Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) can be an extraordinary benefit to an organization's security posture, but understanding and maintaining it can be difficult. Many solutions require complex infrastructure and software that necessitate professional services for installation. The use of professional services can leave security teams feeling as if they do not truly own or understand how their SIEM operates. Combine this situation of complicated solutions with a shortage of available skills, a lack of simple documentation, and the high costs of software and labor, and it is not surprising that deployments often fail to meet expectations. A SIEM can be the most powerful tool a cyber defense team can wield, but only when it is used to its fullest potential. This course is designed to address this problem by demystifying SIEMs and simplifying the process of implementing a solution that is usable, scalable, and simple to maintain.
The goal of this course is to teach students how to build a SIEM from the ground up using the Elastic Stack. Throughout the course, students will learn about the required stages of log collection. We will cover endpoint agent selection, logging formats, parsing, enrichment, storage, and alerting, and we will combine these components to make a flexible, high-performance SIEM solution. Using this approach empowers SIEM engineers and analysts to understand the complete system, make the best use of technology purchases, and supplement current underperforming deployments. This process allows organizations to save money on professional services, increase the efficiency of internal labor, and develop a nimbler solution than many existing deployments. For example, many organizations pay thousands of dollars in consulting fees when a unique log source needs a custom parser. This course will train students how to easily parse any log source without requiring consulting services, saving their organizations both time and money, and facilitating faster collection and use of new log sources.
SEC455 serves as an important primer to those who are unfamiliar with the architecture of an Elastic-based SIEM. Students that have taken or plan to take additional cyber defense courses may find SEC455 to be a helpful supplement to the advanced concepts they will encounter in courses such as SEC555. In addition, the material discussed in this course will enable students to not only build a new SIEM, but improve and supplement their already existing implementations, producing a more efficient solution that provides the answers they need more quickly and at a lower cost. The overall goal is to educate students on what they need to know to design and modify a SIEM, improve upon their current solution, and enable them to reach their original defensive goal - catching adversary activity in their environment.