SIEM-pler Migrations with Cribl Stream

Written by Kevin Morris

August 22, 2022

A SIEM (Security Information Event Management) platform, along with several other tools that make you crave Alphabet Soup (XDR, UBA, NDR, etc), is a critical component of any organization’s security infrastructure. Between a constantly growing volume of logs, increasing attacks and breaches, and challenges finding qualified staff, many organizations may consider a SIEM migration. There could be several reasons for this:

  • The current SIEM cannot handle the existing data volumes from a licensing and/or performance perspective.
  • Due to increases in threats and attacks, as well as expanding attack surfaces, organizations may be looking for tools that allow them to be more proactive.
  • With the challenges around finding qualified staff, they may be looking for a SIEM that requires less administrative effort and provides functionality to make their job easier.
  • SIEMs generally don’t make it easy or possible to route copies of inbound data to low-cost object storage in a vendor-neutral manner to meet long-term retention and compliance requirements.

Whatever the reason for migrating to something new, Cribl Stream will play a big part in speeding up and simplifying a migration. This can also apply to getting data to multiple SIEMs/systems of analysis or even migration from an on-prem version to a cloud version of the same SIEM. How can Stream help? Great question. Thanks for asking.

Take the Fork in the Road

We all probably know the famous quote from Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Of course, it’s physically impossible for a person to take each direction at a fork in the road. But, with Cribl Stream, your data can.

Stream allows you to route your data to multiple destinations simultaneously and in the format most desirable for where you are sending it. The ability to ingest data from various agents breaks vendor lock-in, allowing data to flow from one vendor’s agent to a different vendor’s SIEM. This can be advantageous for a few reasons:

  • No need to install and configure new agents.
  • Speeds up the ROI of the new destination (SIEM, system of analysis, data lake).
  • Allows you to focus on getting data to the destination first, letting you worry about the best methods for data ingestion later.
  • Gives you options for how you get the data. There may be a better agent or method of ingestion that fits your needs.

SIEM Migration

What’s the Dress Code – Formatting Your Data Appropriately

Different platforms may have different ingest schema requirements. The industry has primarily agreed on the general types of data repos based on their intended purposes. Each of these may have a preferred format. Whether it is Common Event Format (CEF), JSON, or even Parquet, Stream has you covered.

Stream puts the control of how your data is formatted for each destination entirely in your hands using functions in your processing pipelines or through data format settings in your destination configuration.


SIEM Migration


Back In Time

When migrating from one SIEM to another or from an on-prem version to a cloud version, organizations face a big challenge when running a SIEM migration: how to utilize historical data across all SOC functions. This is not just a need for most organizations; it is a requirement in many cases. Many SIEMs and analytics systems don’t always make it easy to export that data, at least in a way that makes it easily migrated to a new system. Migrations can also take a while to complete. Think about all the data generated during that transition that will still be relevant on day one post-migration process.

Stream’s ability to ingest data from your existing agents and infrastructure, then route that data to S3 or some other object storage in full fidelity can be a massive help on this issue. Starting to store the data in cheaper storage right away, before starting any migrations, will give you a stockpile of data that can be replayed via Stream and sent off to the new SIEM. It can also be stored in a standard format usable by other current or future tools. This won’t completely solve the problem of getting data out of the existing SIEM, but it will allow for backfilling a lot of that data you would otherwise be struggling to search.

Start Off on the Right Foot with a SIEM Migration

If you are migrating to a new SIEM or just migrating to your current SIEM’s cloud version, there is typically some sort of sizing that needs to be done. Regardless of whether the vendor licenses by data ingest (GB|TB per day or events per second) or by the amount of infrastructure and usage (storage, CPUs, workload), it still makes sense to get a handle on that as early as possible.

Cribl Stream can be helpful in a few ways before or during a SIEM migration:

  • Route Data – Routing seldom searched or full-fidelity versions of your data to object storage can reduce the ingest requirements in your SIEM.
  • Optimize Data – Cleaning up the data by removing null, redundant, or unnecessary fields, dropping entire events, or sampling/aggregating/suppressing events. Some logs can also be converted to metrics. These optimizations will improve the performance of your SIEM AND help make room for additional data sources.
  • Sizing – By feeding data from existing agents to Stream, an actual measurement of the data requirements in the SIEM can be taken (EPS or GBs/TBs). Stream can show you what kind of reduction you can achieve in the UI.

Optimizing your data, getting the right data to the correct destination, and understanding what that looks like early on can help you get started on the right foot with your new SIEM platform.

Decisions, Decisions

We’ve been talking about how Cribl Stream can help with SIEM migrations and much of this is helpful when you know what SIEM you are migrating to. But what if you haven’t decided on a new SIEM? What if you wanted to evaluate a few options?

Even if you are just making a move from an on-prem version to a cloud version of your SIEM, you are likely comparing that to other options. Imagine having the ability to route data to multiple destinations while evaluating multiple options for a new SIEM platform. That is just what some of our customers have done. For example, you could simultaneously evaluate 3 different SIEMs, analytics platforms, or object stores without installing multiple agents to get the data. You could format the data appropriately for each destination and finish the evaluation process in a fraction of the time it would take to do it one at a time. This equates to saved time, saved money, and the platform you choose would be up and running much sooner.

SIEM Migration

Learn more about SIEM Migrations with Stream

If you are interested in learning more and would even like to launch a demo of Cribl Stream, here are some helpful links:

Questions about our technology? We’d love to chat with you.

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