Cybercrime costs will top $10.5 trillion by 2025. Despite improved network and computer security, hackers can still penetrate 93% of company networks. There is always a chance that a skilled cybercriminal can break through these defences.

Though prevention remains essential, the most vital aspect of a Security Operations Center (SOC) is detection. With the right tools, a cybersecurity team can get an early warning when something unusual or potentially malicious is happening on the network.

Each potential issue is known as an “incident.” Cybersecurity experts use Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems to receive alerts about incidents, track them, and mount a quick response before the problem leads to a significant breach.

The SIEM tool that is best for your company will depend on your needs, the architecture of your network, and whether or not you have a centralized or decentralized operation. Some of the more popular SIEM tools include QRadar, ArcSight, and LogRhythm. However, since more and more companies are seeking cloud-based systems, the obvious choice for most is Microsoft Sentinel. It is currently the only cloud-based system on the market.

Why Use Microsoft Sentinel?

Microsoft Sentinel is a flexible and adaptable SIEM tool. Its cybersecurity detection competitors are on-premises systems. They require careful configuration and extensions or complete redevelopment when your network has any changes or additions.

With the rapid pace of today’s business-related developments, tech infrastructure changes almost constantly. If your company is not flexible enough to meet these changes, you may fall behind your competitors. Because the Microsoft SIEM tool is cloud-based, it offers much more flexibility.

As more companies switch their operations to the cloud, for greater efficiency and the ability to handle remote or hybrid workers, on-premises SIEM systems are becoming outdated. These tools learn usage patterns from activity logs. However, if they cannot access cloud-based logs, their usefulness is extremely limited in today’s digital work environments.

Microsoft Azure Sentinel doesn’t get installed on on-site networks, so it is scalable, and it works seamlessly with other Microsoft systems, software, and platforms. Furthermore, its artificial intelligence (AI) systems allow it to analyze logs and update its incident detection and response capabilities on the fly without requiring a complete update.

Finally, Sentinel is the Microsoft SIEM solution. However, it also serves as a security orchestration and automation response (SOAR) platform. This feature allows cybersecurity personnel to work on one centralized platform on threat detection, response, and the automation of security functions.

Here is a closer look at the core functions Microsoft Sentinel offers to cybersecurity teams.

Microsoft Sentinel Core Features and Functions

MS Sentinel handles the core tasks  you need from a SIEM system.

  • Threat Detection and Notifications. Sentinel relies on templates to expedite the process of establishing rules for threat detection. This feature makes it easy to set up out of the box. Because of its cloud-based design, it can send alerts as soon as it detects a threat.
  • Compliance Documentation. Sentinel facilitates compliance reporting with its workbook feature. It allows you to set regulations that you need to follow. Then, it audits data from across your platforms to ensure your company adheres to the relevant laws. You will get notifications about compliance lapses, recommendations for quick fixes, and the ability to export data to spreadsheets for reporting purposes.
  • Real-Time Notifications. Speed matters when responding to cyber threats. Sentinel’s near-real-time (NRT) rules, which run once a minute and immediately analyze recent activity using advanced algorithms, detect anomalies immediately and give analysts a chance to respond to the danger before it does damage.
  • Data aggregations. Sentinel is cloud-based, so it can easily take activity logs from different sources and collate the data so that analysts can use it to get necessary security insights. If you standardize the logs across your systems, you can get all security data in the same format for streamlined analysis.

The Unique Features of Microsoft Sentinel

Its unique design and cloud-based platform allow Microsoft Azure Sentinel to offer unique functions that other SIEM systems are not able to replicate.

  • Simplified log analytics. MS Sentinel easily connects to your Log Analytics Workspace (LAW), where all data and logs from across your network get stored. Once the Microsoft SIEM is connected to the LAW, you can select log categories necessary for your security needs, so you only get relevant data. This setup also makes scaling up or down simple.
  • Unified data collection. Sentinel works seamlessly with Microsoft Azure. However, unlike other SIEM products, it can also function perfectly with other log sources. For example, it can get data from cloud-based platforms like AWS or Google Cloud, on-premises networks, and SaaS applications. You can also connect security tools, such as firewalls. In addition to 100 built-in data connectors, you can also create custom connections if you have unique needs.
  • Integrated XDR. Cloud-based SIEM and SOAR systems available through Sentinel and Microsoft Defender make it simple for organizations to fully integrate extended detection and response (XDR) and SIEM capabilities into their systems. Not only will you get enhanced threat detection for your entire system, but you can also rely on integrated remediation capabilities. Microsoft Defender offers protection for Cloud Apps, Office 365, Identities, and Endpoints.
  • Data visualization. Microsoft Sentinel offers enhanced visualization options through its workbook templates. In addition to charts and graphs, you can customize and categorize data and automatically fill reports.
  • Enhanced threat intelligence. Sentinel uses threat indicators (also called indicators of compromise), such as artifacts from URLs or file hashes, to spot dangers that might escape other SIEM tools. Not only does this help spot threats, but it provides extra context for the security team to help neutralize the threat.
  • Integration with Microsoft 365. Microsoft technologies work together holistically. With Sentinel and Defender, you can create a secure business platform with all the customized applications and systems necessary to manage your business processes. Microsoft 365 is currently the most utilized productivity software suite in the world, with a 48% market share. If you use this platform, Sentinel is the obvious choice for complete SIEM protection.

If you need assistance deploying Microsoft Azure Sentinel or adding other MS systems to your business, contact Softlanding. We provide Microsoft managed services and consulting for companies using or adopting MS products.

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Softlanding is a long-established IT services provider of transformation, professional services and managed IT services that helps organizations boost innovation and drive business value. We are a multi-award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner with 13 Gold Competencies and we use our experience and expertise to be a trusted advisor to our clients. Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, we have staff and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to serve clients across Canada.

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