Maximizing Microsoft Sentinel to Elevate Security and Control Costs

Optimizing Security Operations: The Backbone of Maximized Protection and Value

Recent high-profile breaches like Uber and Rockstar Games (where a malicious actor gained full access to the company’s cloud-based storage systems containing customer and financial data) underscore the growing cyber threats targeting organizations today. Amidst this turbulent landscape, security leaders are in a constant battle against an array of threats while grappling with limited budgets and resources to protect their critical assets. The need for robust security is undeniable, but cost optimization presents an ongoing challenge.

Organizations relying on Microsoft solutions must strive to optimize their security tools, processes, and teams to maximize protection and value to overcome this challenge. While Microsoft Sentinel serves as a central nervous system, delivering improved visibility, detection, and response capabilities, realizing its full potential requires meticulous design, configuration, and maintenance.

This blog outlines how Critical Start’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Managed Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions align seamlessly with Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR to provide that expertise, empowering organizations to achieve cost-efficient security operations while ensuring comprehensive protection.

Microsoft Sentinel: Integral Part of Your Security Solution?

While Microsoft Sentinel is a core component of every Microsoft solution, it functions mainly behind the scenes. This is why it is imperative to clarify before going any further: Microsoft Sentinel is an integral part of your security solution, providing some of the crucial infrastructure and connections that allow different data flows and systems to integrate and help to direct various streams of security data to where they need to go.

It takes in security data inputs, rapidly processes them, and coordinates dynamic responses across architectural components. Considering Sentinel as the “central nervous system” better captures how it enables an integrated, intelligent security posture through advanced analytics and automation capabilities fueled by rich data insights. And it costs money.

But this is where Critical Start enters the picture. We’re on a mission to fully optimize and operationalize your security program because the need for cost optimization is more than just the budgetary reality people are in—it actually helps to support overall security efficacy by freeing up resources to be allocated towards other high-priority areas. Cost optimization enables organizations to get the highest ROI from their Microsoft Sentinel solutions, and Critical Start helps maximize those solutions to run as effectively as possible.

From Expert Analysts to Risk Reduction: The Unique Value of Critical Start

Before we delve into the power and optimization that comes from pairing Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR with Critical Start’s MDR and Managed SIEM solutions, let’s underscore the value that Critical Start brings to the table:

Unparalleled Cybersecurity Expertise

  • Our team comprises security professionals who are wholly immersed in cybersecurity, holding credentials including CompTIA A+, Security+, Network+, Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+), and Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+). Our experts continuously update their knowledge on emerging threats, impact assessments, mitigation strategies, and response action automation to reduce risk and minimize impact on our customers.

24x7x365 Eyes-on-Glass Monitoring

  • We extend the capabilities of Microsoft Sentinel and Defender XDR by providing round-the-clock monitoring and detection across in-scope systems. This vigilance ensures rapid threat response, mitigating attacks.

Comprehensive Incident Response and Recovery

  • In the event of a confirmed breach, our ISO-certified Incident Response (IR) team guides customers through investigation, remediation, and recovery while implementing measures to prevent future occurrences.

Cost-Effective Security Solutions

  • Building and maintaining an in-house security team with a level of expertise equivalent to Critical Start can be cost-prohibitive. We provide a cost-effective alternative without compromising the quality of security services delivered.

Access to Advanced Security Solutions

  • Critical Start offers security risk management solutions that go beyond detect and respond to holistically address challenges to cyber risk management, all from a single Cyber Operations Risk & Response™ platform.

Optimizing Sentinel and Security Operations Cost

Critical Start plus Microsoft is a “better together” partnership that is pivotal in optimizing security operations costs.

Imagine Microsoft Sentinel as an orchestra conductor, skillfully bringing together and directing logs, alerts, and automation in a way that allows security teams to focus on threats that genuinely matter. However, just like an orchestra conductor, Sentinel’s power is amplified and performs at its best with specialized guidance, including:

Access to Expert Security Operations Teams

  • Managing log sources, storage costs, and alerts at scale is a specialized skill. Augmenting Sentinel with 24x7x365 security experts enables proactive threat monitoring, investigation, and responses.

 Managed SIEM for Optimized Security and Cost Control

  • Logs and alerts compromise the “music” of security operations, requiring expertise to bring out the best. Organizations can optimize costs and fine-tune the performance of Sentinel by leveraging Critical Start’s Managed SIEM to right-size log ingests and volume and ensure enhanced visibility while exercising cost control.

Continual Fine-Tuning of Log Sources and Analytics

  • Sentinel’s value is intrinsically tied to its data sources and applied analytics. As environments rapidly evolve, regular tuning becomes mandatory. New endpoints, firewalls, applications, or services may be added, while mergers, cloud migrations, or application requirements could render existing data sources obsolete. Regularly reviewing and updating connected data sources, analyzing log volume trends, and fine-tuning analytics rules are essential to maintaining optimal performance.

Scalability and Flexibility

  • As security needs change alongside IT infrastructures, Critical Start delivers adaptable solutions to strengthen defenses while providing transparent cost-control measures that enable security leaders to reallocate funds to other priority areas.

Are You Ready to Safeguard Your Organization’s Digital Future?

Along with Microsoft’s skilled resources in the field, Critical Start helps customers define the best and most cost-effective way to leverage the tools and resources within their portfolio. Cost optimization not only supports overall security efficacy, it also means we can deliver the best value for every dollar spent.

Much like the intricate workings of an orchestra, a security operations program encompasses a myriad of moving parts that must synchronize for peak performance. Microsoft Sentinel acts as an invaluable conductor, promoting clarity amidst the noise of diverse security data. But the future demands more.

Optimizing Sentinel by engaging specialists like Critical Start helps leaders transform cybersecurity through expert configurations, data tuning, and the reasonable outsourcing of critical operations. This transformation aligns seamlessly with business objectives and affords superior risk management.

So, to the CISOs and Security Operations leaders, we ask: What steps will you take today to harmonize and bolster security operations, control costs, and safeguard your organization’s digital future?

This is a mission-critical endeavor in which you can trust Critical Start as your ally in driving defense, value, and cyber resilience.

For more information on how Critical Start helps manage rising ingestion costs, check out Steven Rosenthal’s blog on Leveraging Ingest Cost Analysis within Critical Start’s Managed SIEM solution.


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