Usually, most companies would discover the cybersecurity breach long after the damage has already been done. In the months following the incident, the executives and other personnel would dedicate their time and resources to investigate and respond to the events that led to the attack. Then, the situation would be tackled with the help of costly post-incident damage control. Post analysis would involve a painful discovery process that would identify the vulnerabilities that had allowed the attack. In this IBM QRadar Tutorial, you will learn all the basics of IBM QRadar. First, let’s see What is the IBM QRadar? Further, you will come to know what made IBM QRadar come into play.
Before going any further, check out the concepts covered in this QRadar Tutorial section:
The IBM QRadar is a security information and event management or SIEM product that is designed for enterprises. The tool collects data from the organization and the network devices. It also connects to the operating systems, host assets, applications, vulnerabilities, user activities, and behaviors. IBM QRadar is used to perform analysis of the log data and the network flows in real-time so that malicious activities can be identified and stopped as soon as possible. Thus, the main aim of the IBM QRadar is to prevent or minimize the damage to its host organization.
The following are some of the reasons that lead to the most common problems faced by organizations in terms of security:
The IBM QRadar SIEM uses a real-time integrated Cybersecurity AI, machine learning, and behavior analytics to prevent the attacks in the blink of an eye and with a very less cost compared to what human supervision can ensure. QRadar can address the bulk security issues that the companies face and save a lot of money. The security teams that struggle with patching endpoints properly and updating them can get their problems solved with IBM BigFix that has QRadar SIEM integrated into it. Most of the common issues are solved with this.
Deployment of the IBM QRadar SIEM is possible in the form of software, hardware, or a product meant for virtual application. Event processors for the collection, storage, and analysis of event collectors and event data make up the architecture of the product. They help to capture and forward the data.
There are flow processors as well that collect the network flows of Layer 4 of the OSI model. The Layer 7 application traffic gets a deep packet inspection through the QFlow processors. Management of SIEM can be performed by the SOC or Security Operations Center through centralized consoles. The flow processors are similar to the event processors, however, these are meant for network flows. The consoles offer a lot of help to the people who are managing or using the SIEM.
According to IBM, the QRadar Security Information and Event Management is an essential tool that would aid the security teams in prioritizing the threats across the enterprise and detecting them accurately. The tool offers the necessary intelligent insights that would help the teams to respond as quickly as possible and reduce the impact of the incidents. Network flow data and log events from thousands of endpoints, devices, and applications over the network are consolidated.
QRadar then correlates all the different information and these related events are compiled to produce single alerts so that remediation and incident analysis can be accelerated. QRadar and SIEM are available in on-premises and cloud environments.
IBM QRadar is revolutionizing security integration and is helping organizations all around the world to protect their data. Today product deployments can take place in lots of different scenarios and it is hard for companies to track every pathway. This is where IBM QRadar comes in to help the organizations stabilize their security and protect themselves against potential threats.
The following is the significance of IBM QRadar - why it has stood out, despite all the different services offered across the world.
The IBM QRadar offers the necessary compliance support and situational awareness. A combination of security event correlation, flow-based network knowledge, and assessment-based vulnerability assessment is used by QRadar SIEM.
Let us look at an overview of the important aspects of the IBM QRadar SIEM.
[Related Article: IBM QRadar vs Splunk]
There are no specific hardware requirements for the product.
Java SDK with IBM Runtime Environment Java Technology 7.0.8
Tivoli Directory Integrator 7.1.7 for security management
Google Chrome 43 or later versions, Mozilla Firefox ESR 38 or future fix packs, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 or future products
Access to the user interface can be gained for 5 weeks through a default license key. A window would show the date when the temporary license key would expire after the user has logged in.
It is important to add an exception to Mozilla Firefox to log in to QRadar SIEM if the browser is being used. While using the Internet Explorer Web browser, a web security certificate message would be displayed when the QRadar SIEM system is accessed. The continue option needs to be selected.
The IBM QRadar SIEM has a lot of features that make it a very dependable tool in terms of threat detection and proper security management. They are stated below.
Insight is offered into the cloud-based resources and on-premises. The product applies business content to the data and maximizes the relevant risk and threat insights.
IBM X-Force, which offers amazing threat intelligence is included, which enables the customers to add the required extra threat intelligence feed as they might desire through STIX/TAXII.
QRadar analyzes the endpoint, asset, user, network, threat data as well as vulnerability for accurate detection of the known and unknown threats. The tool features built-in analytics that helps to shorten the time and does not need data science experts.
The product creates an ecosystem with more than 450 unique integrations and APKs. These along with the SDK help customers to get deeper insights, ingest data faster, and improve the worth of the existing solutions.
Multiple deployment choices are available to meet the growing needs. The solutions can be presented as software, hardware, or virtual machines for IaaS environments or on-premises. You would need to begin having an all-in-one solution. It is then possible to scale up to different networks with a model that is highly distributed over different geographical locations.
An important job of the product is to uniquely identify and track the related activities through the kill chain. Analysts can have end-to-end visibility into the potential incident on a single screen.
This feature helps the customers to prioritize the security operations and not system management. This helps to reduce the overall expenditure of ownership. If the database can self-manage and self-tune, it is possible to scale for supporting the largest organizations without the necessity of dedicated database administrators.
The product has the capability to make sense of disparate data and provide an editor that is easy to use and quickly customize the onboard custom logs for analysis.
IBM Security Operations QRadar is an enterprise security information and event management (SIEM) product that can be integrated easily for supervising security workflows. The two workflows that are included in the base system include - Run Enrichment for IP and Security Incident Enrichment.
If the Source IP, Configuration Item or Destination IP are modified in a security incident, The REST calls to the second workflow are caused by a business rule. A call would be made for each of the modified fields. Following this, the Security Incident Enrichment workflow would make calls to QRadar depending on the modified fields. QRadar then sends the enriched data to the security incident and populate the work notes with a summary of the event flows and offenses related to the IP addresses. The data can be viewed on the QRadar console through the links included in the summary.
IBM Security QRadar demonstrates a modular architecture where deployments of various sizes and topologies are supported. All the software components run on a single appliance in a single-host deployment. The QRadar console provides the user interface and real-time events, reports, asset information, offenses, and administrative functions.
Event management requires the supervision of several things like data nodes, the QRadar components, system health, network interface, network, and off-site hosts. Managing an event also requires the maintenance of different objects, which is done as specified underneath.
The modular architecture of IBM QRadar can be used for prioritization and threat detection. The QRadar can be scaled to meet the flow and log collection. Integrated modules can be added to the QRadar platform like QRadar Vulnerability Manager, QRadar Risk Manager, and QRadar Incident Forensics. The operation consists of three layers and would apply to any QRadar deployment structure, and it is true regardless of the size and complexity.
The first layer is data collection where data like flows or events are collected from the network. Direction collection through the All-in-One appliance is possible. Collectors like QRadar QFlow Collectors or QRadar Event Collectors can be used for the collection of event data. The data gets parsed and normalized, and then passed to the processing layer. The parsed data is normalized to present in a usable and structured format.
The QRadar SIEM’s core functionality is based on a collection of data and flow. Event data represents those events that occur at a point in time in the environment like firewall denies VPN connections, user logins, emails, proxy connections, and other events that should be logged.
The flow data, on the other hand, represents network activity information between two hosts. QRadar translates them into flow records. QRadar would normalize and translate the data to IP addresses, packet counts, ports, and other information in the flow records. It represents a session between two hosts. Full packet capture is available with the QRadar Incident Forensics in addition to collecting flow information with a Flow Collector.
In the second layer, event and flow data are run through the Customs Rules Engine or CRE. This generates alerts and offenses which are written to storage. There are features like QRadar Vulnerability Manager, QRadar Risk Manager, and ORadar Incident Forensics to offer more functionality.
The data collected and processed by QRadar is available to the users for searches, reporting, analysis, and alerts of offense investigation. The users can search and manage the security admin tasks on the QRadar Console.
IBM Security QRadar takes the log data from the log sources that are used by the applications and devices in the network and consolidates them. However, it is important to take note that the software versions for all the IBM Security QRadar appliances in a deployment must be having not only the exact versions but the same fix level.
The various tools under IBM QRadar help in data processing. The major ones are as follows.
IBM QRadar SIEM is one of the best products when it comes to security management for an organization. The benefits of using this product are stated below.
It is true that getting insight across multiple security environments can be tough. However, with IBM QRadar, you would gain centralized insight into the network events and data flow, be it an IAAS or SaaS environment
The analysts lose valuable time trying to manually track the processes. Thus analysts are often pulled from their work at hand. The product offers a solution that allows the users to see all the events related to a particular threat in a single place and eliminate the manual tasks so that analysts can focus on response and investigation.
It is difficult to keep out an eye constantly for threats as it would be a good wastage of time and resources. The out-of-the-box analytics would investigate into the network flows and logs detecting threats and prioritizing general alerts and force the attacks into the kill chain.
In addition to the basic SIEM capabilities, support is offered for the threat intelligence feeds. The license extension would have the IBM Security X-Force Threat Intelligence that would identify the URLs and IP addresses that are associated with malicious activity. A threat score and category would be given to each identified IP address or URL, which would help the organization prioritize threats and offer better analysis.
IBM QRadar offers proper support for the major compliance reporting requirements initiatives like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Health Insurance Portability, and Accountability Act, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The product offers a report builder wizard for security teams to create custom reports.
Training in IBM QRadar can land a job as a technical support professional or a QRadar consultant. A lucrative job as a security analyst could also be the answer. Though learning about the tool can be very productive, it would be necessary to brush up the skills in networking and security analysis. The jobs could be paying as much as $35000 to $65000 depending on the position being offered.
The IBM QRadar is an amazing tool that can help organizations of any size to keep their data safe and secure. Integrating the tool in your system would definitely help you to secure all the data channels. The product would help to find the event and log data and keep them in specialized files for further analysis. The generation of alerts and proper measures would be the most important tasks that follow the analysis. The tool is one of the best security solutions today.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Technical Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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