In previous discussions about increasing the effectiveness of monitoring, it has been pointed out that having more eyes on the data will yield more insight into the problem. While this is true, part of the point of SIEM is to have more automated processes correlating the data so that the expense of additional human observation can be avoided. Still, no automated process quite measures up to the more flexible and intuitive observations of human beings. What if we look at a hybrid approach that didn’t require hiring additional security analysts?

 

In addition to the SIEM’s analytics, what if we took the access particulars of each user in a group and published a daily summary of what (generally) was accessed, where from, when and for how long to their immediate team and management? Such a summary could have a mechanism to anonymously flag access anomalies. In addition, the flagging system could have an optional comment on why this is seen as an abnormal event. e.g. John was with me at lunch at the time and couldn’t have accessed anything from his workstation.

 

Would something like this make the security analysis easier by having eyes with a vested interest in the security of their work examining the summaries? Would we be revealing too much about the target systems and data? Are we assuming that there is sufficient interest on the part of the team to even bother reading such a summary?

 

Thinking more darkly, is this a step onto a slippery slope of creating an Orwellian work environment? Or… is this just one more metre down a slope we’ve been sliding down for a long time?