The 5 Best SIEM Tools

What is SIEM?

Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) is the process of aggregating loggable events and alerts into one piece of software. SIEM solutions allow security practitioners to easily analyze data to look for trends and correlations between different events. Since all logs are set to report through the SIEM software, it saves analysts the time it would take to access each log separately. In some environments, this time saved can add up to multiple hours per week. SIEM software also makes reporting easy with ways to chart and visualize log data, which is essential when reporting complicated security logs to non-security personnel. Although there are many SIEM tools in the market today, these five can meet the needs of most organizations and offer excellent reporting and analytical capabilities.

Splunk Enterprise Security

Splunk is a highly customizable SIEM solution. Users can create tailored reports and dashboards to show only the information that is relevant to them. This tool is geared towards enterprises, with a hefty price tag and a focus on large datasets. Splunk is easily incorporated into any environment (Windows, Linux, or Unix) and works quite well with cloud systems. It is easy to understand and its dashboards convey critical information in a digestible format.

SolarWinds Security Event Manager

This SIEM solution comes with ready made templates that comply with different data standards to include the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). It is also an excellent tool for real time analysis and alerts, much of its functionality is geared towards continuous monitoring. SolarWinds can be deployed on Windows, Linux, or Unix machines.

Micro Focus ArcSight

ArcSight can be accessed through a traditional host deployment or through a cloud based virtual application. Its functionality is geared towards large datasets and it offers excellent analytical tools to assist in this capacity. It can support over 500 datasets at once and provides in-depth analysis with reporting outputs that can be easily exported. ArcSight also supports and integrates machine learning to assist with its large dataset focus. With real-time monitoring included, ArcSight offers a complete package for most organizations.

LogRhythm NextGen SIEM

This SIEM tool is ideal for medium sized organizations. It uses artificial intelligence to assist security staff in log analysis. LogRhythm also provides a visually appealing and customizable dashboard that can assist with reporting. Logs can be sorted by geo-location, a feature that is not commonly found within SIEM tools. The tool also includes a built in forensics module. Although configuring the tool can be difficult and time consuming, once it is running LogRhythm proves to be a valuable and capable monitoring solution.

IBM QRadar

IBM QRadar is unique because it can be expanded into more than just a SIEM tool. Multiple modules can be added to expand the functionality into vulnerability and risk management. QRadar is also great for a cloud environment since it can be deployed as a virtual application. It even has a mode that can model simulated network attacks to identify potential vulnerabilities. Though, all of this functionality comes with a steep price. This makes IBM QRadar best suited for mid to large enterprises.


The best SIEM solution will ultimately be determined by the business needs of the organization. Some networks require in-depth analysis of a small dataset, while others are constantly trying to keep track of enormous numbers of log files. Cloud based deployments will require different solutions than traditional legacy networks. Each enterprise requires a different approach and it is up to the security professional to understand and recommend the best tool for the situation.

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