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Battle of the SIEM Solutions: Splunk vs Sentinel

Posted on December 20, 2022

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

SIEM – Security Information Event Management – technologies are the bedrock of modern cybersecurity. By analysing thousands of data points, the software tools can identify irregularities in your network activity and flag threats in real-time. But, with so many options on the market, which should you choose? What’s more, do you have to sacrifice functionality for compatibility?

In this article, we compare two leading solutions, Microsoft’s Azure Sentinel versus Splunk, and examine their key differences. Read on to find out more and learn about which security solution could be right for you.

 

What are Splunk and Azure Sentinel?

Splunk and Sentinel are both examples of SIEM technologies, a type of software that specialises in detecting security threats. SIEM software aggregates all of the important security information from across your business into one place, so having a deep level of integration with your wider tech stack is vital. Otherwise, you may risk missing crucial security events or lag in responding to threats in time. Because of this, SIEM tools are thought of as your ‘first line of defence’ against threat actors, since their job is to detect suspicious network activity and trigger responses elsewhere.

However, some of the more advanced tools, like Sentinel, offer much more than just network analysis and threat detection. In turn, these SIEM tools have become one-stop-solutions for your entire cybersecurity playbook, capable of executing responses as well as identifying when they occur.

Splunk vs Sentinel: How do they compare?

Despite both being SIEM tools, Splunk and Sentinel do have some key differences. The main one is that Splunk is not a cloud-native SaaS solution. Splunk was originally designed as an on-premise SIEM solution, whereas Sentinel has been designed for cloud environments from the ground up. This typically means that most users find Sentinel easier to set up because there are fewer settings to configure.

Splunk is also a more generalised tool. Sentinel can only be deployed in Microsoft’s Azure cloud environment and only takes Azure data, while Splunk can be deployed within Azure, AWS and other cloud environments. Although this may sound like a benefit, it can create additional security flaws since there are more ways to exploit your SIEM software.

Finally, the pricing structure and investment for each of the SIEM solutions is also different. Sentinel includes more features in its base tier compared to its competitors and doesn’t charge extra for the automations that you run. However, there is a relatively low fee added if you need to use Log Analytics (a tool that hosts and manages records of computer activity), but the software offers a range of extra functionalities that make it well worth it.

 

How to decide whether Splunk or Azure Sentinel is right for you?

Overall, Gartner data suggests that Sentinel is the superior solution with an average rating of 4.5 stars versus Splunk’s 4.3. Microsoft was also named as a leader in Gartner’s review of Security Information and Event Management tools this year for its industry-leading capabilities. However, Splunk has thousands of users and a unique skill set that could suit your business, so how do you know which SIEM tool is right for you?

One of the earliest factors to consider is whether or not you already work in an Azure-based cloud environment. Sentinel’s deep integration across Microsoft’s wider software ecosystem means setting it up is extremely easy. What’s more, it also affords additional security benefits, like the ‘Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response’ (SOAR) features, which allow it to identify and respond to security threats in one go.

And so, if you work in AWS or Google’s Cloud Platform, Splunk could be the right choice for you as it’s a non-specific solution that can work across platforms. However, you shouldn’t let your current IT infrastructure dictate your future since you can switch to a new IT environment via a cloud migration project.

In truth, the reasons for choosing Splunk over Sentinel (or vice versa) are very similar to one another. SIEM tools are supposed to help you enhance your decision-making, drive revenue growth and reduce costs. So, it depends on the exact needs of your organisation.
Although Splunk has its benefits, Sentinel is the clear choice if you’re looking for a cloud-native enterprise tool. What’s more, Sentinel excels in helping you improve compliance & risk management, create new efficiencies across the rest of your business, and drive innovation with newly integrated software tools.

Access world-leading SIEM support for Microsoft Sentinel and more with Atech

If you’ve been reading our articles for any length of time, it’s probably not surprising to see we’re big fans of Microsoft’s cybersecurity solutions. In fact, we love it so much, we built our entire Security Operations Centre around it. It’s one of the reasons why we’re a leading provider of Endpoint Management solutions for businesses and one of the top three finalists in Microsoft’s global Partner of the Year Awards.

If you’d like to know more about our cybersecurity services and how they can drive innovation across the rest of your business, reach out to us. We offer workshops on SIEM and XDR (Extended Detection & Response) technologies that can help you understand your current threat level and what you can do to reduce it. One client workshop spans over 3 days and is filled with actionable advice that is tailored just for your business, ready for implementation. To find out more, contact us today.

 

 

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