Demystifying SIEM Log Collection and Parsing: What You Need to Know



Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems play a crucial role in organizations’ cybersecurity efforts. They collect, analyze, and correlate logs from various sources to detect and respond to security incidents. In this article, we’ll explore the process of gathering logs from diverse sources for a SIEM system, the importance of log parsing, and the reality behind vendor claims of seamless integration.

Log Collection for SIEM Systems:

To collect logs from various sources such as network devices, servers, applications, and security tools, you typically need to set up log collection agents or use built-in connectors. These components retrieve and forward logs from the respective sources to the SIEM platform, enabling it to process and analyze the data.

The Role of Log Parsing:

Log parsing is a critical aspect of SIEM operations, as it involves extracting and normalizing data from collected logs to ensure compatibility with the SIEM system. This process may require you to create or customize parsing rules, depending on the log sources and formats. By doing so, you enable the SIEM to effectively analyze and correlate the data.

User-friendly Interfaces and Drag-and-drop Functionality:

Although some SIEM vendors offer user-friendly interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality for log collection and parsing is not a standard feature. The process usually requires more configuration and customization to guarantee the effective analysis and correlation of data from various sources.

The Reality Behind SIEM Vendor Claims:

SIEM vendors may claim that their systems can handle all logs and automatically parse them. However, only common logs are typically parsed without additional input. To achieve advanced SIEM capabilities, professional services are often needed.

The Importance of Proof of Concept (PoC):

During a PoC, it’s essential to send logs to the SIEM yourself to understand the effort and cost of normalizing the data as per your requirements. This exercise may involve adding events from non-standard directories in your event viewer, for instance. If a vendor guarantees parsing capabilities, request a written commitment, stating that any required parsing, including non-tailor-made products, will be performed at no additional cost and within a reasonable timeframe.

Our Commitment at CyRay:

At CyRay, we understand the challenges associated with SIEM log collection and parsing. As part of our service, we commit to performing any required parsing, including adjustments for non-tailor-made products, at no additional cost and within a reasonable timeframe. Our goal is to provide seamless integration and analysis of logs from a diverse range of sources, ensuring the highest level of security for your organization.


Understanding the log collection and parsing processes is crucial when evaluating SIEM solutions. By being aware of vendor claims, assessing the system during a PoC, and ensuring proper support for log parsing, you can make an informed decision and invest in a SIEM system that truly meets your organization’s security needs.

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