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March 18, 2024
By: Chris Clymer

Microsoft Sentinel for SIEM? Choosing the Right Approach for Your Organization

Microsoft Sentinel has emerged as a compelling security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solution. However, the decision to adopt Sentinel as part of your security operations isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition. Organizations differ in their security requirements, resources, and expertise, making it essential to evaluate the best approach for leveraging Sentinel effectively. 

First, a quick refresher. Both SIEM and SOAR solutions are critical components of a strong cybersecurity defense and today some will use the terms interchangeably. While there is plenty of cross-over between the two a point of distinction is this: SIEM primarily focuses on correlating logs while SOAR focuses on orchestrating actions on an event. 

Third-party tools addressing SIEM and SOAR have been a staple of cybersecurity for many years, including prominent tools such as Google Chronicle and LogRhythm. However, with a growing presence in the security domain, Microsoft Sentinel presents an intriguing option for organizations looking to bolster their defense against cyber threats—with a tool that should integrate smoothly with the platforms and tech stack they’re already using to conduct day-to-day business.  

Understanding whether Microsoft Sentinel is the right tool for your organization can be challenging. Here, we'll explore three potential audiences and their unique considerations when deciding whether to adopt Microsoft Sentinel as their primary SIEM and SOAR tool, leverage a third-party solution, or pursue a hybrid approach. By understanding these distinct use cases, you'll be better equipped to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's specific needs and maximizes the value derived from your security investments. 

Make Sure Your Business is Protected: Connect with our cybersecurity experts to get started on your tailored security solution today.   

Who Should Use Microsoft Sentinel for SIEM and SOAR? 

Microsoft Sentinel provides strong security capabilities, but there are inherent risks in simply relegating all SIEM and SOAR tasks to it. If you lack expertise in knowing how to properly set up and segment Sentinel’s capabilities, you’ll be open to potentially dangerous gaps in coverage. Also, opening Sentinel to its full range of capabilities can quickly overwhelm your team with incredible amounts of data like alerts, notifications, and logging information. Sentinel has the potential to provide concise data points to your teams. Lastly, implementing Sentinel to its fullest means an increased cost as the influx of data and logging could deliver a bill beyond expectations.  

With those caveats noted, let us examine three potential audiences and why they should consider Microsoft Sentinel or select a different approach. 

The Security-Proficient Enterprise 

  • Characteristics — This audience includes companies with a dedicated security team with admins and engineers, ample IT resources, and a substantial need for direct, hands-on control over security data and incident response. 

  • Advantages of Sentinel — Direct access to logged data, customization of security measures, and immediate incident response capabilities. 

  • A Good Fit — Sentinel is best suited for larger organizations that can dedicate time and expertise to fully leverage its advanced features. These organizations have the personnel and expertise to dig into logs and investigate incidents directly, internally. 

The Resource-Constrained SMB 

  • Characteristics — Small to medium-sized businesses with limited IT and security resources. These organizations do not have dedicated security personnel and require a more straightforward, less time-sensitive solution. 

  • Challenges with Sentinel — They are more likely to be overwhelmed by the complexity and potential cost implications of Sentinel due to limited time and expertise. System admins typically wear many hats, including endpoint and email security. 

  • Alternative Solutions — Likely better served by third-party managed services for SIEM/SOAR that can offer a more economical and less complex security solution due to economies of scale. 

The Hybrid Model Adopter 

  • Characteristics — Organizations that fall between the two ends of the spectrum, those looking to balance hands-on control with external support. They seek to leverage Sentinel for specific, quick-response scenarios while relying on third-party solutions for other aspects of their security posture. 

  • Advantages of a Hybrid Approach — Tailored security operations that combine the immediacy and control of Sentinel with the broader, managed support of third-party solutions. They want some access to logs and create some of their own rules. 

  • Best-Case Scenario — Suitable for companies that desire some level of direct involvement in their security operations without the full responsibility or overhead of managing all aspects internally. They can leverage third-party SIEM/SOAR solutions for other security operations that are less time-sensitive or can be managed externally more cost-effectively.  

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Trust Inversion6 to help with Microsoft Sentinel for SIEM, and More 

No one knows your business better than you do. It should be a collaborative, internal decision about which path to take for implementing SIEM and SOAR solutions that fit best with who you are and what you need. The key is to understand your security resources, expertise, and requirements to determine if Microsoft Sentinel alone, a third-party solution, or a hybrid approach is the most suitable option. 

Inversion6 is equipped to offer assistance and guidance no matter which way your organization plans to approach SIEM and SOAR. We have run proven third-party solutions for our clients for more than a decade. We have amassed experience across multiple industries in all kinds of environments, and we also offer comprehensive Microsoft Security support. If you are unsure where to start, our Microsoft 365 Assessment will give you a complete overview of where your security stands and where it can improve. 

Inversion6 has created comprehensive, effective and manageable cybersecurity solutions for more than 30 years. This includes managed SIEM, fractional CISO services, a comprehensive Security Operations Center (SOC), and much more. 

Ready to explore if Microsoft Sentinel is the right SIEM solution for you? We are here to help. Schedule a consultation today to get started. 

Post Written By: Chris Clymer
Chris Clymer has more than 20 years of experience in various roles in IT and IT security, including assessor, developer, analyst engineer, manager and chief security officer. Chris has worked in numerous industries with unique challenges and specializes in security management, risk management, information technology and more. He has been with Inversion6 since December of 2015 as Director and a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

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