Both Exabeam and LogRhythm excel at data processing. Both companies discovered innovative ways to speed up searches through large pools of data. The main strategy of SIEM involves searching through log files for signs of intrusion in the system. So, this form of cybersecurity service was a natural choice for both of these companies to enter into. Both do very well.
SIEM is a combination of Security Information Management (SIM), which manages log files and searches through them, and Security Event Management (SEM), which monitors live events, mainly on the network.
Any IT manager looking for a SIEM is probably going to encounter these two services. It takes some deep examination to tell the difference between Exabeam and LogRhythm. So, let’s dive in and examine the pair.
The Exabeam company came into existence in 2013. It was founded by executives from Imperva and Sumo Logic and the majority shareholder in those two companies, Shlomo Kramer is a major backer of Exabeam.
The founding strategy of Exabeam was to create a method of searching through large sources of data very quickly. The company used its search tool to create a User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) tool. The purpose of UEBA is to assess the activities of users in a system, looking for an established work pattern per user and for the group as a whole. The methodology is widespread in the SIEM industry because it helps reduce the false reporting that off-the-shelf detection rules created in the early years of SIEM.
Exabeam didn’t produce a SIEM tool at first. Instead, the company pitched its UEBA, which at the time was an innovative concept, to businesses that were sick of their SIEM constantly raising false alarms. The Exabeam UEBA was designed to be an add-on to any existing SIEM system.
Eventually, Exabeam created its own SIEM and that was launched in 2017. The Exabeam SIEM is still relatively new and the company is continuing to add on extra facilities.
UEBAs are now common and are offered by most of the SIEMs on the market. Some rival SIEM vendors integrate UEBA into their standard SIEM package while others offer it as a paid add-on. Often, the cybersecurity producers create a suite of modules, known as a “Security Intelligence Platform” (SIP). The SIEM tool and the UEBA are usually two elements in a SIP.
Exabeam offers its UEBA as part of its standard SIEM package and it also includes a Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) tool. SOAR draws extra threat information from access rights managers and firewalls and can send instructions to those two systems to block a suspicious user account or prevent traffic from a specific IP address from getting onto the network.
The main elements in the suite are:
- The Exabeam Data Lake This is a log files server and consolidator. All log messages are received on the Exabeam server and organized into a standard format. These records are then stored in a searchable database. The Data Lake system includes sorting and querying tools.
- User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) As explained above, the UEBA was the original Exabeam service to which the SIEM was later added. This establishes a baseline against which all activities are checked. Deviations from standard behavior are known as anomalies.
- Exabeam Advanced Analytics This module searches through the Data Lake with pre-written queries. This is the part of the SIEM system that looks for a series of anomalies. Usually, hackers hide their activities by performing a series of actions that seem like a normal task for legitimate use. The Exabeam queries look for Indicators Of Compromise (IOCs). Each of these is a series of events, which taken together, denote a threat.
- Exabeam Incident Responder Parts of the SOAR system are integrated into the Data Lake module – those are the actions that collect data from collaborating third-party systems. The response part of SOAR is implemented in the Incident Responder module. A response is a workflow that is triggered if an IOC is identified. The usual response to activities by a suspicious user is the suspension of that account in the access rights manager. IP addresses that are the source of suspicious traffic get blacklisted in the firewall.
- Compliance Reporting The Exabeam service can be adapted to conform with one of a list of data protection standards. This adaptation influences the search for IOCs and also adds on a number of standard report formats. Exabeam can assist with compliance for GDPR, HIPAA, SOX, and PCI DSS.
The Exabeam SIEM is very impressive but it lacks the live network traffic monitoring that is a key feature of any SIEM system. Network traffic data monitors provide the SEM part of SIEM. Exabeam reduces this function down to a data collector and it throws all of its data processing weight into providing a really good SIM. Effectively, the blog data processor takes care of the SIM functions by treating live network input as a type of log file.
The service is cloud-based and Exabeam coordinates with a number of distributors around the world who are able to provide network appliances with the Exabeam software preloaded onto them.
LogRhythm is a lot older than Exabeam because it has been operating since 2003. The company’s two founders had a great deal of expertise in optimizing data searches and they hold a number of patents on innovative data management methods. These techniques were applied to log file searches in LogRhythm. As log file analysis is a major part of the SIEM methodology, it was only natural that the company should use its data processing expertise in order to produce an efficient SIEM.
The cybersecurity system’s full name is the LogRhythm NextGen SIEM platform. It includes the following modules:
- NetMon This module provides the System Event Management part of the SIEM. It examines the packet headers and extracts important metrics from them. It is able to categorize traffic according to the source and destination of each packet. It can also record the protocol/application that the data in the packet relates to by referencing the port numbers written into the headers. NetMon uses the SmartFlow protocol to format the information that it gathers from packet headers and then uploads those records to the analytical module of the SIEM. This service identifies traffic data in terms of protocol stack layers two to seven.
- SysMon The log file data collection system of LogRhythm SIEM. It has two elements. One is an agent that is installed on every monitored device. As well as collecting log records, the agent examines activity on the device and generates its own form of log record. This process enables the SIEM to assess the activities of the user who is active on the device. The other part of Sysmon is a log server on the LogRhythm cloud server. This server also acts as a coordinator for agents and can send instructions to take action in order to shut down an attack.
- AnalytiX This is the log manager of LogRhythm SIEM. The SysMon controller passes all log messages on to AnalytiX, which then reorganizes them into a common format, indexes them, and stores them. AnalytiX also includes a querying tool and it accesses log records on demand for viewing in the user’s dashboard.
- DetectX This is the threat hunting module of LogRhythm SIEM. It applies the rules supplied by a threat intelligence feed in the form of queries on the log data. When IOCs are detected, the service links together the related event records and flags them as suspicious. The activity alert will be attached to a user account. Suspicious activity that is not being performed by a user account is identified by the IP address of the activity.
- RespondX This is the threat mitigation module of the LogRhythm SIEM. Not all suspicious activity is automatically passed to RespondX. The user is able to adjust the threat response mechanism of the SIEM to earmark some types of threats for manual investigation. The automated threat response can also be turned off entirely.
- NetworkXDR This is an optional module that improves the performance of NetMon. It is able to monitor several points on the network and note illogical user activity, such as the same account generating traffic from more than one location. NetworkXDR uses machine learning to create a profile of normal network activity so that DetectX has a more reliable baseline against which to compare passing traffic activity and identify anomalous behavior.
- UserXDR This is another optional module. It performs UAEBA to enhance the accuracy of threat identification and reduce false reporting.
LogRhythm excels at SIM with specialized and innovative patented data search methods. The network monitoring also provides a good SEM service, which can be enhanced further by the NetworkXDR system.
Exabeam SIEM and LogRhythm SIEM
LogRhythm has much better live data monitoring features than Exabeam. However, the Exabeam approach creates a more integrated approach to event correlation by merging the network data in with its log data pool.
Both services can claim to be better than all of the competition at log searches.
Alternatives to Exabeam SIEM and LogRhythm SIEM
Although Exabeam and LogRhythm provide excellent SIEM systems, they are not the only players in the field. There are also other very competent SIEM systems available, you can read more Best SIEM Tools post. If you don’t have time to read that guide, here is our list of the ten best alternatives to Exabeam SIEM and LogRhythm SIEM.
- SolarWinds Security Event Manager (FREE TRIAL) This tool is focused on log management for security data analysis and it doesn’t include any live data network analysis. The software installs on Windows Server.
- Datadog Security Monitoring This is a cloud-based service that is part of a suite of infrastructure monitoring and management modules. It can be subscribed to as a standalone service.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer This is a log analyzer, so really, it is just a SIM and not a SIEM. It can be paired with a companion module, called OpManager to get live network monitoring. It installs on Windows and Linux.
- McAfee Enterprise Security Manager The standout feature of this SIEM is a high-quality threat intelligence feed. The McAfee brand has reorganized and now offers some exceptional AI-based cybersecurity tools, which includes this SIEM solution. It installs on Windows and macOS.
- Fortinet FortiSIEM A strong cloud-based SIEM system that includes a range of detection strategies, such as UEBA, and implements automated defense responses.
- Rapid7 InsightIDR A thorough cloud-based SIEM security service that can keep running even when the network connection is down, thanks to device agents that need to be installed on each piece of equipment on site. agent modules. Standout features include a UEBA system and an automated threat response.
- OSSEC A free, open-source host-based intrusion detection system that provides SIM functions. The system is able to accept a range of data input sources, including a live network data stream provided by a third-party network monitor. It installs on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix.
- IBM QRadar A collection of cyber defense tools organized into a security intelligence platform. The elements in the SIP include a SIEM. Protection methods deployed by this system include vulnerability scanning, a threat intelligence feed, live traffic analysis, and log management functions. It runs on Windows Server.
- AT&T Cybersecurity AlienVault Unified Security Management A long-running independent SIEM tool that was bought by AT&T. The new regime brings a big budget to the Alien Vault’s development. It runs on Windows and macOS.