Kent Cartwright , September 2023

Optimizing Your SIEM for Ransomware Protection

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, cybersecurity threats have become more sophisticated than ever before. Among these threats, ransomware is particularly notorious for its ability to wreak havoc on organizations of all sizes.

A robust defense against ransomware requires a multi-faceted approach, and one critical component is an effective Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system. In this blog, we’ll delve into strategies for optimizing your SIEM to bolster your ransomware protection efforts, helping you fortify your organization’s cybersecurity defenses.

Comprehensive Data Collection

A successful SIEM optimization starts with comprehensive data collection, keeping in mind indexing costs. The more data you gather from various sources within your network, the better equipped your SIEM will be to detect ransomware activities.

Additionally, ensure your SIEM is ingesting logs from endpoints, network devices, firewalls, servers, and applications, and even your storage-layer ransomware protection. Intelligent alert data streams are not considered continuous since the syslog message received is the result of an alert event, and not a raw stream for the SIEM to analyze and act on. Receiving syslog from the endpoint, network, and storage-level ransomware protection completes the picture on vulnerabilities and exploit awareness.

Real-Time Monitoring

Ransomware attacks can happen in the blink of an eye. Real-time monitoring can make fast blocking essential, so you don’t need to start digging into risky backup restore procedures. Configure your SIEM to trigger alerts based on predefined rules that flag suspicious activities indicative of ransomware or its precursors, especially those from storage-layer protection as these messages indicate critical back-end unstructured data is being attacked. These rules can include unusual file access patterns, spikes in network traffic, failed login attempts, or known malicious IP addresses.

By enabling real-time monitoring with automated domain account blocking at the storage level, you empower your security team to respond promptly to potential threats, minimizing the impact of ransomware on a few files that can be recovered from existing snapshots.

Advanced Threat Intelligence Integration

Stay ahead of the curve by integrating advanced threat intelligence feeds into your SIEM. These feeds provide valuable information about emerging ransomware strains, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by threat actors. By leveraging threat intelligence, your SIEM can proactively detect and block ransomware-related activities before they gain a foothold in your network. Remember to regularly update these threat feeds to ensure your SIEM remains current and effective. Storage-level ransomware protection that’s reporting syslog to the SIEM should be updated with new ransomware extensions as they are discovered. This allows the SIEM to be aware of the attack as soon as known-bad file extensions or domain account encryption behavior is seen being accessed within the unstructured data.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

Ransomware attackers often exploit human errors, such as clicking on phishing links or downloading malicious attachments. To counter this, leverage User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) within your SIEM. UEBA helps identify deviations from normal user behavior, such as unusual login times, unauthorized access attempts, or changes in file access patterns. When your SIEM correlates this data with other security events, it can raise alarms when user activities align with ransomware attack patterns.

Automation and Orchestration

The sheer volume of security events can overwhelm even the most vigilant security teams. Automation and orchestration capabilities within your SIEM can streamline incident response and improve your overall ransomware protection strategy.

Configure your SIEM to automate routine tasks, such as isolating compromised endpoints, blocking malicious IPs, API-based data collection from storage-tier protection, or initiating predefined incident response workflows. This not only accelerates your response time but also reduces the risk of human error to maintain business continuity during and after the attack.

Regular Testing and Tuning

Optimizing a SIEM for ransomware protection is an ongoing process. Regularly test and tune your SIEM to ensure its rules, correlations, and algorithms remain effective against the evolving ransomware landscape. Conduct tabletop exercises to simulate ransomware attacks and gauge your SIEM’s response. You can use the insights gained from these exercises to fine-tune your SIEM configuration and storage-level ransomware protection, ensuring it adapts to new threats and attack vectors.

As ransomware threats continue to evolve, optimizing your SIEM for ransomware protection is essential for safeguarding your organization’s critical data and assets. By implementing comprehensive data collection, real-time monitoring, advanced threat intelligence integration, UEBA, automation, and regular testing, you’ll enhance your SIEM’s capabilities and bolster your ransomware defenses.

A proactive and dynamic SIEM strategy that includes storage-level passive monitoring, combined with a well-informed security team, is your best defense against the ever-present ransomware threat. For a deeper look at ProLion’s storage-level ransomware protection, CryptoSpike, and how it integrates to your SIEM strategies contact [email protected]

About Kent Cartwright

Kent Cartwright is an EC-Council (#ECC9851702643), ANSI 17024, and (U.S. Department of Defense) Directive 8570-NSCS Certified Ethical Hacker providing proactive ransomware protection solutions at ProLion. Prior to ProLion, Kent has over 20 years in the fault, performance, and availability of Fortune 500 organizations in the U.S., and for 6 years provided data loss prevention software to global customers as CEO and software developer at CyVectors Software.

About ProLion

ProLion offers powerful data protection solutions that safeguard critical storage and backup data, on-premises or in the cloud. From ransomware protection that detects threats in real time to data transparency, our industry-leading solutions ensure your storage system remains secure, compliant, manageable, and accessible around the clock.