Security Information Management (SIM)
Security Information Management (SIM) is a series of processes through which data from computer event and activity logs is compiled, monitored, and analyzed. SIM refers specifically to the part of this process having to do with historical log analysis and reporting, while Security Event Management (SEM) refers to the real-time activities involved in gathering and analyzing logs. Together, these processes form a complete Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. Security information management (SIM) is an information security industry term for the collection of data such as log files into a central repository for trend analysis.
Security information management systems may:
- Monitor events in real time.
- Display a real-time view of activity.
- Translate event data from various sources into a common format, typically XML.
- Aggregate data.
- Correlate data from multiple sources.
- Cross-correlate to help administrators discern between real threats and false positives.
- Provide automated incidence response.
- Send alerts and generate reports.
Commercial SIM products include ArcSight ESM, nFX's SIM One, Network Intelligence's enVision, Prism Microsystems' EventTracker, Trigeo, Symantec's Security Information Manager, Cisco Security MARS and Snare. Open source SIM products include OSSIM, a product of the Open Source Security Information Management initiative, and Prelude, from PreludeIDS.
Although SIM products can automate many tasks around security information gathering and processing, they can't operate effectively without significant effort and investment on the part of the organization in question. According to Neil Roiter, Senior Technology Editor of Information Security magazine, "Security information and event management (SIEM) products are only as good as the policies and processes they support, and the analyst resources that a company can pour into them."