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Top 14 Tools Every IR Pro Should Know

In today’s increasingly automated digital world, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions are becoming more and more popular. Here’s what they mean and what are some of the top tools every IR team member should know.

What are Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS)?

An intrusion detection system (IDS) inspects all inbound and outbound network activity and identifies suspicious patterns that may indicate a network or system attack from someone attempting to break into or compromise a system.

Essentially, the IDS looks for a specific attack that has already been documented.

Some of the most commonly used IDS are:

  • Snort is an open-source, free and lightweight network intrusion detection system (NIDS) software for Linux and Windows to detect emerging threats.
  • OSSEC watches it all, actively monitoring all aspects of system activity with file integrity monitoring, log monitoring, rootcheck, and process monitoring.
  • Suricata is a free and open source, mature, fast and robust network threat detection engine. The Suricata engine is capable of real-time intrusion detection (IDS), inline intrusion prevention (IPS), network security monitoring (NSM) and offline pcap processing.
  • Bro is an open source software framework for analyzing network traffic that is most commonly used to detect behavioral anomalies on a network, as well as perform incident response, forensics, file extraction, and hashing and more.
  • Sagan supports many different output formats, log normalization, script execution on event detection, automatic firewall support, GeoIP detection/alerting, multi-line log support, time sensitive alerting, and much more.
  • Security Onion is a free and open source Linux distribution for intrusion detection, enterprise security monitoring, and log management. 
  • OpenWIPS-ng is an open source and modular Wireless IPS (Intrusion Prevention System).

What are Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) software?

Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that combines SIM (security information management) and SEM (security event management) functions into one security management system.

Hint: The acronym SIEM is pronounced “sim” with a silent e.

With more and more on their plates, IT Security professionals are increasingly relying on automation. Of course, not everything can be automated, but SIEM software can help professionals identify, categorize and analyze incidents and events.

Some of the most commonly used SIEM tools include:

  •  SolarWinds is an all-in-one security information and event management (SIEM) product designed for resource-constrained IT organizations.
  • Micro Focus ArcSight is a SIEM appliance that combines SIEM, log management and user activity monitoring to give you visibility into your IT organization.
  • Splunk Enterprise Security is the nerve center of the security ecosystem, giving teams the insight to quickly detect and respond to internal and external attacks, simplify threat management minimizing risk.
  • IBM QRadar SIEM helps security teams detect and prioritize threats across the enterprise, and provides intelligent insights that enable teams to respond quickly to reduce the impact of incidents.
  • LogRhythm is a security intelligence company that unifies SIEM, log management, network and endpoint monitoring and forensics, and security analytics.
  • RSA NetWitness addresses SIEM and threat defense. It integrates logs, network data and endpoints, applying threat intelligence and behavioral analytics to detect, prioritize, investigate and automate response to threats. 
  • Trustwave SIEM Enterprise simplifies security risk and compliance management with powerful correlation engine, big data analytics, and enhanced reporting.

According to Cisco, 39% of organizations are already reliant on automation for their cyber security efforts. While professionals cannot automate all of their responsibilities, detection and event management tasks can be, when monitored correctly.

Want to learn how to detect, handle, and respond to security incidents? Discover our new Incident Handling & Response Professional (IHRP) training course and try it out for free:
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