs about SIEM.

In all, it was another successful ISSA Milwaukee chapter meeting and a great opportunity to network with other information security professionals in the area.

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Clint Laskowski

Hello! My name is Clint Laskowski, and I'm an Information Security Professional who helps clients identify, assess, treat, and monitor risks to information and information systems. I'm also very interested in web development and the Wisconsin startup scene.