Real User
Ability to scale virtually, but it is relatively expensive
Pros and Cons
  • "One of the most valuable features of Microsoft Sentinel is that it's cloud-based."
  • "Microsoft Sentinel is relatively expensive, and its cost should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I use Microsoft Sentinel in my work as an MSSP and as a threat detection engineer.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features of Microsoft Sentinel is that it's cloud-based. I previously worked for a very long time with AXA since 2006, but Microsoft Sentinel's ability to scale virtually and budget-dependent is a huge advantage. Before that, everything was on-premise and required some forklift upgrades, and it was a bit of a nightmare.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft Sentinel is relatively expensive, and its cost should be improved. Although Microsoft has been working on providing additional discounts based on commitment tiers, it's still in the top three most expensive products out there. They are certainly trying to compete with the likes of Splunk.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Sentinel since April 2020.

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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.
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What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since the time that I've been using Microsoft Sentinel, I've seen five or six serious outages. That's not uncommon with cloud providers. Generally, when it's a major outage, it's pretty catastrophic.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of Microsoft Sentinel is pretty good.

How are customer service and support?

I have contacted Microsoft Sentinel's technical support a number of times, and my experience with them has been pretty good.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

Before we started using Microsoft Sentinel, we previously used Splunk and ArcSight. Having a brand name like Microsoft was one of the reasons we decided to switch to Microsoft Sentinel. I was working for an MSSP at the time, and at the start of the service, they decided to run their MSSP based on Microsoft Sentinel. So it was more of an environmental thing than a conscious decision to switch to Microsoft Sentinel.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment of Microsoft Sentinel is relatively simple, but the data onboarding is the complicated part.

What about the implementation team?

Two people are required for the deployment of Microsoft Sentinel.

What was our ROI?

Microsoft Sentinel's evolution, use of CI/CD, and automation capabilities have helped us see a return on investment.

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

Microsoft Sentinel's pricing is relatively expensive and extremely confusing. I have raised this issue with Microsoft directly. It's not an easy thing to do, especially when you consider commitment tiers, discounts, and several variables that go along with it. It would be very difficult for the uninitiated to get a true reflection because you'd need to know about the product to get a cost. Suppose I go with the online pricing calculator. In that case, I need to know the difference between analytics and basic logs. I also need to understand the implications and limitations of selecting a particular option. And that's not clear from the pricing tool. So I think from that perspective, they should democratize it and make it a lot simpler and easier to do.

What other advice do I have?

The visibility that Microsoft Sentinel provides into threats is great. They got a lot of content out of the box and have an active community. I absolutely love the cluster functionality and the cluster query language. I definitely wouldn't want to go back to anything else. It's an incredible query language.

Microsoft Sentinel helps us to prioritize threats across our entire enterprise. The out-of-the-box content and behavior-analytic functionality that Microsoft Sentinel provides certainly help a lot.

There's a whole cloud stack like Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Cloud, and Defender for Cloud Apps that we interface with. I am not directly responsible for configuring and managing those different products within my company. However, we interface with each of them because we take their log data.

It was very easy to integrate other Microsoft security products with Microsoft Sentinel. The other Microsoft products I mentioned have done a great job of making it very simple to integrate. It's probably easier than all the other services. Being Microsoft products, there's a very tight integration, which is great.

I don't have any direct involvement with configuring Defender for Cloud. However, we take the logs from all the Defender suites like Defender for Identity, Defender for Cloud, Defender for Cloud Apps, Defender for Endpoint, etc.

Microsoft Sentinel enables us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. It is more challenging regarding the on-premise stuff and unsupported SaaS services. You could leverage the available functionality, but it's certainly not as easy as the native Microsoft Cloud products it integrates with. There's a lot more to it in terms of being able to ingest data from an on-premise data source. This data is very important to our security operations.

Microsoft Sentinel enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place.

The comprehensiveness of Microsoft Sentinel security protection is good. It is constantly evolving. I would like to see Microsoft add more automation, but they're on a journey to expanding their capability. I expect to see a change in that space. Since I started using the product, it has evolved, and the evolution of the product from two years ago or three years ago has been huge.

The cost and ease of use of Microsoft Sentinel against standalone SIEM and SOAR solutions are on par with Splunk in terms of costs. It's on par with what Splunk costs or slightly cheaper. It depends on how you set it up, but it's not always evident. Microsoft would prefer you to pay more than less. Certainly, from their perspective, it could probably put out more guidance on the optimization of cost. In terms of its use and functionality, it's definitely on its way to becoming a market leader. I can see that through the evolution that occurred in the last three years. There's always more and more functionality being added. I would like to see more expansion in terms of the provision of functionality in the dashboarding and work booking component. They could spend more time on expanding our capabilities. Splunk can easily plug into D3 libraries to create really good visualizations. The visualization capability within Microsoft Sentinel at the moment is somewhat rudimentary. You can always plug Power BI into it, but it's not a native product feature, and you need to buy and pay for Power BI.

From an overall management capability, Microsoft Sentinel has certainly made life easier. The introduction and addition of the CRC process are great. Historically, many SIMS haven't had that capability or ability to be integrated with the CRC system. So the automation component of that has allowed the deployment of infrastructure's code to speed up the process of the actual deployment massively in the MSSP environment. Historically, when it was on-premise, it would take two weeks to two months to get that all done. Whereas now, you can spin up a new instance and onboard all the cloud stack within a few days, which is huge.

Microsoft Sentinel has the hunting functionality. From that perspective, you could run a whole number of queries at the same time.

Microsoft Sentinel has not helped eliminate having to look at multiple dashboards. They need to expand that functionality.

Microsoft Sentinel’s threat intelligence helps us prepare for potential threats before they hit and to take proactive steps. They’ve recently introduced the Microsoft Defender Threat Intelligence feed, which is a good step forward. It’s come out of the RiskIQ acquisition, which is great. However, I would like to see more native integrations with threat intelligence feeds from financial services, local country threat intelligence feeds, and CSC feeds from government institutions. They work quite closely with the government in many places already, and it would be a huge advantage to have really simple and easy integrations. They could do more in that space in terms of providing alternative threat intelligence with the ability to integrate seamlessly and easily with threat intelligence from other sources. They do already provide connectors, but it isn’t easy. In my experience working in the industry, I’ve seen a company that effectively had a threat intelligence marketplace built into it. So you could very easily and quickly select threat intelligence providers through a number of clicks and then onboard that data very quickly.

Microsoft Sentinel has helped us save time as opposed to our previous solution. Microsoft needs to add even more automation. If you look at their competitors like Palo Alto Cortex, they already have a lot more capability out of the box. Microsoft needs to expand further that out-of-the-box automation capability.

Based on previous experience, Microsoft Sentinel has decreased our time to detection or our time to respond.

Microsoft Sentinel does not need any maintenance because Microsoft does that. However, I have monitoring rules set in place to watch what's going on. For example, we've seen outages in the past, which caused delays in incident creation. There's very little out-of-the-box content to help monitor Microsoft Sentinel.

I would always go with a best-of-breed strategy rather than a single vendor’s security suite. The evolution of Microsoft Sentinel itself has been quite amazing to see. The solution has become more feature-rich in the last two years. I hope this evolution continues and will likely leave the others behind.

I suggest to those evaluating Microsoft Sentinel to do a proof of concept.

Overall, I rate Microsoft Sentinel a seven out of ten.

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.
PeerSpot user
Matthew Hoerig - PeerSpot reviewer
Lead Consultant at Trustsec Inc.
Real User
Top 10
Well-defined KQL queries help make threat-hunting more automated and routine
Pros and Cons
  • "There are some very powerful features to Sentinel, such as the integration of various connectors. We have a lot of departments that use both IaaS and SaaS services, including M365 as well as Azure services. The ability to leverage connectors into these environments allows for large-scale data injection."
  • "If you're looking to use canned queries, the interface could be a little more straightforward. It's not immediately intuitive regarding how you use it. You have to take a canned query and paste it into an operational box and then you hit a button... They could improve the ease of deploying these queries."

What is our primary use case?

Our use cases range from more complex configurations, looking at things like playbooks, workbooks, and threat-hunting, for which we rolled out architectures in some departments in the Government of Canada, to a more streamlined functionality and looking at things from a correlation perspective. 

We work in tandem with a couple of departments that have products called cloud sensors and those sensors feed telemetry into Sentinel. In its simplest form, we're using it for the ingestion of all that telemetry and looking for anomalies.

The anomalous behavior can include anonymous IPs and geolocation that might indicate bad actors are trying to access a system. If I'm located in Ottawa, Ontario and somebody from Russia is trying to access our tenant, that's going to be pretty suspicious.

Just like the US government has FedRAMP, there is a similar approach, here, for the Government of Canada where the funding for projects takes a cloud-first approach. Most of the departments in the government are now on some kind of cloud journey. When I look at the various projects I've worked on, every single one, to some degree, has an IaaS in Azure environment, and most of those deployments incorporate Sentinel and the log analytics workspace into the solution.

How has it helped my organization?

Sentinel helps automate the finding of important alerts as well as routine tasks. When your KQL queries are well-defined, and your threat hunting becomes more routine for parsing through a volume of ingested information, it becomes more of an established process. There would likely be some kind of documentation or procedures for how Sentinel would be managed. The idea is to catch any threat before it actually impacts your organization. Using Sentinel workbooks and playbooks and doing threat-hunting to find things before they actually affect a particular system is the optimal approach. It may depend on the size of the team that is supporting the tool and the knowledge level required to appropriately configure the tool.

I have one department that has quite a mature and robust Sentinel implementation, and they are absolutely doing that. They're using threat-hunting and the ability to create rules to be proactive.

A fully functioning Sentinel system configured properly so that you're doing advanced threat-hunting and trying to catch malware and other kinds of attacks before they impact your systems, could result in enormous cost savings if you're able to identify threats before they actually impact you. I'm sure that Sentinel has saved money for most departments in terms of forensic, digital investigations. But it would be hard for me to put a dollar figure on that. As the Government of Canada is becoming more capable of managing this system, the ability to leverage all of the bells and whistles to help to create a better security posture, and to catch things in advance, will absolutely result in dollar savings.

Similarly, for time to detection, a fully deployed Sentinel system that is properly managed and has a good, robust configuration, would absolutely save time in terms of pinpointing systems where a problem may exist, and employing alternative tools to do scans and configure reviews. But specific savings would depend on the department, the size of the team, and the configuration of the tool.

What is most valuable?

There are some very powerful features in Sentinel, such as the integration of various connectors. We have a lot of departments that use both IaaS and SaaS services, including M365 as well as Azure services. The ability to leverage connectors into these environments allows for large-scale data injection. We can then use KQL (Kusto Query Language) queries. It queries the telemetry for anomalies. The ability to parse out that information and do specific queries on it, and look for very specific things, is quite a valuable function.

The large-scale data ingestion and the ability to use KQL queries to establish connectors into various data sources provide very expansive visibility. With playbooks into which you incorporate rules, you can be very granular or specific about what you're looking for. It provides a great deal of visibility into that telemetry coming in from various services across your tenant.

In terms of data ingestion from an entire ecosystem, there might be some services for which Microsoft has not built a connector yet for Sentinel. But for most of the major services within Azure, including M365, those connectors do exist. That's a critical piece. As a SIEM, the way that it identifies anything anomalous is by correlating all those sources and searching the telemetry for anomalies. It's critical to ensure that you can ingest all that information and correlate it accordingly.

The comprehensiveness of Sentinel's security protection is highly effective and it scales well. It has the ability to do automated responses that are based on rules and on Sentinel's ability to learn more about the environment. The AI piece allows for behavioral and learning processes to take place, but the underlying logic is in the rules that you create via playbooks and workbooks. That whole functionality is highly effective, as long as you have good KQL literacy, how your alerts are configured, and where your alerts are configured. Are they via email or SMS? There are a lot of variables for how you want or expect Sentinel to behave. It's quite a comprehensive architecture to make sure that you've got all those pieces in place. When configured properly, Sentinel is a very powerful tool, and it's very beneficial.

What needs improvement?

My only complaint about Sentinel has to do with how you leverage queries. If you have good knowledge of KQL, things are fine. But if you're looking to use canned queries, the interface could be a little more straightforward. It's not immediately intuitive regarding how you use it. You have to take a canned query and paste it into an operational box and then you hit a button. Then it does the analysis of the telemetry. If things could be improved anywhere, it might be there. They could improve the ease of deploying these queries.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Sentinel since 2018.

How are customer service and support?

Sentinel is very good if you have the right support tier in place. If you don't have the right support tier, then it can become quite laborious to find a technician who is knowledgeable, because the tier-one support might be out-of-country. You have to pay for the ability to get to a senior guy who is quite knowledgeable. That's an area of cost that may be impactful to the proper operation of the tool itself. But when you do talk to somebody who's knowledgeable, it's great.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

It's expensive, but it's beneficial.

Because of the way that the Government of Canada allows access to the Azure marketplace, we don't typically employ other cloud SIEMs. However, many departments of the government use on-prem SIEMs. When I consider the licensing and the functionality for those on-prem SIEMs, Sentinel is fairly pricey. That being said, for an Azure tenant, it's really the only game in town, unless you're pulling in information or you're exporting information from Sentinel to a third-party source on-prem for further analysis or storage.

Cost-wise, Sentinel is based on the volume of information being ingested, so it can be quite pricey. The ability to use strategies to control what data is being ingested is important.

Because it's expensive, I've seen other departments that have on-prem SIEMs that reanalyze telemetry that is exported from the Azure cloud. It's not like-for-like, though.

What other advice do I have?

Many organizations leverage the MITRE ATT&CK framework. Within MITRE there are all kinds of tactics that could be brought to bear on any unsuspecting department or target. Or they align with something like OWASP. But with Sentinel, you're able to delineate what categories you want to prioritize. For anything web-based, because everything is based on APIs and is based on a web interface, you might want to prioritize OWASP-based threats. But if you look at things like APTs, advanced, persistent threats, and various bad actors that MITRE categorizes, that gives you a really good source of information in terms of what to prioritize.

There are a lot of Microsoft security products: Defender for Cloud, Security Center, Azure Monitor. On the SaaS side, we leverage Compliance Manager. And within the dashboards for M365, you've got the ability to leverage policies. For some clients I've worked on, we have things like DLP policies, to prevent unauthorized exfiltration of data. But for IaaS, where Azure typically resides, Defender for Cloud is a big one.

With the use of connectors, if you're looking to provide data telemetry from various services back into Sentinel to do threat-hunting, it is quite a straightforward process. If you're looking to look at things like logging and auditing and how storage accounts integrate, that's a bit more complex, but it's not rocket science. It's certainly quite feasible.

Because they're all services incorporated into Azure, and into IaaS from a broader perspective, there's fairly straightforward integration. Everything is API driven. As long as you can take advantage of that within your dashboard and your admin center, you can enable them very simply through that. If you're looking for historical data through login auditing, it's a matter of parsing through some of that information to get some of those key nuggets of information. But the broader ability to spin up a bunch of services through Azure and have them communicate and work together to build a better security posture is very straightforward.

Cloud platforms, whether Microsoft or AWS or Google, are always in flux. There are always services coming down the line, as well as updates or upgrades, and refinements to these services. Very rarely do you find a static service. When I look at the comprehensiveness of Sentinel from when I started to use it back in 2018 and through to early 2023, there have been a fair number of changes to the functionality of the tool. There are more connectors coming online all the time. It's evolving to make it more and more comprehensive in terms of what kind of information you can pull into Sentinel. It's more and more comprehensive as time goes on; the tool just improves.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
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.
Cloud Security Advisor at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Gives us granular visibility into traffic from multiple firewalls and proxies, and MIP Labels help secure our data
Pros and Cons
  • "Sentinel enables us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. In addition to integrating our Cisco ASA Firewall logs, we get our Palo Alto proxy logs and some on-premises data coming from our hardware devices... That is very important and is one way Sentinel is playing a wider role in our environment."
  • "The following would be a challenge for any product in the market, but we have some in-house apps in our environment... our apps were built with different parameters and the APIs for them are not present in Sentinel. We are working with Microsoft to build those custom APIs that we require. That is currently in progress."

What is our primary use case?

When Exchange email is outside the domain, we have found sometimes that there are phishing emails. With the help of Microsoft Defender only, without Sentinel, we would not be able to track them. A couple of times data was compromised. With Sentinel, what we have done is integrate Microsoft Endpoint for Defender, M365 Defender, and our Exchange Online for all the email communications in and out.

How has it helped my organization?

With the investigation and threat-hunting services in Sentinel, we have been able to track and map our complete traffic: Where it started from, where it was intercepted, and where the files were downloaded and exchanged. We have been able to see how a phishing email was entering our domain. Accordingly, we understood that we needed to develop or modify some rules in Exchange and now, we do not have any phishing emails.

Sentinel enables us to investigate threats and respond holistically from one place to all of the attack techniques, such as MITRE ATT&CK, manual, DDoS, and brute force attacks. They are quickly identified by Sentinel. That is of high importance because we don't use any other product with Microsoft. Our SOC team continuously analyzes and monitors Sentinel, the activities and events that are happening. That team needs to be equipped with all of the real-time data we are getting from our ecosystem.

We have also integrated our SIEM with multiple firewalls and proxies. The traffic in and out, coming from the firewalls and proxies, is intercepted by Sentinel. We are now getting granular visibility into our traffic. We can see the hits we are getting from various regions, such as the hits that recently came from Russia. We have multiple such attacks on our firewall front end and we have been able to develop more granular rules on our firewalls.

And for DLP we have the help of protection from Microsoft Information Protection labels that we have defined for our data. Whenever this labeled data is shared, the data is limited to the recipients who were specified in the email. Similarly, our OneDrive data has been secured with the MIP Labels. All of this tracking is happening on Sentinel, which is giving us a broader view of where our data is traveling within and outside our organization as well.

People tend to go with Microsoft because it provides you with 360-degree protection, protecting your files, network, infra, and cloud environment. Each of its products is linked and interacts with the others. Microsoft Defender for Cloud will interact with Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, for example. And both of them can interact with Sentinel. Sentinel is the central SIEM in Microsoft and has the ability to take all the instructions from all of these Microsoft products and it gives you a central dashboard view in Azure. That helps manage infrastructure and identify threats. It's a single pane of glass. That's why Microsoft is gaining compared to other products.

Eliminating our multiple dashboards was a little tough in the beginning, but the Microsoft support team's expertise helped us create our own dashboard. Previously, when we started integrating all the products, it was very hard for us to give a broader review to management. It was only something the technical guys could do because they know what all those events mean. But when it came to a dashboard and presenting the data to the stakeholders, it was very tough. With the help of Microsoft's expert engineers, we were able to create dashboards into Sentinel, as well as with the help of Azure dashboards and Microsoft Power BI, and we were able to present the data.

We got Sentinel to send the data to Microsoft Power BI and that helped us create some very useful and easy dashboards so that our stakeholders and senior-level management, who are non-technical guys, could understand much better how we are utilizing this product. They can see how much we are making use of it to investigate, hunt, and track the incidents and events, and the unnecessary accessing of applications in the environment. As a result, we started to put granular controls in place and restrict unnecessary websites.

What is most valuable?

The watchlist is one of the features that we have found to be very helpful. We had some manual data in our Excels that we used to upload to Sentinel. It gives us more insightful information out of that Excel information, including user identities, IP addresses, hostnames, and more. We relate that data with the existing data in Sentinel and we understand more.

Another important feature is the user behavior analytics, UEBA. We can see how our users are behaving and if there is malicious behavior such as an atypical travel alert or a user is somewhere where he is not regularly found. Or, for example, if a user does not generally log in at night but we suddenly find him active at night, the user behavior analytics feature is very useful. It contains information from Azure Identity as well as Office 365.

With the E5 license, we have Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Microsoft Information Protection, Defender for Cloud, and Defender for Office 365. All of these products are integrated with Sentinel because it has those connectors. With both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products it can be integrated easily. We also have ASA on-premises firewalls and we have created a connector and have been sending those syslogs to Sentinel to analyze the traffic. That is the reason we are able to reverse-investigate and hunt threats going on in our network, end to end.

Sentinel enables us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. In addition to integrating our Cisco ASA Firewall logs, we get our Palo Alto proxy logs and some on-premises data coming from our hardware devices. We also get our Azure Firewall logs, and the logs from the Microsoft 360 bunch of products, like MIP and Defender for Cloud, Defender for Cloud Apps, et cetera.

When I think about the kinds of attack techniques that you are not able to understand at eye level, the AI/ML logic being used by Sentinel helps an administrator understand them in layman's language. It tells you that something has been identified as a malicious event or activity being performed by a user. All of those details are mentioned in an understandable manner. That is very important and is one way Sentinel is playing a wider role in our environment.

We use Microsoft Defender for Cloud and from that we get our regulatory compliance, recommendations, CSPM recommendations, cost recommendations, cost-optimizing strategies, and techniques for things like purchasing reserve instances. It helps us reduce the number of unused VMs or turn off VMs if they're not in production, as well as DevOp VMs in the early hours. We also use it for applying multi-factor authentications for users and reducing the number of owner or administrator roles that are assigned to subscriptions.

And the bi-directional sync capabilities of Defender for Cloud with other Microsoft products is near real-time, taking a couple of seconds. Within a minute, the information is updated, always, for all of the products that are integrated. Some products have a latency of around 4 to 12 hours of latency to update.

What needs improvement?

The following would be a challenge for any product in the market, but we have some in-house apps in our environment. We were thinking of getting the activities of those apps into Sentinel so that it could apply user behavior analytics to them. But our apps were built with different parameters and the APIs for them are not present in Sentinel. We are working with Microsoft to build those custom APIs that we require. That is currently in progress. 

We are happy with the product, but when it comes to integrating more things, it is a never-ending task. Wherever we have a new application, we wish that Sentinel could also monitor and investigate it. But that's not possible for everything.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Microsoft Sentinel for around two years now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, with the help of the log retention facility in Sentinel in the Log Analytics workspace. We can limit the data that is being retained in it and that limits the cost.

We have it deployed across multiple sites.

How are customer service and support?

In the beginning, it was not so good, but when we switched from standard support to premium support, the support improved.

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

I have been using QRadar and Splunk, but they both only gave me a centralized SIEM solution, a SOAR, and a VAPT solution. But I wanted to reduce the efforts required when jumping into different portals at different points in time. The way things stood, I had to hire different engineers to maintain those different portals and products. With the help of Sentinel, I could integrate all of my applications with Sentinel, as the APIs were ready and the support for them from Microsoft was good. That's why we thought of moving to Sentinel.

What was our ROI?

It was pretty hard to convince the stakeholders to invest so much in protecting the ecosystem through investigating and hunting, which is mainly what Sentinel is for. The integration part comes later. But convincing the stakeholders about the cost we would be incurring was a big challenge.

Slowly but surely, we started integrating many of our products into Sentinel and it started showing us things on the dashboard. And with the help of the Logic Apps, we were able to do multiple other things, like automatically creating tickets out of the incidents that are detected by Sentinel, and assigning them to the SOC team. It reduced the SOC team's workload because they used to manually investigate activities and events. Sentinel killed those manual tasks and started giving "ready-made" incidents to work on and mitigate. It has helped my SOC team because that team was facing a lot of issues with workload.

Then we also got visibility into different products, like Microsoft Defender, and Defender for Cloud Apps, whereas we used to have to jump into different portals to see and analyze the logs. Now, we don't have to go to any other product. All the integration is happening with Sentinel, and with the help of the AI/ML in Sentinel, investigating and threat-hunting have become easier.

It took around six months for us to realize these benefits because we were slowly integrating things, one by one, into it. We were a little late in identifying the awesome capabilities it has.

Most of our products are integrated but a few of our products are facing challenges getting connected. We are dealing with it with Microsoft and they are creating a few connectors for us.

We had to pay extra compared to what we would pay for other products in the market. But you have to lose something to gain something. Sentinel reduced the efforts we are putting into monitoring different products on different portals, and reduced the different kinds of expertise we needed for that process. Now, there are two to three people handling Sentinel.

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

The pricing was a big concern and it was very hard to explain to our stakeholders why they should bear the licensing cost and the Log Analytics cost. And the maintenance and use costs were on the higher side compared to other products. But the features and capabilities were going to ease things for my operations and SOC teams. Finally, the stakeholders had clarity.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Microsoft is costlier. Some organizations may not be able to afford the cost of Sentinel orchestration and the Log Analytics workspace. The transaction hosting cost is also a little bit on the high side, compared to AWS and GCP. But because it gives a 360-degree combination of security products that are linked with each other, Microsoft is getting more market share compared to Splunk, vScaler, or CrowdStrike.

But if I want to protect my files, to see where my files have been sent, or if the file I'm receiving is free of malware, or even if one of my users has tried to open it, Windows Defender would track it first. The ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) scans my emails and the attachments first. It determines if the attachment is safe and, if it is not safe, it will block it. I don't have to create any granular or manual settings. That connectivity across different products has a brighter future. That's the reason, even though we have a small budget, that we are shifting to Microsoft.

There are competitive applications in the market, like vScaler, Splunk, QRadar, and CrowdStrike. These are also good in terms of their features and capabilities. But these products only work as a SIEM or VAPT solution. They won't scan everything that we need to protect.

But if you are only considering SOAR, I prefer CrowdStrike because of cost and the features it provides. The AI/ML is also more developed compared to Sentinel.

But why Sentinel? Because it not only covers Microsoft products, but it also has API connectors to connect with any non-Microsoft products. It has inbound APIs for connectivity to QRadar, vScaler, or Splunk, so we can bring their data into Sentinel to be analyzed. Splunk is doing its job anyway, but Sentinel can filter the information and use it to investigate things. 

Those have great visibility and great potential over Sentinel. But for products that are out of the ecosystem, those competitive solutions might face issues in connecting or integrating with them.

What other advice do I have?

We have created a logic app that creates tickets in our service desk. Whenever a ticket is raised, it is automatically assigned to one of the members of our SOC team. They investigate, or reverse-investigate, and track the incident.

Every solution requires continuous maintenance. We cannot rely on AI/ML for everything. Whenever there is a custom requirement or we want to do something differently, we do sit with the team to create the required analytic rules, et cetera. It doesn't involve more than three to four people.

In terms of the comprehensiveness of Sentinel when it comes to security, it plays a wide role in analysis, including geographical analysis, of our multiple sites. It is our centralized eye where we can have a complete analysis and view of our ecosystem.

Go with a single vendor security suite if you have the choice between that and a best-of-breed strategy. It is better to have a single vendor for security in such a complex environment of multiple vendors, a vendor who would understand all the requirements and give you a central contact. And the SLA for response should be on the low side in that situation, as Microsoft, with its premium support, gives an SLA of an immediate callback, within two to three minutes of creating a ticket.

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 Delivery Analyst at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It has an intuitive, user-friendly way to visualize the data
Pros and Cons
  • "Sentinel has an intuitive, user-friendly way to visualize the data properly. It gives me a solid overview of all the logs. We get a more detailed view that I can't get from the other SIEM tools. It has some IP and URL-specific allow listing"
  • "Sentinel can be used in two ways. With other tools like QRadar, I don't need to run queries. Using Sentinel requires users to learn KQL to run technical queries and check things. If they don't know KQL, they can't fully utilize the solution."

How has it helped my organization?

Sentinel gathers data from the organization's entire ecosystem, not just the local network. I like having the ability to investigate and respond quickly to threats from one place. It's fun to use. Sentinel has an intuitive, user-friendly way to visualize the data properly. It gives me a solid overview of all the logs. We get a more detailed view that I can't get from the other SIEM tools. It has some IP and URL-specific allow listing

Sentinel comes with multiple good playbooks for automation and other valuable things that we use. It automatically gives us alerts in our ticketing platform, ServiceNow. 

If you're using other Microsoft security tools, it's better to use Sentinel instead of other SIEM solutions. It reduces the time spent on threat hunting because it uses an SQL database and SQL custom query language. It helps me analyze the data properly because I can view all the events. Sentinel has helped me multitask. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration with other Microsoft security tools. It's an Azure product, so it integrates seamlessly with tools like Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Cloud Apps Security, and Defender for Identity. 

It collects all the logs from these solutions and correlates the data well. If I need to check a particular event or log, I can easily review this from one portal, which is something I can't do in another SIEM tool. Sentinel has a graphical view that shows every team the information they need. 

It will easily give us the entities, events, or accounts that are directly involved in any particular security alerts. It has good usability. Sentinel comes with multiple different connectors. We only need to select the log sources, and the connectors automatically load.

We can customize the visibility based on the organization's rules and policies. We establish the desired rules and log sources. Most of them are from Azure-based products, not firewalls or point system-based accounts. Initially, most of the security alerts are false positives, and we need to do some fine-tuning. 

What needs improvement?

Sentinel can be used in two ways. With other tools like QRadar, I don't need to run queries. Using Sentinel requires users to learn KQL to run technical queries and check things. If they don't know KQL, they can't fully utilize the solution. 

When we're dealing with freelancers and new employees, they often have problems analyzing some things. An expert can realize all of Sentinel's advantages, but most organizations are constantly hiring new staff, who need to learn KQL before they can use this. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Sentinel for the last two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've never experienced lag, but it crashes sometimes. One disadvantage is that it collects tons of logs, so when we create reports, it isn't easy to download a month of reports in one day. We have to spread it out across 15 days. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. You can scale it out by adding other tools.

How are customer service and support?

We haven't needed to contact Microsoft support about Sentinel because we haven't had any significant downtime. Our other SIEM tools sometimes went down and we had to contact support multiple times. Sentinel always provides solid availability, and it's ready to take our logs.

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

I have used IBM QRadar and Splunk. I prefer Sentinel for threat hunting because the process is more visual. QRadar and Splunk are better for user interaction. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Microsoft Sentinel eight out of 10. I think a single-vendor strategy makes sense if you're primarily using Microsoft tools. It simplifies things because you only have one support portal, and engineers are easily accessible. If I'm working with security tools from multiple vendors, it can be hectic because the tools are made differently and have different architectures. 

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.
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Cyber Security Analyst at a financial services firm with 1-10 employees
Real User
Includes preloaded templates, good visibility, and saves us time
Pros and Cons
  • "Microsoft Sentinel comes preloaded with templates for teaching and analytics rules."
  • "The KQL query does not function effectively with Windows 11 machines, and in the majority of machine-based investigations, KQL queries are essential for organizing the data during investigations."

What is our primary use case?

We utilize Microsoft Sentinel to monitor files for suspicious activities, such as unauthorized user login information, remote logins from outside the secure region, and primarily attachments.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft Sentinel offers good visibility into threats because we can integrate it with both Defender for Cloud and Defender for Endpoint. We conducted a test to determine the extent of visibility achievable through Sentinel integration, aiming to identify the primary sources of attacks.

We also use Microsoft Office 365, Defender for Cloud, and Defender for Endpoint.

When it concerns cybersecurity, particularly regarding zero-day attacks, Microsoft tends to promptly release TVEs. These updates enable us to patch systems that are susceptible to specific zero-day attacks.

Sentinel allows us to gather data from our entire ecosystem. We can install connectors or an agent on the user's system, or we can do it manually.

Sentinel enables us to investigate threats and respond promptly from a unified platform. Upon receiving alerts, we can navigate to the corresponding tab for analytics, where we can initiate an investigation to view comprehensive details about the threat's origin and its interactions.

It has assisted our organization in enhancing our preparedness and thwarting phishing emails and attacks. We encounter attacks on a daily basis from individuals attempting to execute scripts via websites. Every month, we can conduct simulations to train our personnel in recognizing and evading threats. Sentinel is particularly effective in mitigating risks posed by employees who click on dubious email attachments.

Sentinel assists in automating routine tasks and identifying high-value alerts. Although I haven't extensively used it, playbooks can be employed to create automated responses for alerts and to resolve them.

It assists in eliminating the need to utilize multiple dashboards. We configured one of our servers as a honeypot, enabling us to observe all access and related details from a unified dashboard.

The threat intelligence assists us in preparing for potential threats before they occur and taking any necessary proactive measures. When a potential threat is identified, we are also given recommendations on how to proceed.

Sentinel has helped decrease our time to detect and respond. The automation has reduced the time I spend on low-level threats, allowing me to focus on the priority threats.

What is most valuable?

Microsoft Sentinel comes preloaded with templates for teaching and analytics rules. we can also create our own.

What needs improvement?

We need to continually test and define analytics rules due to the possibility of triggering false positives if we simply use the preloaded templates and neglect them.

We attempted to integrate our Microsoft solutions, but we occasionally faced problems when connecting with other systems. While it functioned effectively with Linux and Unix systems, a Windows 11 update led to complications. Sentinel was unable to capture essential logs on certain computers. As a result, we were compelled to create two SIEMs using Splunk and QualysGuard. This was necessary because certain operating systems experienced issues, particularly after receiving updates.

Although Sentinel is a comprehensive security solution, it could be more user-friendly. When I started using it, it was a bit confusing. I think that certain features should be placed in separate tabs instead of being clustered together in one place.

The KQL query does not function effectively with Windows 11 machines, and in the majority of machine-based investigations, KQL queries are essential for organizing the data during investigations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Sentinel for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not experienced any stability issues with Microsoft Sentinel.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is straightforward. For instance, if an organization opts to establish a new department and intends to add ten machines to that department, all that is required is to create a new load analysis workspace, incorporate the machines into that workspace, and subsequently link it to Sentinel.

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

Microsoft Sentinel requires an E5 license. When considering this from the perspective of a large enterprise organization, the cost might be justified. However, for smaller organizations, it is comparatively expensive when compared to other SIEM and SOAR solutions. Open-source SIEMs like OSSEC are also available. These can be integrated with other open-source tools to address similar issues as Microsoft Sentinel, often at minimal or no cost.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Microsoft Sentinel an eight out of ten.

Our Microsoft security solutions both cooperate and have limitations in working seamlessly together to provide coordinated detection and response across our environment. The individual who initially implemented these solutions did so in a manner that prevents us from accessing all the necessary information to effectively utilize Sentinel with a single administrative account, as intended.

Most of our servers are on-premises but we have two that are connected to Defender for Cloud. Those are mostly pickup servers.

Microsoft takes care of the maintenance for Sentinel.

Using a best-of-breed strategy is superior to relying on a single-vendor security suite. I have observed while working with Splunk and QualysGuard, that they are capable of detecting certain low-level threats more promptly than Sentinel. Occasionally, these threats manage to slip through when using Sentinel.

Microsoft Sentinel is a commendable solution, and its value justifies the cost. However, it should be noted that it comes with a significant price tag. Therefore, any organization considering implementing this solution should ensure they are financially prepared for it. I strongly advise obtaining certification and acquiring proficiency in using Sentinel. It is an excellent tool equipped with numerous features. Unfortunately, many users remain unaware of these features or lack the understanding of how to utilize them effectively. It's worth mentioning that Microsoft Defender and Intune serve to further enhance Sentinel's capabilities, elevating it into an even more powerful tool.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

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

Microsoft Azure
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.
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Security delivery analyst at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Good playbooks and threat detection but sometimes has false positives
Pros and Cons
  • "The UI of Sentinel is very good and easy to use, even for beginners."
  • "We're satisfied with the comprehensiveness of the security protection. That said, we do have issues sometimes where there have been global outages and we need to raise a ticket with Microsoft."

What is our primary use case?

I'm into monitoring and deploying. When an incident occurs in Sentinel, we try to triage it then investigate it, then we try to gather more details about it through other blades in Sentinel. We try to gather more information about the IP address, and user details from the Sentinel itself, as well as Active Directory. 

What is most valuable?

They have good playbooks or logic apps to take action on behalf of the user. They're automated actions that we configure for when a particular condition occurs. It reduces human effort a lot and performs tasks on its own. 

There is an option wherein we can add multiple usernames or any details in multiple numbers, and we can just use that instead of manually adding all the names.

When it comes to threats, every environment is different, and the data connectors are different. So it depends on what data connectors are configured to your environment. It could be specific to that. However, Sentinel is a pretty good product. It does threat detection very well. Depending on the user, and how he configures it, Sentinel will do a good job in delivering the output.

We already have priority-based use cases which we set during the creation of any use cases for any threat detection. It also allows us to change the priority whenever a threat occurs. Currently, in the environment in which I am working, we don't manually change the severity or the priority whenever the threat occurs. We will deal with it in its original form. However, it could be a good feature for us to use and also very helpful to set the priority level whenever it is necessary. 

There is a specific incident blade that we can respond from. Or we have log analytics in Sentinel in which we can do threat hunting. We have various ways to gain visibility.

Threat intelligence is under development. It's not completely ready, however, it is a very good feature and can find multiple threats. It's completely managed by Micorosft. So far, it's a very good feature. 

The UI of Sentinel is very good and easy to use, even for beginners. 

It's very easy to deploy a new use case. We can create them very easily. Adding connectors is simple. 

The preview mode is good. Sometimes it helps us pick up on malicious threats. It can sometimes provide false positives as well. For the most part, we can deal with it; it's good. That said, it's a work in progress. 

There are good guides that allow us to easily add new features to our environment. 

Workbooks allow us to display charts and help us provide very useful visuals. 

Automation is very good.

The solution has helped us to save time. 

I'm aware that we can have one centralized dashboard. We can view multiple dashboards in one central place. We can merge all tables and visualizations into one single pane of glass. It's easy to configure. However, we do not really work with a consolidated dashboard. We have a few for the reports. 

The solution has decreased the time to detection and time to respond via custom use cases. However, I cannot quantify the exact amount of time saved. On average, it saves 30 to 40 minutes a day. 

What needs improvement?

We're satisfied with the comprehensiveness of the security protection. That said, we do have issues sometimes where there have been global outages and we need to raise a ticket with Microsoft. Those have become repetitive and happen more often. Still, there are many choices and features, which is useful.

There are some false positives.

When an incident occurs, it will just be displayed on your screen. However, if they had some sort of sound or tone to alert the analyst, that would be ideal. It would help them notice when something is triggered. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two years and five months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are no issues or outages. It's 90% to 95% stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our environment is mostly in Europe and there are multiple end-users.

Since this is just monitoring and threat detection, it can scale well. We can add new servers and increase the amount of logs flowing into Sentinel easily. There's no issue with that. 

How are customer service and support?

Microsoft is quick to respond depending on the severity of the ticket. It's usually fixed within two to three hours maximum. The tech support understands the product well. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I have not used any other products.

How was the initial setup?

The maintenance is minimal. If there is a global issue, we'd have to raise a ticket with Microsoft. 

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

I'm not aware of the exact costs involved. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options before using this solution. 

What other advice do I have?

We do not use more than one Microsoft security product. We don't work with Defender, for example. 

We do not yet use it to ingest data from the rest of our ecosystem. We have seven to ten people that work directly with the product.

This is a good tool with a lot of good features. 

I'd recommend the product. The UI is good which makes it simple for new users. It will make it easy to train new engineers.

It's important to go with a best-in-breed rather than a single vendor. If there is any issue with the monitoring with one solution, it's good to have a backup option that might pick up what the other could miss. Having more than one solution - and different vendor options - allows you to have an "option B".

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. There are still a lot of improvements that can be done. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid 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.
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JasonLau - PeerSpot reviewer
Security Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Great connectivity, integration capabilities, and analytics
Pros and Cons
  • "The connectivity and analytics are great."
  • "They only classify alerts into three categories: high, medium, and low. So, from the user's point of view, having another critical category would be awesome."

What is our primary use case?

As a security engineer, I help onboard with Sentinel. I enable all the connectors and tune the analytics to minimize the number of false positives.

How has it helped my organization?

We're a Microsoft house and it provides very good visibility into all the threats a company might be facing. 

What is most valuable?

The connectivity and analytics are great.

It allows people to connect to different data sources under a single pane of glass.

The visibility is great in terms of having the notebook features. By using the notebook features, people can generate different graphs, which helps create greater visibility on the front end.

We've been able to integrate other products, including Defender. It's super easy to integrate them. All Microsoft products easily connect with each other. They coordinate together to help with detection and response across our network. This is critical. 

This allows me to have better visibility to understand what is happening on each endpoint.

The threat protection is pretty comprehensive across Microsoft products. Having dependable endpoints and other security tools ensures good security overall. In terms of compliance, you have a lot of data that can help ensure comprehensive information is available and transparent. 

We like that it's on the cloud.

Sentinel does allow us to ingest data from our entire ecosystem. This plays an important security role.

We can investigate threats holistically from one place. Having everything centralized makes security easier and helps us better understand what is happening. 

Sentinel's security protection helps us to better identify anomalies or erratic user behavior. It helps me minimize false positives. 

There is good automation. They do an okay job.

Consolidating into one dashboard has made it possible to have a holistic view of security. I can investigate issues and have better visibility.

Overall, the solution has saved me time. I'm not sure if I can quantify it, as I'm on the engineering side. 

The product has helped save the organization money. 

It has decreased our time to detect and time to respond. 

What needs improvement?

They only classify alerts into three categories: high, medium, and low. So, from the user's point of view, having another critical category would be awesome. That would minimize the level of high alerts and break them down so we understand which are truly critical. We should be able to prioritize more effectively. Right now, this doesn't necessarily help users to prioritize when it comes to the alert or triage.

The bi-directional capabilities are okay. However, sometimes I need to fall back on Defender for cloud.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for two or three years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is okay. I've only experienced one outage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have about 200 staff on the solution. 

The scalability is very good. All I have to do is enable data sources in order to expand. 

How are customer service and support?

I haven't had much contact with technical support. My one experience was okay. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

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

I did not previously use a different solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial deployment is straightforward. The entire process was as simple as following clear steps. We basically create a workspace and push the pipeline.

As long as a person has relevant access to Azure, one person would be enough in terms of handling the deployment. 

We did a deployment in a single location, not across multiple locations. 

There is a bit of maintenance, in terms of ensuring logs are being digested. The number of people involved depends on the situation. We have two to three people who may check logs or connectors. 

What about the implementation team?

We are consultants for clients. We help SMEs deploy the solution. 

What was our ROI?

We have witnessed an ROI while using the solution, however, I cannot quantify the amount exactly.

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

Sentinel charges based on ingestion. If Microsoft would allow us to view the logs before ingesting something we don't want, that would make the pricing better. Sometimes we don't want to pass illegitimate data into Sentinel, yet I don't have a choice. 

It's not cheap. However, it's okay pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate any other options previously.

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

I'd tend to go with a single vendor over best of breed. A company like Microsoft allows everything to easily link various products together. 

If you are using Microsoft Sentinel, go for the XDR solutions as well. 

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:
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POD Lead Security at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Allows us to investigate and respond to threats holistically from a single platform
Pros and Cons
  • "I believe one of the main advantages is Microsoft Sentinel's seamless integration with other Microsoft products."
  • "Currently, the watchlist feature is being utilized, and although there have been improvements, it is still not fully optimized."

What is our primary use case?

I work as a security team leader and consultant in the Netherlands. Additionally, I am the main architect for my organization. Our current focus is on building our own Security Operations Center for media entities, and we offer this service to our customers as well. Our solution ensures zero bypasses and integrates the XDR suite of our clients. Therefore, any customer looking for the same solution can benefit from our expertise.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft Sentinel has the potential to assist us in prioritizing threats across our entire enterprise. However, its effectiveness relies heavily on the quality of our analytics roles. If we have appropriate alerts in place, we can avoid unnecessary noise. If we can accurately prioritize incidents and assign the appropriate level, it will significantly aid us. Additionally, automation can help analysts make informed decisions by consolidating incidents and alerts.

I have completed many customer integrations. Currently, I am working with one of the largest healthcare retailers and a very large insurance company. They have a variety of other products, such as effective AI, Infoblocks, and Akamai as a last resort. Our goal is to consolidate all the alerts from these products into Sentinel, which sometimes requires processing or editing. We refer to this as social editing, which essentially means fixing issues. Ultimately, our objective is to have a comprehensive overview of everything in a single dashboard.

The effectiveness of the integrated solutions that work together natively varies. At times, a data connector may work well, while at other times, it may not. I have noticed that Sentinel has significant potential for the development of data connectors and passes. This observation is due to one of my customers requiring a considerable amount of additional processing for data connectors, which prompted us to make a request to Microsoft. Currently, we are pleased to see that Microsoft is integrating this functionality. On the other hand, we also have plans to work with a local collector that involves parsing logs and collecting log data using custom parsing services.

The effectiveness of integrated security products in providing comprehensive threat protection is improving. However, there is a risk of overlap in the functionalities of Microsoft's various products, leading to duplicate alerts or unwanted charges. Nonetheless, compliance is improving. Additionally, the endpoint portal is starting to function more like an application portal for multiple products. Using only the Defender portal instead of Sentinel would benefit many customers at present, though additional sources may provide added value. There are also many developments in this area worth exploring.

Microsoft Sentinel has the capability to collect data from our entire ecosystem, but it comes with a cost. As the head of IT, I would have the ability to obtain any sensitive data that I need. If there is a substantial amount of data, I can handle it. However, we need to establish a use case for the data before proceeding, as it could become too expensive for us to handle. Therefore, we will not be ingesting all the data available.

Microsoft Sentinel allows us to investigate and respond to threats holistically from a single platform. This capability is powerful because we can create our own queries, and the language used is user-friendly. However, we must ensure that the data in Sentinel is properly structured. This means ensuring that our timestamps are consistent and accurate and that the quality of our data is high. By doing so, querying becomes easy and effective.

If we have a background in Azure, then it's relatively easy to understand the SOAR capabilities since it's built on Azure foundations and logic apps. This makes it more powerful.

The cost of Microsoft Sentinel is reasonable when compared to other SIEM and SOAR solutions. While the cost of ingestion may be high, the platform offers numerous capabilities for automation, alerting, monitoring, and operations. Therefore, we are receiving good value for our investment, even though it may not be the cheapest option on the market. Microsoft Sentinel's ongoing development of new features justifies the price point. For example, I compared it to a customer who used Splunk last year, and Splunk was more expensive and had fewer features.

Sentinel assists in automating routine tasks and identifying high-value alerts. For instance, we can configure it to automatically detect risks on specific accounts and receive notifications through an automatic inbox. While we exercise caution in implementing automation, we can leverage it during hours when staffing is limited to ensure timely and appropriate actions.

Sentinel's threat intelligence helps us prepare for potential threats and take action before they can impact us. Obtaining threat intelligence feeds from Microsoft would also be beneficial. We may eventually need to acquire an Excel feed, either from Microsoft or another source, but we must ensure that these expenses provide tangible value. I believe that the machine learning used by Microsoft Infusionsoft provides valuable threat intelligence with reliable patterns.

I've noticed that some customers are using on-premises environments such as Oxite for this particular task. However, since we're on a cloud platform, we don't have to handle and operate the systems as much because they are cloud services. This allows us to focus on the platform, the content, and making it work. The integration with Microsoft works well, and we can use similar queries in Sentinel as we do in Defender for Endpoint, which saves us time.

If we compare the current situation to that of five years ago, we can see that every company was spending less on this type of product because the threat wasn't as significant. However, over time, we have witnessed a significant increase in cyberattacks. As a result, every budget has been increased to address this issue. Therefore, in my opinion, Sentinel is not merely saving money; rather, we are utilizing our resources more efficiently.

What is most valuable?

I believe one of the main advantages is Microsoft Sentinel's seamless integration with other Microsoft products. This means that if we need to work with customers who already use the entire defense suite, we can easily collaborate with them. Additionally, the KQL language created is very robust and has a manageable learning curve for those who already have some experience. Furthermore, we can use KQL in other Microsoft platforms, making it a versatile tool. The AI aspect is also noteworthy, as it utilizes existing resources in Azure. For instance, if we have previous experience building Azure functions or using wireless technology, we can incorporate these skills into our playbook development in Sentinel.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft Sentinel provides visibility into threats, and the incident alert display has improved. However, I don't believe it is efficient or pleasant to work with, especially for specialists who work with it all day. We are considering putting our incident alerts into ServiceNow first, which would improve instant handling, logging, and monitoring, and streamline the investigation process. This is a potential area for improvement, but currently, the system is workable and easy to use. I understand that improvements are in progress, and I expect the system to get even better with time.

When we look at external SOAR and orchestration platforms, we have a better overview of all the rules, their behavior, and the correlation between them. From a technical perspective, it works well, but from a functional overview, there's room for improvement. For example, we need a clear understanding of what playbooks we have in our SOAR capabilities. Currently, we have a long list, and we need to know what each playbook does. If we want to add some playbooks in Azure, we need to consider the playbooks that we have in Azure that are not related to any schedule. This can make the environment a bit messy. While building them ourselves, we can have a clear understanding of the why, what, and how, but it can be complicated to know which playbook does what at a given moment or what role it best fits.

Currently, the watchlist feature is being utilized, and although there have been improvements, it is still not fully optimized. When examining the watchlist, it appears that it is not adequately supported in Sentinel's repository feature. As a result, we are constantly having to find workarounds, which is functional but require more effort. It is possible for Microsoft to improve efficiency, but they have not done so yet. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Sentinel for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Last year, there were some issues with Azure Sentinel, which is a specific service within the Azure platform. These issues affected the performance of Sentinel and caused some concerns. While the situation has improved, there may be further challenges as the platform continues to grow. As a cloud service, there is a risk of outages, which can be difficult to address. Overall, there are currently no complaints about the stability of Azure Sentinel, but it is important to stay vigilant about potential issues that may arise.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sentinel's scalability is impressive. Currently, we have not encountered any limitations. While there may be a limit on the number of rules with a large amount of data, we have not reached that point. The system performs well, aided by the basic and archive loss features. In the event that those features are insufficient, we still have additional options available. Overall, I believe that Sentinel is highly scalable.

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

We used to utilize ArcSight Interset, an outdated on-premises product that wasn't suitable for our move to the cloud or offering services to our customers. Since we mainly use Microsoft products, we switched to Sentinel enthusiastically. Sentinel is a perfect fit for our organization.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward and adoption was fast. Currently, our approach within the organization is, to begin with a simple implementation and ensure it is functional before incorporating more complex integrations. We started with basic tasks such as editing data files and integrating on-premises data responses. Once we have established a solid foundation, we will build upon it to create a more advanced version.

If we take all areas into account, we would need a considerable number of people for deployment. I believe we would need around 15 to 20 individuals, including engineering consultants, ServiceNow personnel, and others.

What other advice do I have?

I give Microsoft Sentinel an eight out of ten.

We use the entire range of security measures except for Defender for IP. This is similar to how we use Defender for servers. In Azure, these measures are used on the front-end point, server, and callbacks. As for our customer implementations, I am responsible for carrying them out. For our own laptops, we have a strategy where we use Carbon Black instead of Defender for Endpoint. However, we still use Defender AV, and for other cloud applications, we use Defender for Office 365. The reason we continue to use Carbon Black is due to its legacy status.

Sentinel is a cloud service platform that is particularly useful for those who require sizable, scalable, and high-performing solutions.

Sentinel always requires some maintenance, which includes examining the ingested data to determine if it is being used for a specific purpose. It is important to evaluate the amount of data being stored and ensure that we are paying the correct price. Additionally, any necessary updates should be made to patch up any queries. These actions will result in improved efficiency and effectiveness.

The choice of the best-of-breed solution depends on the company's specific needs, but given the shortage of skilled personnel in many organizations, managing multiple products can be challenging. If we opt for a best-of-breed solution, we may end up having to maintain expertise in several different areas. On the other hand, choosing a single vendor, such as Microsoft, can be advantageous in terms of discounts, support, and skill maintenance. Our experience suggests that when evaluating a solution, it's essential to know the requirements, risks, and desired outcomes beforehand, rather than trying to ingest all available data, which can be costly and inefficient.

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: 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: Partner
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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.