What is a Security Data Lake?

In order to understand what a security data lake is, let’s first define what a data lake is. Essentially, a data lake is a repository for unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data. Instead of storing data in tables with predefined fields, data lakes allow an organization to store data in its native formats.

A security data lake is a data lake designed to store log files and other security data. By centralizing security data storage and analysis, security data lakes support threat detection and threat hunting activities.

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Why Organizations Need Data Lakes

Data is the lifeblood of an organization. By collecting and analyzing data, organizations can extract intelligence and derive insights that can guide development and help to optimize their processes.

However, analysts may not always know what data they need in advance, which makes storing data in structured databases and tables difficult. Data lakes enable organizations to collect and store data for future use without risking the inadvertent deletion of data or context that the organization didn’t know was valuable.

The Rise of Security Data Lakes

Security teams have always needed access to security data. Investigating ongoing attacks, performing post-incident forensics, and threat hunting operations all require in-depth visibility into various systems and security solutions.

A variety of tools have been developed to help provide this security visibility, such as the security information and event management (SIEM). However, these solutions commonly have trouble scaling to efficiently handle the volume of data produced by security solutions.

The security data lake has emerged as a solution to this problem, applying data management solutions and best practices to the challenge of managing security data. With a security data lake, an organization’s security operations center (SOC) analysts gain the security visibility that they need in a single, centralized location without the need to collect the data for themselves.

Security Data Lake Benefits

A security data lake provides a single, centralized location where security data can be stored and accessed on infrastructure designed to support it.

Some of the main benefits that a security data lake can provide to an organization include the following:

  • Centralized Security Visibility: A security data lake acts as a single source of ground truth regarding corporate security data. This eliminates the need for security analysts to search around and collect their own security data from various locations.
  • Security Data Flexibility: A corporate security architecture is composed of many different solutions, which might generate logs and other data in various formats. A security data lake can store all of this data in its native format, preserving the data’s features and context.
  • Scalable Data Management: Data lakes are designed to offer both storage and compute scalability. This ensures that useful data can be retained and that multiple analysts can run queries on collected data without negative performance impacts.
  • Cost-Effective Data Storage: Security data lakes are implemented using platforms, solutions, and technologies designed to affordably manage large volumes of data. A security data lake can provide cost savings and access to more data when compared to a SIEM or similar solutions.

Security Data Lake vs SIEM

Security data lakes and SIEM solutions are both designed to centrally collect and analyze security data. However, SIEM solutions were not designed or built to keep up with modern security data management needs.

As corporate IT and security architectures grow and evolve, the volume of security data to be collected, stored, and analyzed continues to grow. SIEM solutions lack the ability to scale to provide high-performance data access and analytics in the face of this growth. As a result, SIEMs become overwhelmed and queries run more slowly, delaying threat detection and increasing the potential damage that an intruder can do to the organization.

Security data lakes are designed to scale automatically as data storage and processing requirements grow. This allows them to take over the role of the SIEM within an organization, providing centralized access and analytics for collected security data.

Security Data Lake with Horizon Events

Check Point solutions are designed as an integrated security management platform. Security solutions can be centrally monitored and managed, enabling efficient and effective threat prevention, detection, and response across an organization’s entire security architecture. This centralization and user-friendly security management enable SOC teams to respond more quickly to threats and to keep up as their duties expand.

The security visibility and insights that a security data lake provides are essential to effective SOC. Security teams are commonly drowning in data, and a tool that can collect, store, and process this data at scale saves significant resources.

Check Point’s Horizon Events enables security analysts to take full advantage of the benefits of a security data lake. Horizon Events provides unified, synchronized data visibility across an organization’s entire security architecture for more efficient threat hunting and investigation. See for yourself how a security data lake can improve the efficiency of your organization’s security operations by signing up for a free trial of Horizon Events today.

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