AidanMcLaughlin - PeerSpot reviewer
SIEM Engineer at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Enables us to monitor many different environments for cybersecurity incidents, and we use it as our main alerting tool to let us know when this activity happens
Pros and Cons
  • "The automation rules and playbooks are the most useful that I've seen. A number of other places segregate the automation and playbook as separate tools, whereas Microsoft is a SIEM and SOAR tool in one."
  • "Documentation is the main thing that could be improved. In terms of product usage, the documentation is pretty good, but I'd like a lot more documentation on Kusto Query Language."

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft Sentinel to monitor many different environments for cybersecurity incidents, and we use it as our main alerting tool to let us know when this activity happens. It also interfaces with all of our other Defender products, such as Defender for Office 365, Defender for Endpoint, et cetera.

Almost all of our solutions are based in Azure. We use Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Office 365, Defender for cloud, Sentinel, and Azure Active Directory Identity Protection.

I use the latest version of Sentinel.

Sentinel is mostly used within our security operations center and our security team. We have about 50 endpoint users.

How has it helped my organization?

The backbone of our organization is built on Microsoft Sentinel, its abilities, and the abilities of our Defender stack. Ideally, we'd have more data, but a lot of data and functionality are in one place. The Lighthouse feature is outside Sentinel, but it allows us to have multiple environments integrated into one and to access lots of different Sentinel environments through that. It's very easy to manage a security workload with Sentinel. 

I would like to see better integration with CICD. It should be easier to use GitHub, Jenkins, or whatever our code management stack looks like. Whether or not you use Azure DevOps, being able to manage the code you have is fairly important.

Since using Sentinel, we've experienced a faster response time and easier development features. There aren't as many hurdles to moving a configuration.

I'm not sure how long it took to realize the benefits because it was deployed before my time here. It took me about three months to get familiar with what Sentinel has to offer and how we could leverage it, so it will be about three months before you start getting proper value from it.

There are still elements of Sentinel that I haven't used to their fullest potential, like the Jupyter Notebooks and internet hunting queries.

The solution is good at automating routine tasks and alleviating the burden for analysts.

Automation has moderately affected our security operations, although there is scope for it to significantly affect SecOps. There is definitely the capability for Sentinel to do pretty much all of your first-line response, which would be a significant improvement. It's a moderate effect because we only use automation in a few areas.

There are a few different dashboards for each of the Microsoft tools. We have a dashboard for Defender, one for Sentinel, and one for Active Directory Identity Protection. It consolidated alerts in some aspects, but a lot of information is still scattered.

It's fairly good for being reactive and responding to threats and looking for indicators of compromise. Overall, it helped us prepare for potential threats before they hit.

Sentinel saves us time. The automation feature especially saves us time because we can automate a lot of menial tasks. If other businesses could do that, it would eliminate a lot of their first-line response.

Sentinel saves us about 20 hours per week, which is the equivalent of a part-time staff member.

It saved us money. It's a very cost-efficient SIEM to use and still provides a good level of coverage despite that. 

Sentinel saved us about 50% of the cost of Splunk. It decreased our time to detect and respond by about 10-15%.

What is most valuable?

The automation rules and playbooks are the most useful that I've seen. A number of other places segregate the automation and playbook as separate tools, whereas Microsoft is a SIEM and SOAR tool in one.

It provides us with very high visibility. It allows us to see a lot holistically across our environment in Azure. It integrates very well with other products like Defender.

It helps us prioritize threats across our enterprise. There are many things we can do to deal with prioritizing threats, such as having automation rules that automatically raise the priority of certain incidents. We're also able to make changes to the rule sets themselves and say, "I believe this to be a higher priority than is listed in the tool."

Prioritization is probably the most important thing to us because as an organization, we have a number of threats coming in at any moment, and each of them has its own valid investigation path. We need to know which ones are business critical and which ones need to be investigated and either ruled out or remediated as soon as possible. Prioritizing what to work on first is the biggest thing for us.

If you have the right licenses and access to all the products, it's fairly easy to integrate these products into Sentinel. Sometimes they don't pull as much information as possible, and I've noticed that there is a cross-functional issue where these tools will flag and alert themselves.

We can have it configured to create an alert in Microsoft Sentinel, but sometimes it doesn't create a bridge between them. When we finish our investigation and close the ticket on Sentinel, it sometimes doesn't go back to the tool and update that. That's the only issue that I have found with the integration. Everything else is straightforward and works well.

The solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection responses across our environment. It's probably one of the better-engineered suites. In other places, I've experienced an endpoint detection and response system that's completely different: proprietary coupled with a proprietary and different SIEM tool or maybe a different sort of tool. They are individual tools, and it can sometimes feel like they're engineered differently, but at the same time, they integrate better than anything else on the market as a suite of tools.

These solutions provide pretty comprehensive threat protection. A lot of them are technology agnostic, so you can have endpoints on Linux and Mac OS. It's pretty comprehensive. There's always a little oversight in any security program where you have to balance the cost of monitoring everything with the risk of having some stuff unmonitored, but that's probably an issue outside of this tool.

It enables us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. It's difficult to ingest non-native data. It's not as easy as in Splunk because Splunk is probably the leading SIEM tool. If you have a native tool that's out of the Microsoft security stack, you can bring it into Sentinel and have an alert on it.

This ingestion of data is vital for our security operations. It's the driver behind everything we do. We can do threat hunting, but if we don't have logs or data to run queries, then we're pretty much blind. I've worked in places where compliance and regulatory adherence are paramount and having logs, log retention, and evidence of these capabilities is extremely important. One of the more vital things that our organization needs to operate well, is good data.

A lot of the alerts come in from other tools, so sometimes we have to actually use that tool to get the proper information. For example, if we get an alert through Defender for Office 365, to actually see an offending email or attachment or something like that, we have to go into the Defender console and dig that out, which is inconvenient. As an aggregator, it's not bad compared to the other solutions on the market. In an ideal scenario, having more information pulled through in the alerts would be an improvement.

A lot of Sentinel's data is pretty comprehensive. The overarching theme with Sentinel is that it's trying to be a lot of things in one. For a UEBA tool, people will usually have separate tools in their SIEM to do this, or they'll have to build their own complete framework from scratch. Already having it in Sentinel is pretty good, but I think it's just a maturity thing. Over the next few years, as these features get more fleshed out, they will get better and more usable. At the moment, it's a bit difficult to justify dropping a Microsoft-trained UEBA algorithm in an environment where it doesn't have too much information. It's good for information purposes and alerting, but we can't do a lot of automation or remediation on it straight away.

What needs improvement?

Although the integrations are good, it can sometimes be information overload. A number of the technologies run proprietary Microsoft algorithms, like machine learning algorithms and detection algorithms, as well as having out-of-the-box SIEM content developed by Microsoft. As an engineer that focuses on threat detection, it can sometimes be hard to see where all of the detections are coming from. Although the integrations are good, it can sometimes be information overload.

Documentation is the main thing that could be improved. In terms of product usage, the documentation is pretty good, but I'd like a lot more documentation on Kusto Query Language. They could replicate what Splunk has in terms of their query language documentation. Every operator and sub-operator has its own page. It really explains a lot about how to use the operators, what they're good for, and what they're not good for in terms of optimizing CPU usage.

In Splunk, I would like to see some more advanced visualization. There are only some basic ones in Sentinel.

Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Sentinel
May 2024
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Sentinel. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2024.
771,946 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft Sentinel for about one year, but more heavily over the past five months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. We don't have any performance or capacity issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable when using solutions like Lighthouse.

How are customer service and support?

I haven't needed to use technical support yet, but the documentation in the community is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used Splunk. The move to Sentinel was definitely cost-based. A lot of people are moving away from Splunk to a more cost-effective SIEM like Sentinel. We also chose Sentinel because of the ease of maintenance. Splunk's enterprise security has some good queries out of the box, but if I were a small organization, I would use Sentinel because it has more out-of-the-box features.

How was the initial setup?

The log collection facilities must be maintained. Maintaining the solution requires a team of fewer than five people. It mainly involves ensuring that the rules are up to date, the connectors and log collection mechanisms are working correctly, and that they're up to date. It also involves ensuring that the right rules are deployed and the automation rules are in place.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI is 50% over and above what we spend on it in terms of what we can get back from Microsoft Sentinel, everything we use it for, and the time we save.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Some of the licensing models can be a little bit difficult to understand and confusing at times, but overall it's a reasonable licensing model compared to some other SIEMs that charge you a lot per data.

There are additional fees for things like data usage and CPU cycles. When you're developing queries or working on queries, make sure that they're optimized so you don't use as much CPU when they run.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We spoke with Google about Chronicle Backstory. It looks pretty powerful, but it wasn't mature enough for what we were looking for at that time.

The only other real standalone solution I've had a good experience with is Splunk and Splunk Phantom. In terms of cost, it's astronomically different. Microsoft Sentinel can sometimes be expensive depending on how many logs you're taking, but it will never be in the same realm as Splunk. Sentinel is easy to use, but Splunk is so expensive because it's very easy to use.

Microsoft Sentinel is a better SOAR solution than Phantom. Phantom has good integrations, but it isn't really built for custom scripting. If you're going to be paying more, you would expect that to be better. Sentinel is better in that aspect. Sentinel's cost-effectiveness blows a lot of other solutions out of the water, especially if you're already in Azure and you can leverage some relationships to bring that cost down.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution eight out of ten. It's heading in the right direction, but it's already pretty good and mature.

If a security colleague said it's better to go with the best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor security suite, I would understand that completely. Some people see tying yourself into a single vendor as a vulnerability. It's not quite spread out, but I think you can manage a single vendor security solution if you have a good relationship with the vendor and you really leverage your connections within that business.

It's good to diversify your products and make sure that you have a suite of products available from different companies and that you use the best that's available. In terms of this technology stack, it's pretty good for what it does.

My advice is to really focus on what's possible and what you could do with the SIEM. There are a lot of features that don't get used and maximized for their purpose from day one. It takes a couple of months to properly deploy the solution to full maturity.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Anand R Menon - PeerSpot reviewer
Security Operations Lead at CrossCipher Technologies
Real User
Top 10
Covers latest threats, integrates with on-prem and cloud resources, and has good automation capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "Mainly, this is a cloud-native product. So, there are zero concerns about managing the whole infrastructure on-premises."
  • "At the network level, there is a limitation in integrating some of the switches or routers with Microsoft Sentinel. Currently, SPAN traffic monitoring is not available in Microsoft Sentinel. I have heard that it is available in Defender for Identity, which is a different product. It would be good if LAN traffic monitoring or SPAN traffic monitoring is available in Microsoft Sentinel. It would add a lot of value. It is available in some of the competitor products in the market."

What is our primary use case?

We are a security service provider, and we are using Microsoft Sentinel to provide managed security services to our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

The visibility that it provides is very good because Microsoft is a front runner in threat intelligence and cybersecurity operations. They have their own threat intel team that is very active. They are actively covering any new threats that are coming into the landscape. They are adding detections, queries, playbooks, and other things related to new threats. They have out-of-the-box integrations, and the coverage of new threats is very fast in Microsoft Sentinel.

It helps us to prioritize threats across our enterprise. Whenever we onboard new customers, after integrating all of their log sources, we actively check for any latest threats being present in their environment. Microsoft Sentinel is natively integrated with all the latest threat intel available, which makes it very valuable for us. It is a SaaS application. So, it is very easy to deploy this solution for new customers to cover their security needs.

In addition to Microsoft Sentinel, we use the EDR solution from Microsoft, which is Defender for Endpoint. We also use Office 365 for email purposes. We have integrated Microsoft Sentinel with these products. In Microsoft Sentinel, there are connectors specifically for this purpose. All the logs from these products are available in this SIEM tool, and it is easy to manage everything from a single pane of glass.

Even though Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native product, by using the connectors, you can easily integrate your on-prem and cloud resources with Microsoft Sentinel. Most of our tools including On-Prem are currently integrated with Microsoft Sentinel.

It is very helpful in automating tasks that otherwise require manual intervention. There are two ways to do automation. One is by using the automation rules, and the other one is through playbooks. Automation rules can be used to automate simple tasks, such as automatically assigning an incident to a particular analyst who should be monitoring the incident. By using automation rules, you can automate various tasks, such as setting the severity of the incident and automatically changing the status of the incident.

Playbooks can be used to automate high-value tasks, such as blocking a malicious IP in the firewall or blocking a particular user in Azure Active Directory. All such tasks can be automated through playbooks.

What is most valuable?

There are lots of things that we have found valuable in this solution. Mainly, this is a cloud-native product. So, there are zero concerns about managing the whole infrastructure on-premises.

Kusto Query Language that powers Microsoft Sentinel is another valuable feature. It is a very fast and powerful language.

The integration with different ticketing tools like Jira, ServiceNow, etc. is also a great plus point.

Besides that, the addition of new features to the product is very fast. The overall customer experience in terms of using their Cloud Security Private Community and being able to provide our feedback and suggestions is good. They take the feature requests on priority, and whenever possible, they add the new features in the next version of the product.

What needs improvement?

Currently, SPAN traffic monitoring is not available in Microsoft Sentinel. I have heard that it is available in Defender for Identity, which is a different product. It would be good if  SPAN traffic monitoring is available in Microsoft Sentinel. It would add a lot of value. It is available in some of the competitor products in the market.

Also Reporting feature is missing in Sentinel. Currently, we have to rely on PowerBI for reporting. It would be great if this feature is added. 

We have opted for the pay-as-you-go model, which doesn't come with free support. If some limited free support was available with the pay-as-you-go model, it would be good. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for about one year.

How are customer service and support?

There is a great community for Microsoft Security, and we mostly rely on this Microsoft Security community and Microsoft Q&A forums for support. Currently, we are using the pay-as-you-go model which doesn't come with free on-call support. It would be good if some free support was available, even if in a limited way, with the pay-as-you-go model. So, we haven't used their on-call support yet, but their support from the community has been great. Because of that, I would rate their support an eight out of ten.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Before Microsoft Sentinel, we were not working with any other cloud-native SIEM solution. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's important to understand the daily data ingestion required for you or your customer (in case you're an MSSP). There are price tiers starting from 100 GB/day ingestion. But if your ingestion varies too much or your ingestion is lower than 100 GB, you may go for the pay-as-you-go (Per GB) Model. In the case of pay-as-you-go, it is about how closely you monitor the ingestion of each GB of data and how effectively you limit that ingestion. If you don't effectively monitor the ingestion, the price may be too much, and you may not be able to afford it. You should be very clear about your data usage. Sentinel provides great granular visibility into data ingestion. Some of the data might not be relevant to security. For example, basic metrics or other log data might not be very useful for monitoring the security of an enterprise. If you do the right things and limit the ingestion of data, its license plan is perfect, and you can save lots of money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered AlienVault, QRadar, and other solutions, but we didn't try those solutions before opting for Microsoft Sentinel because Sentinel was having fantastic reviews and it was our perfect first choice for our Cloud-Native SIEM tool. So, we decided to first try Microsoft Sentinel. If we had not found it satisfactory, we would have tried other solutions. After doing the trial version for 30 days, we were very happy with Microsoft Sentinel. The addition of new features was also very fast. So, we decided to go ahead with the product.

What other advice do I have?

Microsoft Sentinel is an awesome SIEM/SOAR tool for customers with active Cloud presence. Even for on-prem customers, it is providing great flexibility for integrations. 

I would rate Microsoft Sentinel a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Sentinel
May 2024
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Sentinel. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2024.
771,946 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Senior Cloud Infrastructure Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Allows us to configure what we need and monitor multiple workspaces from one portal, and saves countless amounts of money
Pros and Cons
  • "The part that was very unexpected was Sentinel's ability to integrate with Azure Lighthouse, which, as a managed services solution provider, gives us the ability to also manage our customers' Sentinel environments or Sentinel workspaces. It is a big plus for us. With its integration with Lighthouse, we get the ability to monitor multiple workspaces from one portal. A lot of the Microsoft Sentinel workbooks already integrate with that capability, and we save countless amounts of money by simply being able to almost immediately realize multitenant capabilities. That alone is a big plus for us."
  • "Improvement-wise, I would like to see more integration with third-party solutions or old-school antivirus products that have some kind of logging capability. I wouldn't mind having that exposed within Sentinel. We do have situations where certain companies have bought licensing or have made an investment in a product, and that product will be there for the next two or three years. To be able to view information from those legacy products would be great. We can then better leverage the Sentinel solution and its capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

We needed a SIEM solution that could integrate with our Microsoft 365 stack. Being a Microsoft product, that was the first SIEM we looked at, and we haven't looked back. We're still growing with the product over the last couple of years. It is phenomenal.

We're mainly focused on the cloud, but one of our selling points is that you can integrate with on-prem. We push to get the Azure Arc implementation done on top of Sentinel so that we can ingest data from your on-prem environment into Azure Monitor, which is then exposed to Sentinel. That's how we drive that integration, but we mainly have the cloud. We have 80% cloud and 20% on-prem.

How has it helped my organization?

The specific focus on entity behavior is where the gold is within Sentinel. The machine learning and AI capabilities that Microsoft already provides within their toolset are exposed through entity behavior analytics. That really is magic. It is something we don't live without. We have specific key metrics we measure against, and this information is very relevant information to our security approach. That's because not everything is an alert and not everything is a threat. In some cases, the anomalous sign or the anomalous behavior is more important than the actual alert coming up and saying that something has been infected. It could be those sign-ins a week before or a month before into a database that you don't always look into that end up being the actual threat. The entity behavior or the overall feature that Sentinel has is absolute gold for us.

In terms of the visibility into threats, because I set up the product, I'm very much aware of the fact that you see what you configure. That's probably a plus in terms of if you have an appetite only for product one, you ingest and you consume only product one. In our company, we have the full E5 solution, and we tend to have a lot of endpoints or metrics that we can pull into one space. So, each and every sub-component, such as Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Identity, and all the incidents end up within Sentinel. It is one spot from where we can manage everything. That works very well for us. We do have small customers with one or two Microsoft solutions, and even third-party solutions, and we can still integrate or expose those product-specific incidents within Sentinel. For me, that's a big plus.

It definitely helps us to prioritize threats across our enterprise. There is not just a clear classification of severity but also the ability to team certain alerts together. It can chain events and bring you a bigger picture to tell you this is something that you need to take care of or look at because it is tied or chained to multiple events or alerts. That ability is again a big plus.

We probably use all of the Microsoft products. We use Azure Active Directory, and we use Defender for pretty much everything, such as Defender for Identity, Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Cloud, and Defender for Cloud Apps. As a senior cloud infrastructure consultant, it is a part of my role to provide or customize and configure these products on behalf of our customers. We have integrated these products for multiple customers. One of my favorite benefits of Sentinel is its integration with the entire stack. I am yet to find a Microsoft product with which it does not integrate well. All of the Microsoft products are fairly simple to integrate with it. Anyone can set up their own environment. It is only third-party products where you tend to have a bit of technicality to configure, but even that is not a difficult process. It is fairly straightforward and easy to follow.

All these solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection and response across our environment. Microsoft Defender stack does that quite well. One of the reasons why Microsoft personally favors the Microsoft Defender stack is because of the integration with the rest of the products.

I'm a big fan of the layered approach, and it should be in every environment. Microsoft does a good job of providing you with that layered approach without too much of an oversight or a combination of a bunch of products. They work well individually, and they stack together quite well based on the individual requirements or the needs of each.

We use Microsoft Defender for Cloud. Our footprint in the cloud is limited. We only have two or three customers that fully make use of the product, but it is something that I do make use of and will. We do make use of its bi-directional sync capabilities. Especially within the organization, we have a very small team dedicated to assisting in our cloud-managed servers. If one person has to run around and duplicate these efforts in multiple portals, that wouldn't be an effective use of their time. So, the simple ability to just be in one portal or one place and apply the remediation or the management of an item is a big plus for us.

It allows us to ingest data from our ecosystem. I have found only one or two third-party antivirus products that still don't integrate fully with Sentinel, but for my use case within my own environment, as well as the environments we manage through our inSOC offering, there hasn't been any case or instance I know of where we could not find a solution to ingest necessary logs.

I work with security, and I also work with compliance. On the compliance side, the ability to have an audit trail and all your logs in one central location is important. The data is queryable. The KQL language is not a difficult language to get under. So, for me, having it all in one place and being able to query it and slice the data to what I need to provide or expose is a key feature of a SIEM solution.

It enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place. It is very important, and bidirectional ties into this. We have a small team. So, the following capabilities are critical to our managed solution:

  • The ability to hunt from one location or one stream.
  • The ability to integrate with multiple sources and data tables for ingestion.
  • The ability to expose information from those tables from one stream or portal.

We probably would end up having to hire twice as many people to accomplish what we can do simply by integrating Sentinel with the rest of our product stack.

It helps automate routine tasks and the finding of high-value alerts. Being able to automate routine tasks or routine alerts is a big save for us because our analysts are not bogged down trying to just close alerts in a portal. This freeing up of time alone is a big save for us.

It helps eliminate having to look at multiple dashboards and gives us one XDR dashboard. The workbooks already integrate well with Azure Lighthouse. So, right out the bat, we had that multitenant capability from one dashboard or one screen. It is just absolutely brilliant.

It saves time on a daily basis. For example, as a desktop engineer, if I have to go through 20,000 devices, it would take a long time to go one device at a time. To make sure everything is fine, if I have to log in, upload some logs, do some metrics, log off, and go to the next office, it would take us a good part of a year to be able to work on each of these devices. With Sentinel, once your logs are configured and analytics rules are in place, a simple hunting query could accomplish exactly the same in a month.

Previously, four hours of my day were spent on just dashboards here and there, logging into tenants one time to the next, running the same view in the same portals, and looking through, for example, the alerts for the day or the threats for the day. With Sentinel, all that is in one place. I can just log on with my company-provided credentials, do MFA once, and through a portal with multiple links, seamlessly go through entity after entity. My whole exercise of four hours per day is now probably down to half an hour just because everything is in one place.

It has decreased our time to detection and time to respond. In the past, we would have to get someone to physically log onto a portal once there is an alert, and if that alert was in multiple places or multiple customers, it would mean multiple portals and multiple logins. The ability to manage from one screen and run an effective service has alone saved us 60% of our day.

What is most valuable?

I work with the Microsoft 365 products stack quite a bit, and I'm a big fan of the granularity that the products have. For example, the Defender stack is very focused on endpoints, identities, and so forth. With Sentinel, we have the ability to integrate with each of these components and enhance the view that we would have through the Defender portal. It also gives us the ability to customize our queries and workbooks to provide the solution that we have in mind on behalf of our team to our customers.

The part that was very unexpected was Sentinel's ability to integrate with Azure Lighthouse, which, as a managed services solution provider, gives us the ability to also manage our customers' Sentinel environments or Sentinel workspaces. It is a big plus for us. With its integration with Lighthouse, we get the ability to monitor multiple workspaces from one portal. A lot of the Microsoft Sentinel workbooks already integrate with that capability, and we save countless amounts of money by simply being able to almost immediately realize multitenant capabilities. That alone is a big plus for us. Never mind everything else, such as the security benefits, visibility, and the ability to query the data. They all are great, but the ability to see multiple workspaces is a big money saver and a big time saver for our team.

We offer a managed service where we are geared toward a proactive approach rather than a reactive one. Sentinel obviously covers quite a lot of the proactive approach, but if you engage all of your Microsoft products, especially around the Microsoft endpoint stack, you also gain the ability to manage your vulnerability. For us, gaining the ability to realize a full managed service or managed solution in one product stack has been valuable.

Its threat intelligence helps us prepare for potential threats before they hit and take proactive steps. It highlights items that are not really an alert yet. They are items that are running around in the wild that Microsoft or other threat intelligence providers have picked up and would expose to you through Sentinel by running a query. This ability to integrate with those kinds of signals is a big plus. Security is not only about the alerts but also about what else is going on within your environment and what is going on unnoticed. Threat intelligence helps in highlighting that kind of information.

What needs improvement?

Improvement-wise, I would like to see more integration with third-party solutions or old-school antivirus products that have some kind of logging capability. I wouldn't mind having that exposed within Sentinel. We do have situations where certain companies have bought licensing or have made an investment in a product, and that product will be there for the next two or three years. To be able to view information from those legacy products would be great. We can then better leverage the Sentinel solution and its capabilities. It is being enhanced, and it has been growing day to day. It has gone a long way since it started, but I would like to see some more improvement on the integration with those third parties or old products that some companies still have an investment in.

In terms of additional features, one thing that I was hoping for is now being introduced through Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence. I believe that is going to be integrated with Sentinel completely. That's what I've been waiting for.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for close to two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very much stable. We've had one or two issues in the last two years where we had a Microsoft-reported incident, and there were data flow issues, but overall, they are 99.9999% available. We've not had an unrecoverable event across the solution. We've had incidents where users ended up not paying the subscription and the subscription got disabled. It simply required just turning it back on and paying your bill, and you were back up and running. It is quite robust.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It definitely is scalable. It will adapt to your needs. It is really about how much you're willing to spend or what your investment is like. That's basically the only limitation. We've seen customers or deployed to customers with thousands of endpoints across the world, ingesting tons and tons of data. We're talking 200, 300 gigabytes per day, and the product is able to cope with that. It does a great job all the way up there at 200, 300 gigs per day to all the way down to the 10, 20 megs per day. It is really scalable. I am quite a fan of the product.

It is being used at multiple locations and multiple departments, and in our case, multiple companies as well. In terms of user entities, the number is probably close to 40,000 in total across our state. In terms of endpoints, we probably are looking at close to 30,000 endpoints.

How are customer service and support?

I've dealt with Microsoft technical support in the recent past, and I'm overall quite happy with it. Being a big company with big solutions and lots of moving parts, overall, their approach to troubleshooting or fault finding is great. I'm going to give them an eight out of ten. There is always some room for improvement, but they're doing well.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't really use a full SIEM solution at the time. We hovered between dashboards and certain portals. We didn't have a SIEM in place. The first solution we looked at was Sentinel, and we fell in love. It does everything we want and everything we need, and we haven't looked back. We're not even looking at any other solutions right now. For us, it is unnecessary. We're very happy with Sentinel and what Sentinel can do.

How was the initial setup?

It is very straightforward. As a service provider, we'd love to be part of that integration or setup. That's where we make our bread and butter. It is simple enough for the average IT enthusiast to get going, but if you do want to get the best out of your product and if you want to start with some customization, reaching out to a service provider or to a specialist does make sense because they have learned a few things on your behalf. Other than that, it is easy enough to get going on your own. It is a very straightforward configuration, and it does make sense. It is easy to follow.

If you already have a subscription in place, you could be fully operational in less than one business day.

What about the implementation team?

For its deployment, it is a one consultant kind of approach. What is important is that everyone from within the company that is part of the decision-making chain is present as part of it. That's because the main pushback is not the implementation of Sentinel, but the connection to it for the data. So, you would have your firewall guys push back and say, "I don't want to give my data to you." You have your Defender guys saying, "No, I don't want to give my data to you." That's more important in terms of the deployment. One person can easily manage the deployment in terms of the workload.

There is some maintenance. There are some daily, monthly, and weekly tasks that we set out for ourselves. It is normally in the form of query updates, workbook updates, or playbook updates. If some schema update has happened to the underlying data, that needs to be deployed within your environment. Microsoft does a great job of alerting you, if you are within the portal, as to what element needs updating. We have 16 customers in total, and we have one person dedicated to maintenance.

What was our ROI?

We could realize its benefits very early from the time of deployment. Probably within the first three months, we realized that this tool was a lot more than just a simple SIEM, SOAR solution.

It has absolutely saved us money. Of course, there is an upfront investment in Sentinel, which has to be kept in mind, but overall, after two years, the return on investment has been absolutely staggering. In security, you don't always have people available 24/7. You don't have people awake at two o'clock in the morning. By deploying Sentinel, we pretty much have a 24/7 AI that's looking at signals, metrics, and alerts coming in, making decisions on those, and applying automated actions. It is like a 24-hour help desk service from a solution that is completely customizable. We have programmatic access to the likes of playbooks to be able to further enhance that capability. The savings on that alone have been astronomical. If we did not have Sentinel, we would have had to double the amount of staff that we have now. There is about a 40% reduction in costs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I'm not happy with the pricing on the integration with Defender for Endpoint. Defender for Endpoint is log-rich. There is a lot of information coming through, and it is needed information. The price point at which you ingest those logs has made a lot of my customers make the decision to leave that within the Defender stack. The big challenge for me right now is having to query data with the Microsoft Defender API and then querying a similar structure. That's a simple cost decision. If that cost can be brought down, I'm sure more of my clients would be interested in ingesting more of the Defender for Endpoint data, and that alone will obviously drive up ingestion. They are very willing to look at that, but right now, it is at such a price point that it is not cost-effective. Most of them are relying on us to recreate our solution, to integrate with two portals rather than having the data integrator Sentinel. If we can make a way there, it'll be a big one.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have had some assessments where we were asked to do a comparison with the likes of Splunk and other similar tools. What I love about Sentinel is the granularity. You can configure what you need. Whether it just logs from a server or logs from any of the Microsoft solutions, you have the ability to limit data depending on your use or your need. You can couple that with the ability to archive data, as well as retain data, on a set schedule.

Its cost is comparable to the other products that we've had, but we get much more control. If you have a large appetite for security, you can ingest a lot of information right down to a server event type of log. That obviously would be costly, but for ingesting from the Microsoft stack itself, a lot of the key logs are free to use. So, you could get up and running for a very small amount per month or very small investment demand, and then grow your appetite over time, whereas with some of the other solutions, I believe you buy a commitment. So, you are in it for a certain price from the beginning. Whether you consume that, whether you have an appetite for that, or whether there are actual people in your company who can make use of that tool is separate from that commitment. That commitment is upfront, whereas Sentinel is much more granular. You have much more control, and you can grow into a fully-fledged product. You don't need to switch everything on from day one and then run and see what it will cost. You can grow based on your needs, appetite, and budget until you find that sweet spot between what you ingest and what you can afford.

What other advice do I have?

Having worked with the product and knowing the capabilities of the product, it is worth investing in a product that Microsoft has spent a great deal on integrating with the rest of its product stack. Now, we can argue how far along the third-party vendors are in terms of integration with the rest of the security landscape, but if you're a Microsoft house, there is literally no better solution right now in terms of integration and highlighting the best out of your investment. Of course, every use case is different, but I'm happy to look at any challenge in terms of what a third-party solution can bring and what they reckon Sentinel can't.

My advice to others evaluating the solution is that Sentinel isn't a silver bullet solution. It is not something you deploy and set up, and it is going to work 100% well and you're going to be happy. There is going to be some upfront investment. You're going to have to spend some time getting the product in place and getting it configured to your needs. To showcase in a PoC environment is quick and easy, but to realize real-world day-to-day benefits from this product, there is going to be some investment. Keep that in mind. If you're willing to spend that time upfront within the first couple of days or a couple of weeks of you deploying the solution, you'll immediately realize the benefit, but you have to have that mindset. It is not going to just be next, next, next, where it is deployed, and congratulations, you are now secure. That's never going to be the case, but after spending a bit of time on this product, there is nothing it can't do.

I want to give it a 10 out of 10 just because I'm very passionate about this product. I've seen it grow from a very basic SIEM solution to a fully-fledged SIEM, SOAR solution. Some of the capabilities that are built in right now make my day so much easier. Overall, it is a brilliant product, and I love what Microsoft is doing to it. It is a great product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Sr. Security Engineer at Ebryx
Consultant
Because it is a cloud-based deployment, we don't need to worry about hardware infrastructure
Pros and Cons
  • "Azure Application Gateway makes things a lot easier. You can create dashboards, alert rules, hunting and custom queries, and functions with it."
  • "There are certain delays. For example, if an alert has been rated on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, it might take up to an hour for that alert to reach Sentinel. This should ideally take no more than one or two seconds."

What is our primary use case?

We work as a managed security services provider (MSSP). We have different clients who have their own security team. 

One company that I worked for recently had a security team of three people, then they hired us for 24/7 analysis and monitoring. For that, I solely worked on building this product, then there are the eight to nine people who do 24/7 monitoring and analysis.

Sentinel is a full-fledged SIEM and SOAR solution. It is made to enhance your security posture and entirely centered around enhancing security. Every feature that is built into Azure Sentinel is for enhancing security posture.

How has it helped my organization?

It has increased our security posture a lot because there are a lot of services natively integrated to Azure Sentinel from Microsoft, e.g., Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Defender for Office 365. 

From an analyst's point of view, we have created a lot of automation. This has affected the productivity of analysts because we have automated a lot of tasks that we used to do manually. From an end user's perspective, they don't even notice most of the time because most of our end users are mostly non-technical. They don't feel the difference. It is all about the security and operations teams who have felt the difference after moving from LogRhythm to Azure Sentinel.

What is most valuable?

It is cloud-based, so there isn't an accessibility issue. You don't have to worry about dialing a VPN to access it. Azure does require that for an on-prem solution that the security part is entirely on Microsoft's and Azure's sign-in and login processes.

Because it is a cloud-based deployment, we don't need to worry about hardware infrastructure. That is taken care of by Microsoft.

Azure Application Gateway makes things a lot easier. You can create dashboards, alert rules, hunting and custom queries, and functions with it.

Its integration capabilities are great. We have integrated everything from on-prem to the cloud.

What needs improvement?

There are certain delays. For example, if an alert has been rated on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, it might take up to an hour for that alert to reach Sentinel. This should ideally take no more than one or two seconds.

There are a couple of delays with the service-to-service integration with Azure Sentinel as well as the tracking point.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for 14 to 15 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Azure Sentinel is pretty stable. Sometimes, the agents installed on endpoints go down for a bit. Also, we have faced a lot of issues with its correctors in particular. However, the platform is highly stable, and there have been no issues with that.

For operations, one to two people are actively using the solution. For analysis, there are eight to 10 people who are actively using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sentinel is scalable. If you want, you can hook up a lower balance security corrector. So, there are no issues with scalability.

We have coverage for around 60% to 70% of our environment. While this is not an ideal state, it has the capability to go to an ideal state, if needed.

How are customer service and support?

I have worked with Azure Sentinel for four clients. With only one of those clients, the support was great. For the last three clients, there were a lot of delays. For example, the issues that could have been resolved within one or two hours did not get resolved for a month or two. So, it depends on your support plan. It depends on the networking connections that you have with Microsoft. If you are on your own with a lower priority plan, it will take a lot of time to resolve minor issues. Therefore, Microsoft support is not that great. They are highly understaffed. I would rate them as six or seven out of 10.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a full-fledged SIEM, LogRhythm, already working, but we wanted to migrate towards something that was cloud-based and more inclusive of all technologies. So, we shifted to Azure Sentinel and migrated all our log sources onto Azure Sentinel. We also added a lot of log sources besides those that were reporting to LogRhythm.

We have used a lot of SIEMs. We have used Wazuh, QRadar, Rapid7's SIEM, EventLog Analyzer (ELA), and Splunk. We used Wazuh with ELK Stack, then we shifted to Azure Sentinel because of client requirements.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really straightforward because I had already worked with FireEye Security Orchestrator, so the automation parts were not that difficult. There were a couple of things that got me confused, but it was pretty straightforward overall.

Initially, the deployment took seven and a half months.

What about the implementation team?

We used a lot of forums. We used Microsoft support and online help. We used a lot of things to get everything into one picture. There is plenty of help available online for any log sources that you want to move to Azure Sentinel.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have worked with a lot of SIEMs. We are using Sentinel three to four times more than other SIEMs that we have used. Azure Sentinel's only limitation is its price point. Sentinel costs a lot if your ingestion goes up to a certain point.

Initially, you should create cost alerts in the cost management of Azure. With one of my clients, we deployed the solution. We estimated that the ingestion would be up to this particular mark, but that ingestion somehow got way beyond that. Within a month to a month and a half, they got charged 35,000 CAD, which was a huge turn off for us. So, at the very beginning, do your cost estimation, then apply a cost alert in the cost management of Azure. You will then get notified if anything goes out of bounds or unexpected happens. After that, start building your entire security operation center on Sentinel.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The SOAR capabilities of Azure Sentinel are great. FireEye Security Orchestrator looks like an infant in front of Azure Sentinel's SOAR capabilities, which is great.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is great. As far as the product itself is concerned, not the pricing, I would rate it as nine out of 10. Including pricing, I would rate the product as five to six out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Security Engineer at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
The solution prioritizes threats, integrates easily with other Microsoft products, and can be deployed within half an hour
Pros and Cons
  • "We are able to deploy within half an hour and we only require one person to complete the implementation."
  • "The playbook development environment is not as rich as it should be. There are multiple occasions when we face problems while creating the playbook."

What is our primary use case?

Our organization is an SSP, a service provider for manual threat detection and hunting. We use Microsoft Sentinel for threat detection. We have a few clients using Microsoft Sentinel, and we provide SOAR services to them.

How has it helped my organization?

Having the ability to respond holistically from one place with Microsoft Sentinel is very useful. We don't need to log into different security consoles. It is less hectic and reduces our time to respond and resolve the issue.

The solution has helped improve our organization by detecting and hunting threats. The solution also correlates alerts from other solutions, such as Defender, Office 365, and other Endpoint solutions. Microsoft Sentinel has automated responses that help us reduce the number of analysts required for example, from ten to six because most of the tasks are done automatically.

The solution's automation of routine tasks helps us automate the finding of high-value alerts by reducing the manual work from 30 minutes down to three. 90 percent of the work is done by Sentinel which runs the playbook and provides us with all the data required to make a decision quickly.

The solution has helped eliminate the need to use multiple dashboards by incorporating SIEM plus SOAR into one convenient location. We don't need to log into each of the solutions individually. We can directly correlate the alerts and incidents from our Sentinel console. Sentinel reduces our time because we don't need to check multiple tabs for multiple solutions. All the information required to investigate and make a decision can be found in the solution's panel view.

We don't have any out-of-the-box threat intelligence from Microsoft, but with the integration of some open-source solutions and premium sources, Microsoft Sentinel helps us take proactive steps before threats enter our environment.

We have custom rules created to check IPs or domains for potential threats. Whenever an IP or domain is visible in our logs, the solution will automatically correlate with the threat intelligence feed and create an alert. If we skip the correlation portion and an alert has been created for a malicious IP or a malicious domain, the solution can check the reputation in different reputation sources such as a virus portal, or threat recorded future, and it will auto-populate the information for the analyst which helps us prepare for potential threats.

The solution has definitely saved us 90 percent of our time. Microsoft Sentinel reduces our time to detect, respond, and resolve incidents. Most of the incidents are detected automatically and we just need the data to make a decision. We don't have to go look for different clues or reputations over the internet or use other solutions.

Microsoft Sentinel has saved us from incurring costs related to a breach by protecting us.

The solution detects incidents and alerts us in real-time based on custom rules that we create or the out-of-the-box rules that are part of Sentinel. The information that auto-populates when we run the playbook reduces our response time in most cases because all the relevant data required for our investigation is provided on the incident details page.

What is most valuable?

Logic apps, playbooks, and dashboarding are all valuable features of this solution. 

Microsoft Sentinel prioritizes threats across our organization because the solution allows us to correlate using multiple solutions including Defender.

Integrating Microsoft solutions with each other is very easy. The integrated solutions work together to deliver coordinated detection and response in our environment.

The solution enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place. We can write AQL queries and also create rules to detect the alerts. In the event that we don't have rules, we can proactively hunt through KQL queries.

The workbook based on KQL queries, which is the query language is very extensive compared to other solutions such as QRada and Splunk.

The solution requires no in-house maintenance because it is all handled by Microsoft. We only need to monitor the updates.

What needs improvement?

The playbook development environment is not as rich as it should be. There are multiple occasions when we face problems while creating the playbook. 

The cost is not straightforward and would benefit from a single charge model. 

The UI is not impressive, we need to train our analysts to conduct the investigation. Unlike IBM QRadar which has a different UI for searching, there is no UI where we can conduct searches with Sentinel. With Sentinel, all our searches require a KQL query, and if our analysts are not familiar with KQL queries, we have to train them. 

The data ingestion can use improvement. There are a few scenarios where we have experienced a delay in data ingestion.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for one and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sentinel is quite stable because it's a SaaS-based offering, so we don't have to worry about our stability. The solution is available 99.99999 percent of the time. The only time we have an issue is if there is a problem with the Azure portal. Microsoft handles the stability well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can scale the solution as much as we want, and with a few clicks, we can increase or decrease capacity.

We currently have four engineering teams that handle the deployments and use case development as well as a SOAR team that consists of ten technical people who all use the solution.

How are customer service and support?

Microsoft Sentinel support is really good. They respond quickly to our requests and they try to resolve our issues as soon as possible. From my experience, Microsoft has the best support.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

For SIEM, we previously used IBM QRadar and Splunk Enterprise Security. For SOAR, We have used IBM Resilient, Palo Alto XSOAR, and D3 SOAR, which is a new tool. D3 SOAR is a startup based in Canada and we used it for POC, but we have not used it in production. Sentinel is a SaaS-based solution. There is less administration required and with a few clicks, we can deploy Microsoft Sentinel, whereas, with other solutions, we have to build everything from scratch. There are other SaaS-based solutions but Sentinel is one of the most popular and because a lot of organizations are already using Microsoft and Azure products, Sentinel is the best compatible solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for Sentinel is straightforward and the best I have worked with to date. We are able to deploy within half an hour and we only require one person to complete the implementation. 

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was completed in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

From a cost perspective, there are some additional charges in addition to the licensing. Initially, the cost appears expensive, but over time, the solution justifies that cost. The cost is not straightforward, but instead really complex. We are charged for data ingestion as well as data leaving the environment. We are also charged for running playbooks and for logic apps. Compared with SIEM solutions, whose cost is simply based on EPS or data storage, Microsoft Sentinel's cost is complex. Over time we can predict what the cost of using the solution will be. Other standalone SOAR tools have fixed licensing and their cost is simple. We don't need to pay for each command we run or each integration we have or each automation we do. With Microsoft Sentinel, there is a cost associated with each of the connectors that we use in our playbook. Every time we run that playbook, there will be charges, but the charges are minimal unless we run the playbook repeatedly, then over time the cost shoots up.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We occasionally test POC and we are still evaluating other solutions.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution nine out of ten.

My impression of the visibility into threats that Microsoft Sentinel provides is that the solution is not perfect, but since it is part of Microsoft Workspace, Microsoft already provides so many services to clients, and Microsoft Sentinel is one of them. If we are already using Azure and other services from Microsoft, then Sentinel is easy to implement and use compared to other similar solutions. If I was not using Microsoft Solutions, then I can use other solutions, such as IBM QRadar or Splunk, and when it comes to XSOAR, Palo Alto XSOAR is a much better solution.

We use multiple solutions from Microsoft within our organization including Defender and Endpoint. We have integrated Endpoint with Defender and Microsoft Security Center to receive alerts.

Microsoft Sentinel has out-of-the-box support for up to 90 percent of solutions where we can find a connector to ingest the data directly, but for the remaining 10 percent, we need to write custom tables.

The ability to ingest data is the backbone of our security. If we don't ingest the data, we won't be able to perform anything at all in SIEM. SIEM is based on data ingestion. Once the data is ingested, then on top of that data, we can monitor and detect or hunt, whatever we want. We can create a reporting dashboard, but the data needs to be there.

Microsoft Sentinel's UEBA is quite capable. For SIEM, Splunk and IBM QRadar are slightly better than Sentinel, but Sentinel is catching up fast. The solution has only been in the market for two or three years and has already captured a large share with increasing popularity. For SOAR, Palo Alto XSOAR is much better than Microsoft Sentinel because Sentinel is a SIEM plus SOAR solution whereas Palo Alto XSOAR is a SOAR-focused solution only. What Microsoft Sentinel provides is one solution for SIEM plus SOAR, where we can detect and also respond in one place.

Currently, we have one environment based in a US data center, but we have the ability for multiple solutions in multiple regions within Azure, and we can integrate them using a master and slave configuration that will allow us to run all the queries from the master console.

Using a best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor suite is fine if we have a SIEM solution, a SOAR solution, or an Endpoint detection solution until a time when they are no longer compatible with each other and we can not integrate them. If we can not integrate the solutions it becomes difficult for our teams to log into and monitor multiple solutions separately.

I definitely recommend Microsoft Sentinel, but I suggest basing the decision on proof of concept by gathering the requirements, security solutions, and additional log source devices an organization has before using the solution. There are multiple solutions available that may be more suitable in some cases.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: MSP
PeerSpot user
Cyber Security Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It helps us automate routine tasks and findings of high-value alerts from a detection perspective
Pros and Cons
  • "The native integration of the Microsoft security solution has been essential because it helps reduce some false positives, especially with some of the impossible travel rules that may be configured in Microsoft 365. For some organizations, that might be benign because they're using VPNs, etc."
  • "Sentinel could improve its ticketing and management. A few customers I have worked with liked to take the data created in Sentinel. You can make some basic efforts around that, but the customers wanted to push it to a third-party system so they could set up a proper ticketing management system, like ServiceNow, Jira, etc."

What is our primary use case?

We're a managed security service provider using Sentinel for its primary SIEM capability. Our company looks after multiple Sentinel instances for a variety of customers. However, we don't do anything through Lighthouse because every customer we monitor wants everything in their own tenant space. 

The company ensures suitable detections are created and loaded into the Sentinel side, and we provide them with KQL to help them with some in-house use cases with a security focus. We also made some dashboards so they could visualize their data and what their issues would look like. We adopt different deployment models depending on the customer. It's usually a public cloud or hybrid in some instances.

We work with a few Microsoft products, but it's mostly the Defender for Cloud Suite, including Defender for Endpoint and Defender for Cloud. It's undergone a rebrand from the Cloud Application Security side. We also use Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Cloud Security, and several other Azure and Office 365 applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Sentinel made it easier to put everything into one place instead of checking multiple tools, especially when working with Microsoft shops. They focus a lot of the efforts on the Sentinel side, so the data is being correctly pushed across and easily integrated with third-party capabilities. Palo Alto and Cisco feeds can work almost side by side with the native Microsoft feeds seamlessly.

Sentinel helps us automate routine tasks and findings of high-value alerts from a detection perspective. Still, I haven't made much use of the SOAR capabilities with the Logic Apps side of things because of the cost associated with them, especially at volume from an enterprise environment. It was felt that using those features might push some of the usage costs up a bit. We thought it was more of a nice-to-have than something essential for the core services we wanted to leverage. We avoided using that again, but it was more of a cost issue than anything. 

Instead of having to look at dashboards from multiple parties, we have one place to go to find all the information we want to know. This consolidation has simplified our security operations. 

Usually, it isn't good to have all your eggs in one basket. However, with Azure replicating across the data center, it's better to have all your eggs in one basket to effectively leverage the raw data that would typically be going into multiple other tools. Having everything in one place allows a nice, clear, concise view if you want to see all your network data, which you can do easily with Sentinel.

Some of the UEBA features helped us identify abnormal behaviors and challenge users to ensure it's undertaking particular activities. You can isolate accounts that may have been compromised a bit quicker.

Sentinel reduced implementation time and sped up our response. I can't give a precise figure for how much time we've saved. Onboarding an Azure feed to a third-party SIEM system might take a couple of days or weeks to get the relevant accounts, etc., in place. Onboarding is a matter of minutes with Sentinel if it's a Microsoft feed. Having everything in one place makes our response a little quicker and easier. The KQL can be easily transferred to support the threat-hunting side because all the information is just there.

Our threat visibility also improved. Sentinel changed a lot since I started using it. It's like a whole new product, especially with the tighter integrations on the Defender for Cloud. For customers heavily reliant on Microsoft and Azure, it's much cleaner and more accessible than logging in to multiple tools. 

I think some of the two-way integrations started to come through for the Defender for Cloud suite as well, so whenever you closed off notifications and threats, et cetera, that were being flagged up in Sentinel, it replicated that information further back to the source products as well, which I thought was a very nifty feature.

It helps us prioritize threats, especially with the way that the various signatures and alerts are deployed. You can flag priority values, and we leveraged Sentinel's capabilities to dynamically read values coming through from other threat vendors. We could assign similar alerts and incidents being created off the back of that. It was good at enabling that customizability.

The ability to prioritize threats is crucial because every business wants to treat threats differently. One organization might want to prioritize specific threats or signatures more than another customer based on how they've structured and layered their defense. It's useful from that perspective.

The native integration of the Microsoft Security solution has been essential because it helps reduce some false positives, especially with some of the impossible travel rules that may be configured in Microsoft 365. For some organizations, that might be benign because they use VPNs, etc.

What is most valuable?

Sentinel lets you ingest data from your entire ecosystem. When I started using it, there wasn't a third-party ingestion capability. We could get around that using Logstash. It was straightforward. The integration with the event hub side allowed us to bring in some stuff from other places and export some logs from Sentinel into Azure Data Explorer when we had legal requirements to retain logs longer. 

I've used  UEBA and the threat intel, which are about what I expect from those sorts of products, especially the threat intel. I like how the UEBA natively links to some Active Directory servers. It's excellent. Integration with the broader Microsoft infrastructure is painless if your account has the correct permissions. It was just ticking a box. It's clear from the connector screen what you need to do to integrate it.

The integration of all these solutions helped because they all feed into the same place. We can customize and monitor some of the alert data from these various products to create other derivative detections. It's like an alert for our alerts.  

For example, we could look at a particular user IP or similar entity attribute and set an alert if they've met specific conditions. If there are more than a given number of alerts from different products, we treat that as a higher priority. It's beneficial for that.

What needs improvement?

Sentinel could improve its ticketing and management. A few customers I have worked with liked to take the data created in Sentinel. You can make some basic efforts around that, but the customers wanted to push it to a third-party system so they could set up a proper ticketing management system, like ServiceNow, Jira, etc.  

It would be helpful for incident responders to be able to assign tickets and have permissions assigned to them. Once you have escalated tickets from Level 1 to Level 2, there may be areas where you want to control who has access to the raw Sentinel tool. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using Sentinel in July of last year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sentinel's stability is great. We only had one outage for a couple of hours, but that was a global Azure issue. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think I've not had to worry too much about the scaling. It seems to be able to handle whatever has been thrown at it. I assume that's part of the SaaS piece that Sentinel falls under. Microsoft will worry about what's happening behind the scenes and spin up whatever resources are needed to make sure it can do what it needs to do.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Microsoft support a ten out of ten. We had a few issues with certain filters working with some connectors. There were problems with certain bits of data being truncated and potentially lost. I spoke to some people from the Israeli team. They responded quickly and tried to be as helpful as they could. 

Support made a solid effort to understand the problem and resolve it. They maintained regular communications and provided reassurance that they were sorting out the problems.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used Elasticsearch, Kibana, and Splunk. We switched to Sentinel because of the ease of use and integration. Microsoft infrastructure forms the backbone of our environment. We use Azure for hosting, Active Directory for user accounts, and Office 365 for communications and data storage. 

Sentinel made a lot of sense, especially given our difficulties getting our data onboarded into the Elasticsearch stack. We saw similar challenges with Splunk. Sentinel works natively with Microsoft, but we've still had some pain points with some of the data sources and feeds. I think that's just more about how the data has been structured, and I believe some of those issues have been rectified since they've been flagged with Microsoft support.

At the same time, Sentinel is a little more costly than Splunk and the Elasticsearch stack. However, it's easier to manage Sentinel and get it up and running. That's where a cost-benefit analysis comes in. You're paying more because it's easier to integrate with your environment than some of the other providers, but I'd say it is a little on the costly side.

How was the initial setup?

I've spun up my instance of Sentinel for development purposes at home, and it was quick and easy to get through. The documentation was thorough. From the Azure portal, you click Sentinel to ensure all the prerequisites and dependencies are up and running. On the connector side, it's just a matter of onboarding the data. It's straightforward as long as you have the correct permissions in place.

Deployment requires two or three people at most. You probably don't even need that many. Two of the three were just shadowing to get experience, so they could run with their deployments.

It doesn't require much maintenance. Microsoft does a great job of building a SaaS solution. Any problems in the region where Sentinel is hosted are visible on the Azure portal. Once the initial configuration and data sources are deployed, it takes minimal upkeep.

What about the implementation team?

The deployment was done in-house.

What was our ROI?

It's hard to say whether Sentinel saved us money because you only know the cost of a breach after the fact. We'll probably spend more on Sentinel than other products, but hopefully, we'll see a return by identifying and remediating threats before they've become an actual cost for our clients. 

Sentinel has made it a little easier to get the initial Level 1 analysts onboarded because they don't need to know how to use, say, Palo Alto's Panorama. They can focus their efforts on one query language that enables them to go across multiple different vendors, products, and tools. It's quicker for a Level 1 analyst to get up to speed and become useful if they don't need to learn five or six different ways to query various technologies.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Sentinel's pricing is on the higher side, but you can get a discount if you can predict your usage. You have to pay ingestion and storage fees. There are also fees for Logic Apps and particular features. It seems heavily focused on microtransactions, but they may be slightly optional. By contrast, Splunk requires no additional fee for their equivalent of Logic. You have a little more flexibility, but Sentinel's costs add up. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Sentinel an eight out of ten. My only issue is the cost. I would recommend Sentinel, but it depends on what you want to get from your investment. I've seen Sentinel deployed in everything from nonprofits to global enterprises. With multiple vendors, you're more at risk of causing analyst fatigue.

Microsoft has done a great job of integrating everything into one place. The setup and configuration of Azure's general hosting environments reduce the risk. Most services are on the cloud, so Sentinel makes it much quicker and easier to get up and running. You don't need to worry about training and getting multiple certifications to have an effective SOC.

I recommend sticking with Sentinel and putting in as many data sources as you can afford. Put it through its paces based on a defense-in-depth model. Take advantage of all the information Microsoft and others have made available in places like GitHub, where there is a vast repository of valuable detections that can be tweaked depending on your environment.

It makes it a lot easier to get started. Many people approaching security with a blank canvas aren't sure where to go. There are a lot of valuable resources and information available.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: MSSP
PeerSpot user
Information Security Lead at Enerjisa Üretim
Real User
Its rule sets work perfectly with our cloud resources. They need to integrate better with other security vendors.
Pros and Cons
  • "It is always correlating to IOCs for normal attacks, using Azure-related resources. For example, if any illegitimate IP starts unusual activity on our Azure firewall, then it automatically generates an alarm for us."
  • "They need to work with other security vendors. For example, we replaced our email gateway with Symantec, but we couldn't collect these logs with Azure Sentinel. Instead of collecting these logs with Azure Sentinel, we are collecting them on Qradar. We couldn't do it with Sentinel, which is a problem for us."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Microsoft Office 365 E5 license right now, which means we are using Windows Defender ATP because of its cloud application security platform. We also have Exchange Online Protection. The main thing is we are replacing all of our on-prem solutions with Microsoft Office 365 and Azure solutions.

Our use case is for Azure Active Directory, Advanced Threat Protection, Windows Defender ATP, Microsoft cloud applications, Security as a Platform, Azure Firewall, and Azure Front Door. All of the Azure Front Doors logs are coming to Azure Sentinel and correlating. However, for our correlation rules that exist on the QRadar, we are still implementing these rules in Azure Sentinel because we have more than 300 different correlation rules that exist from the QRadar.  

How has it helped my organization?

It is always correlating to IOCs for normal attacks, using Azure-related resources. For example, if any illegitimate IP starts unusual activity on our Azure firewall, then it automatically generates an alarm for us. 

We do not get so many attacks, but if any attacks occur on our Azure Firewall site, then we are able to understand where the attack came from. Sentinel lets us know who introduced it.

What is most valuable?

It is perfect for Azure-native solutions. With just one click, integrations are complete. It also works great with some software platforms, such as Cloudflare and vScaler. 

The rule sets of Azure Sentinel work perfectly with our cloud resources. They have 200 to 300 rule sets, which is perfect for cloud resources.

What needs improvement?

They need to work with other security vendors. For example, we replaced our email gateway with Symantec, but we couldn't collect these logs with Azure Sentinel. Instead of collecting these logs with Azure Sentinel, we are collecting them on Qradar. We couldn't do it with Sentinel, which is a problem for us.

It is difficult right now because there are not so many consultants who exist for Azure Sentinel, like there are for QRadar. We are not able to find a Sentinel consultant right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

In Turkey, we are the biggest energy generation company for the public sector. We head more than 20 power plants right now and have more than 1,000 people working in the energy sector. Two years ago, we started to work with Microsoft to shift our infrastructure and workloads to the Azure and Office 365 platforms. So, our story starts two years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. We have had one or two issues, but those are related to QRadar. We are creating and pushing logs all the time to QRadar, because the Microsoft security API does not send these logs to QRadar.

One resource is enough for day-to-day maintenance of our environment, which has 1,000 clients and 200 or 300 servers. However, our servers are not integrated with Azure Sentinel, because most of our servers are still on-prem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For Azure- and Office 365-related products, it is perfectly fine. It is scalable. However, if you want to integrate your on-prem sources with Azure Sentinel, then Azure will need to improve the solution. 

How are customer service and support?

We are using Microsoft support for other Microsoft-related issues. They have been okay. They always respond to our issues on time. They know what to do. They solve our issues quickly, finding solutions for our problems.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Right now, we are using QRadar for on-prem devices. On the other hand, we have Azure Sentinel for log collecting in the cloud products. All of the Microsoft components give logs to Azure Sentinel, but all of the on-premises resources are being collected on IBM QRadar. So, Sentinel has been helping us because this is causing complications for us. While it is possible to collect logs from QRadar to Sentinel to QRadar, it is difficult to do. So, we are collecting incidents from our QRadar, then our associates monitor Azure Sentinel-related incidents from QRadar.

We have been starting to use Azure Kubernetes Service. However, our developers are afraid of shifting our production environment to the Azure Kubernetes so this whole process can continue. At the end of the day, our main goal is still completely replacing our on-premises sources with serverless architecture. 

We also started to use Azure Firewall and Azure Front Door as our web application firewall solutions. So, we are still replacing our on-prem sources. Azure Sentinel works perfectly in this case because we are using Microsoft resources. We have replaced half of our on-premises with Azure Firewalls. The other half exists in our physical data centers in Istanbul.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is getting more complex since we are using two different solutions: One is located on-prem and the other one is Azure Sentinel. This means Azure Sentinel needs to inspect both SIEMs and correlate them. This increased our environment's complexity. So, our end goal is to have one SIEM solution and eliminate QRadar.

The initial setup process takes only one or two weeks. For the Azure-related and Office 365-related log sources, they were enabled for Azure Sentinel using drag and drop, which was easy. However, if you need to get some logs from Azure Sentinel to your on-prem or integrate your on-prem resources with Azure Sentinel, then it gets messy. 

This is still an ongoing process. We are still trying to improve our Azure Sentinel environment right now, but the initial process was so easy.

We had two three guys on our security team do the initial setup, which took one or two weeks. 

What was our ROI?

We are not seeing cost savings right now, because using Azure Sentinel tools has increased our costs.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing are okay. On the E5 license, many components exist for this license, e.g., Azure Sentinel and Azure AD.

I am just paying for the log space with Azure Sentinel. It costs us about $2,000 a month. Most of the logs are free. We are only paying money for Azure Firewall logs because email logs or Azure AD logs are free to use for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In Turkey, Microsoft is more powerful than other vendors. There are not so many partners who exist for AWS or G Cloud. This is the reason why we have been proceeding with Microsoft.

QRadar rules are easier to create than on the Azure Sentinel. It is possible to create rules with Sentinel, but it is very difficult.

What other advice do I have?

There have been no negative effects on our end users.

I would rate Azure Sentinel as seven out of 10.

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Subject Matter Expert - Threat Management at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Helps prioritize threats and decreases time to detect and time to respond.
Pros and Cons
  • "Sentinel pricing is good"
  • "The reporting could be more structured."

What is our primary use case?

Sentinel is used to cover cloud-native customers for security monitoring. It includes UEBA, threat intelligence, behavioral analytics, etcetera. We also use it to automate incidents into tickets.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution improved our organization in a few ways. The key one is the cloud layer of integrations. When we were on-premises with SAP monitoring we faced a few issues in the integration of cloud infrastructure logs. Once we moved into the Sentinel Cloud the integration was pretty easy. Monitoring the cloud infrastructure and their respective applications and their cloud cloud-native products became pretty easy in terms of integration with monitored areas.

Also, the cost of infrastructure is no longer an issue.

The detection layer has also been improved with analytics. Plus, it keeps on getting better in Sentinel. Since 2020, I've seen Sentinel has made a lot more changes in feature improvements and performance. They’re fine-tuning detection and analysis layers.

What is most valuable?

The analytics rules are excellent. It's pretty easy to create them. It’s all about SQL queries that we need to deploy at the back end.

The search of the logs is easy. Before, there were no archival logs. Now, in recent versions, it’s easy to bring back the logs from the archives. We can research and query the archive of logs very easily.

The visibility is great. It gives good alerts. The way an analyst can go and drill down into more details is simple, The ability to threat hunt has been useful.

Sentinel helps us prioritize threats across the enterprise. With it, we have a single pane for monitoring security logs. As an MSP, they just ingest all the logs into the system, and this actually leads to a hierarchy for our integrations. It’s easy to review the logs for auditing purposes.

We use more than one Microsoft security product. Other team members use Intune, Microsoft CASB, and Microsoft Defender as well. It’s easy to integrate everything. You just need to enable the connector in the back end. It takes one minute. These solutions work natively together to deliver coordinated detection responses across our environment. We just integrated the Microsoft Defender logs into Sentinel. It already has the prebuilt use cases in Sentinel, including threat-hunting playbooks, and automation playbooks. It's pretty easy and ready to use out of the box.

Sentinel enables us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. That's really the high point for us. The coverage needs to be expanded. The threat landscape is getting wider and wider and so we need to monitor each and every ecosystem in our customer organization's endpoints, including the endpoints or applications for systems or on the servers or network level. It needs to be integrated on all levels, whether it’s on-premises or cloud. It is really important to have a single point of security monitoring, to have everything coordinated.

Sentinel enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place. For that analyst team, the Sentinel page is like a single point of investigation layer for them. Whenever an incident is created, they can just come in and get deeper into a particular investigation incident. They are able to get more information, figure out the indicators, and make recommendations to customers or internal teams to help them take action.

Given its built-in UEBA and threat intelligence capabilities, the comprehensiveness of Sentinel's security protection is really nice. The UEBA can be integrated with only the AD logs. And, since they need to get integrated with the networks and the VPN layers as well, it’s useful to have comprehensive security. It can be integrated into other Microsoft security products as well.

Sentinel pricing is good. The customer doesn't want to worry about the enterprise infrastructure cost in the system. They worry about the enterprise cost and the management, and operation, CAPEX, et cetera. However, in general, the customer simply needs to worry only about the usage, for example, how much data is getting sent into the system. We can still refine the data ingestion layer as well and decide what needs to be monitored and whatnot. That way, we can pay only for what we are monitoring.

Our Microsoft security solution helps automate routine tasks and help automate the finding of high-value alerts. By leveraging Sentinel's automation playbook, we have automated the integrations and triage as well. This has simplified the initial investigation triage, to the point where we do not need to do any initial investigations. It will directly go on into layer two or it directly goes to the customer status.

Our Microsoft security solution helped eliminate having to look at multiple dashboards and gave us one XDR dashboard. The dashboard is pretty cool. We now have a single pane of glass. A lot of customization needs to be done, however, there are predefined dashboards and a content hub. We still leverage those dashboards to get the single view into multiple days, including the log volumes or types of security monitoring or in the operation monitoring system.

Sentinel saves us time. Even just the deployment, it only takes ten minutes for the could. When you have on-premises tasks that are manual, it can take hours or a day to deploy the entire setup. Integrating the log sources used also takes time. By enabling out-of-the-box tools, we can save a lot of time here and there. Also, once you leverage automation, by simply leveraging logic apps in a local kind of environment, you don’t need to know much coding. You just need knowledge of logic at the back end.

The solution has saved us money. While I’m not sure of the exact commercial price, it’s likely saved about 20% to 30%.

The solution decreased our time to detect and your time to respond. For time to detect, by leveraging analytic rules, we’ve been able to cut down on time. Everything is happening within minutes. We can begin remediation quickly instead of in hours.

What needs improvement?

The UEBA part needs improvement. They need to bring other log sources to UEBA. 

The reporting could be more structured. There are no reporting modules or anything. It's only the dashboard. Therefore, when a customer requests a report, you need to manually pull the dashboard and send it to the customer for the reporting. However, if there was a report or template there, it would be easier to schedule and send the weekly reports or monthly executive reports.

The log ingestion could be improved on the connector layer.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since November of 2020. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. We had some issues with an automation component. There might have been outages on the back end, however, it's mostly fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 25 people using the solution in our organization, including analysts. 

You only need to pay for what you are ingesting and monitoring. It scales well. There are no issues with it. 

How are customer service and support?

Support is okay. We don't have many issues on the platform layers. We might reach out to support for integration questions. Largely, the engineering team would handle support cases. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We do use other solutions. We added this solution as we needed to support cloud-native customers. 

We also use LogRhythm among other solutions.

Each solution has its own pros and cons. There isn't a direct contrast to each. Some have better reporting. However, Sentinel has very good analytical rules and automation. LogRhythm, however, requires more backend work. 

How was the initial setup?

The deployment of the Microsoft bundle is pretty easy. It's fast and saves time. In ten minutes, we can deploy Sentinel to the customer and start monitoring data with the existing rules. You'll have dashboards in thirty minutes. One person can do the deployment. To manage the solution, one can manage the injections, and one can manage the detection layers.

The solution does not require any maintenance. You just have to make sure it's up to date.

We're using it in the automotive and energy industries. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

When we calculated the pricing, we thought it was 10% to 20% less, however, it depends on how much data is being collected. It's not overly expensive. It's fairly priced. 

What other advice do I have?

Security vendors are chosen based on use cases. Those gaps are met by the respective solution. The benefit of a single vendor is that everything is on a single-layer stack. It helps you see everything in one single pane. 

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. 

We are a Microsoft partner, an MSP. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: MSP
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Sentinel Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: May 2024
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Sentinel Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.