We hear the term tossed around the IT landscape paired with different jargon such as “event correlation analysis” or “event correlation techniques.” But exactly what is event correlation? Essentially, event correlation is a technique for making sense of the enormous amount of events that data or security centers process and ultimately analyze on an hourly and daily basis. While in use, your event correlation tool is constantly sensing and analyzing the relationships between the events it is processing.
Every year data centers grow in size and complexity at a compounding speed. With that said, being able to answer the question “What is event correlation?” could become a must-know in your organization. Within your company data is coming from a plethora of sources. Compiled inside of the data, event correlation helps to identify the events (or specific data points) that can make a substantial difference to your business and how they can relate to the other events and data points in your system. In many ways, the short answer for what is event correlation it is a tool that lessens the flurry of activity that is unimportant so IT can focus on the activities and issues that substantially matter to the department and overall business objectives.
Part of the question of “what is event correlation?” is being able to recognize what kind of data and from what source of data we are referring to. While there are many examples and every organization will be different, security events, server records, application log errors and failures, alerts such as Simple Network Management Protocol traps, suspicious firewall traffic and operating system logs are just a few that come to mind. Event correlation allows for all of those often simple fixes to be recognized quickly and presented to the IT manager in a way such that he or she can maximize their time.
When thinking about “what is event correlation” it’s important to note that when referring to real-time event correlation, security is everything. Having an event correlation tool can deal with incoming threats and potential data breaches. The critical information that your company values so much is under constant attacks from hackers attempting to infiltrate your network and steal your sensitive information. Whether you are dealing with the threat in real time as it happens or are investigating it afterwards, having event correlation tools to help you do that could make the difference between a minor and major slowdown of your entire organization. If there is no event correlation tool to automate this process, a manual investigation will take an enormous amount of time.
Event correlation can also help to prevent attacks by setting up patterns that will trigger an alert to investigate. By setting up a rule, you can track “attack patterns” that when a certain pattern of events happen on your network, the event correlation tool recognizes it as a threat and notifies you instantly via text message or email.
The question of “what is event correlation?” has both a simple and complex answer. Above all, it’s important to recognize that by having a strong set of event correlation tools will make you and your staff as efficient as possible and make the best use of your time and skills. It will also help to maximize your company’s revenues by ensuring there is as little downtime as possible. Event correlation allows IT departments to gain near maximum visibility into their network operations while allowing them to monitor both security and efficiency. As a large proponent of event correlation software, one would argue that you are taking a risk more-so by not having at least one.