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Overcoming Traditional SIEM Challenges

The Fatal Unconnectedness of Incumbents from Customers: The Tale of a Race Against the Clock

September 1, 2023

Inspired by true events. All names of characters have been changed; all matches are accidental.

Foreword

This tale is based on an actual event that happened to one of our Cribl Search customers. It highlights a massive gap between the urgent needs of modern businesses and the outdated, draconian terms dictated by traditional SIEM vendors. While the events are real, a touch of dramatization was added for the fun of it. Why not?

A Frantic Friday Night

James Walker, a director-level executive at a major corporation that is ranked among the titans of industry, was about to leave his well-appointed office on a seemingly calm Friday evening. It was his older daughter’s birthday; James was already late, and she was eagerly waiting for him to return home for the celebration. The soft glow of city lights outside, and the rhythmic pulsing of his monitors – displaying real-time cloud analytics – served as reminders of the immense digital infrastructure, hosted entirely in the cloud, under his purview.

As he donned his coat and glanced at the elegant clock on the wall, the sharp ring of the phone startled him. It was 11 p.m. ET. An unauthorized authentication incident report had come through, and the troublesome IP address taunted him from the screen. Frustration built in his chest as he dialed his SIEM provider, Trunk. “24 hours to rehydrate the data,” they said, and he could hear the hefty price tag in their voices. He slumped in his ergonomic chair, feeling ensnared, trapped by the enormity of the situation. Time ticked by ominously, each second a weight on his shoulders, and the promise of a joyous evening slipping away.

A Midnight Savior

Desperation gnawed at James Walker as midnight approached. Then, came an unexpected glimmer of hope: Cribl Search. His thoughts turned to David Cavuto, the Director of Product for Search at Cribl and a legend in the world of log analysis and SQL. With wisdom drawn from over two decades in the trenches, Cavuto had been at the forefront of the evolution of modern analytics. Known as the “Black Belt of Log Analysis,” he had not only mastered the craft, but also guided the development of Cribl Search, a tool designed to solve problems that left others baffled.

Feeling a newfound sense of hope, Walker called an old friend, his voice tinged with both desperation and anticipation: “Cavuto, we’re cornered. Trunk wants 24 hours and a fortune. It’s late Friday night. Can you help?”

Cavuto’s knowing chuckle resonated over the line, his voice filled with the wisdom of experience: “24 hours? Yeah, typical Trunk reply.” There was a pause as he let the truth of the statement settle in.

James sighed, the weight of his predicament heavy in his voice. “I feel trapped, too. They are like Goliath, dictating the terms.”

David’s response was immediate and spirited, his confidence infectious. “You know what? Seems like this Goliath is about to meet his David. Let’s show them how it’s done.”

This first, fateful phone call, charged with a blend of gravity and humor, marked the beginning of a race against time that would see two professionals at the height of their skills taking on an industry giant, armed with the most potent weapon in their arsenal: Cribl Search.

Navigating the Labyrinth

The office was eerily quiet as Cavuto and Walker embarked on their digital expedition. Cavuto, despite being new to Walker’s vast infrastructure of over 600 AWS accounts spread across all Regions, was undaunted. They delved into the labyrinth of terabytes of data, navigating a complex web of partitions, accounts, and regions, a reflection of the corporation’s magnitude. An hour passed, each minute a testament to the intricacy of the system, the stress magnified by the haunting tick of the clock.

“Cavuto, are we lost?” Walker whispered, doubt creeping in, feeling the weight of their enormous task.

“Lost? Never,” Cavuto assured him, his voice a beacon of hope and experience. “It’s a vast maze, I have not seen one like it before. Hold on; we’re getting there.”

The Dawn Triumph

Cavuto and Walker stayed the course in their digital journey, navigating the maze that was Walker’s sprawling cloud infrastructure. While David Cavuto had years of experience, he was a newcomer to Walker’s specific data environment. However, Cribl Search’s user-friendly interface and robust features allowed him to quickly grasp the lay of the land. Indeed, the tool was designed with the understanding that today’s data landscapes are complex beasts; it’s often not about the user’s brilliance, but about the tool’s ability to simplify complexity.

After a period of focused exploration, Cavuto pinpointed the specific AWS account and Region containing the pertinent data. With the hard part done, it was time to see Cribl Search really shine—not just for an expert like Cavuto, but in a way that demonstrated the tool’s democratizing power. In less than 15 minutes, a search query was crafted and executed, sifting through terabytes of data to isolate the events tied to the troublesome IP address.

“Any proficient analyst could have conducted this same search in nearly the same amount of time,” Cavuto remarked as the results populated the screen. “That’s the beauty of Cribl Search. It takes the arcane and makes it accessible, so you don’t need to be an expert to get expert results.”

The final act was quick: rehydration of the identified data back to Trunk. Driven by the sheer efficiency of Cribl Search, this process was completed in mere minutes. As the clock ticked its last seconds, the team couldn’t help but revel in their triumph: a seemingly insurmountable task, now a tale of success, thanks in large part to a tool designed to put powerful capabilities in the hands of any user.

Epilogue: The Sun Rises

As the clock neared 2 am, a wave of triumph washed over James Walker’s office. What had loomed as a 24-hour crisis was instead resolved in a mere two hours, thanks to Cribl Search and David Cavuto’s expertise. Not only did James make it to his daughter’s birthday celebration, albeit late, he also decided to take the next week off to spend quality time with her, making up for the lost moments and cherishing new ones.

The rapid resolution wasn’t just a win for James as a professional; it was also a win for him as a father. At a time when data is growing at an astonishing rate, while budgets can’t keep up, Cribl Search proved to be more than a business solution. It was a life hack solution, too, reclaiming valuable personal time. This triumphant tale is more than a singular victory; it marks a paradigm shift in how we manage data, emphasizing that it’s possible to be efficient at work while also being present at home.

Closing Remarks

Even with its dramatic flair, this story showcases an everyday challenge for hundreds of companies. The issues we see with traditional SIEM vendors are part of a bigger picture, especially when you consider that data is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 27%, while budgets aren’t keeping pace. The win in our story isn’t just a one-off—it’s what can happen when you bring innovation, agility, and customer-focus to the table, just like we do here at Cribl. Ready to get started? Go sign up for a free Cribl.Cloud account and get immediate access to Cribl Search.


 

Cribl, the Data Engine for IT and Security, empowers organizations to transform their data strategy. Customers use Cribl’s suite of products to collect, process, route, and analyze all IT and security data, delivering the flexibility, choice, and control required to adapt to their ever-changing needs.

We offer free training, certifications, and a free tier across our products. Our community Slack features Cribl engineers, partners, and customers who can answer your questions as you get started and continue to build and evolve. We also offer a variety of hands-on Sandboxes for those interested in how companies globally leverage our products for their data challenges.

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