Pricing Login
Interactive demos

Click through interactive platform demos now.

Live demo, real expert

Schedule a platform demo with a Sumo Logic expert.

Start free trial
Back to blog results

May 17, 2024 By Chas Clawson

How to navigate the rapid changes and consolidation in the SIEM and security analytics market

The consolidating SIEM market

The security solutions landscape is evolving at a breakneck pace, with significant acquisitions reshaping the market. Notably, Palo Alto Networks has acquired IBM's QRadar product line, and Exabeam and LogRhythm have announced their merger. These moves echo Cisco's previous acquisition of Splunk, highlighting a trend where major players like AWS, Microsoft, Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, and CrowdStrike are consolidating their positions in the SIEM and security analytics space.

These announcements were made days after the publication of the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for SIEM. Three of the five Leaders are now in the process of a merger or acquisition.

This is quite a shift, as it was not long ago that major vendors shouted “SIEM is dead, long live XDR”, while now they are fighting to incorporate them into their portfolio as fast as possible. Even CrowdStrike, the trailblazers of EDR announced at RSA, that “Next-gen SIEM” will be a core part of their platform. So if SIEM was dead, we are witnessing a serious Frankenstienian reanimation of the solution, as I discussed in this article recently. The question is, will these platform plays finally achieve the elusive SecOps “Single pane of glass”, or will this be a single glass of pain!?

The consolidation trend

In a recent analysis, Forrester's Joseph Blankenship and Allie Mellen described IBM's decision to sell its QRadar product line to Palo Alto Networks as a reflection of the broader strategy of security vendors to build comprehensive platforms. This strategy aims to offer integrated solutions that cover a wide range of security needs, from threat detection to response and analytics.

Again, the question is, will this strategy work, or are we seeing a repeat of the saga of the slow death of a previously innovative SIEM called ArcSight as it was acquired by HP and then MicroFocus. R.I.P. ArcSight.

Similarly, the merger between Exabeam and LogRhythm has sparked discussions about the benefits and challenges of such consolidations. Forrester's Allie Mellen and Joseph Blankenship highlighted that LogRhythm and Exabeam bring together complementary strengths, but merging two distinct corporate cultures and technologies will be a complex task. This complexity often results in a slowdown of innovation as companies navigate restructuring and integrate their technologies.

The IBM divestiture from its cyber practice makes sense. They will likely focus on higher growth areas, and hand over their existing customer base to Palo Alto, who has been looking to break into the SIEM space with their new Cortex XSIAM. Omdia managing principal analyst Eric Parizo explained in Dark Reading,

They had essentially taken their legacy platform as far as they could have in terms of capabilities and performance, and the need to modernize the platform and migrate to cloud-native, which is becoming table stakes in the next-generation SIEM segment, was an imperative. Fortunately, it coincided with IBM's companywide shift to the Red Hat OpenShift platform.

The pitfalls of large-scale mergers

For SecOps teams looking to modernize their security stack, it is crucial to approach technologies undergoing significant mergers and acquisitions cautiously. Like with Splunk, history has shown that such transitions often lead to slowdowns in innovation as companies deal with the internal challenges of merging different corporate cultures and eliminating duplicate features. Much of this market activity is trying to soften the landing of these goliaths as they trip, stumble, or even fall.

Organizations often face several pitfalls when companies in the security software industry undergo large-scale mergers or acquisitions. Here are some of the main concerns:

  1. Service disruption: Significant service disruptions can occur as systems are integrated during mergers. This may affect the availability and reliability of security services that consumers depend on, potentially leaving them vulnerable during the transition period.

  2. Changes in product offerings: Mergers can lead to product changes, including discontinuing certain services. This forces consumers to adapt to new products, which may only sometimes meet their needs as effectively as previous solutions.

  3. Privacy concerns: With mergers, customer data is often consolidated between entities. This raises privacy concerns, as the handling and protection of personal information might change, potentially increasing the risk of data breaches or misuse.

  4. Customer support issues can suffer as companies combine and streamline operations. Consumers might experience longer response times, reduced support quality, or difficulty accessing knowledgeable assistance.

  5. Pricing changes: Post-merger, companies often reevaluate their pricing structures, which can lead to increased consumer costs. Existing contracts might be renegotiated or phased out, potentially resulting in higher expenses for the same or reduced service levels.

  6. Reduced competition: Mergers in the tech industry can lead to a more concentrated market, reducing competition. This can negatively impact consumers by limiting their choices, potentially leading to higher prices and less innovation.

Generational shift driving mergers and acquisitions

A significant driver of mergers and acquisitions in the SIEM market is the ongoing generational shift in SIEM technologies. Traditional SIEM solutions, often referred to as first- and second-generation, focused primarily on log management and basic threat detection. However, as cyber threats have evolved, the limitations of these older systems have become apparent. The advent of third- and fourth-generation SIEM solutions brought enhancements such as user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA), advanced correlation capabilities, and more sophisticated threat intelligence integration. Now, the market is transitioning to fifth-generation SIEM solutions, characterized by integrating artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation.

This generational shift is compelling vendors to innovate rapidly and incorporate advanced features that address modern security challenges. Companies with established AI and machine learning expertise are becoming highly sought after by larger vendors looking to integrate these capabilities into their SIEM offerings. As a result, the market is seeing a wave of mergers and acquisitions of innovative firms to enhance their technology stack and stay competitive. This consolidation is driven by the need to provide comprehensive, next-generation SIEM solutions that can efficiently detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats. By acquiring niche players with specialized capabilities, vendors can accelerate their transition to fifth-generation SIEM solutions and offer their customers more robust, integrated security platforms.

The case for independent SIEM solutions

Amidst this wave of consolidations, there is substantial value in opting for security platforms that remain independent of the large tech conglomerates. Solutions like Sumo Logic provide a unique advantage due to our ability to integrate seamlessly across various technologies without being tied to a single vendor ecosystem. This independence allows companies to maintain agility and choose the best-of-breed solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Sumo Logic has built a reputation for our robust integration capabilities and flexibility. Unlike larger vendors who might leverage their market dominance to push bundled non-flexible solutions, independent platforms must earn their place by excelling in interoperability and adaptability. This focus on integration and open ecosystems is crucial for organizations that require a security data lake capable of incorporating diverse data sources and analytics tools.

Final thoughts

While we wait for lighting to strike to reanimate legacy SIEM solutions that hope to modernize through mergers and acquisitions, remember there are tools that can execute successfully today. As the security solutions market continues to consolidate, organizations must carefully consider their options. While the one-size-fits-all walled gardens offered by major players like Palo Alto Networks and Cisco are at first appealing, there is significant value in avoiding vendor lock-in and investing in a best-in-breed by choosing independent solutions like Sumo Logic.

Your organization needs the flexibility, integration capabilities, and agility required to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving security landscape. By remaining cautious of the drawbacks of large-scale mergers and the clumsy transitions that follow them, SecOps teams can ensure they are making informed decisions that will support their long-term security and operational goals.

Learn more about the future of the SIEM and SecOps platform industry thanks to emerging AI innovations.

Complete visibility for DevSecOps

Reduce downtime and move from reactive to proactive monitoring.

Sumo Logic cloud-native SaaS analytics

Build, run, and secure modern applications and cloud infrastructures.

Start free trial
Chas Clawson

Chas Clawson

Field CTO, Security

As a technologist interested in disruptive cloud technologies, Chas joined Sumo Logic's Cyber Security team with over 15 years in the field, consulting with many federal agencies on how to secure modern workloads. In the federal space, he spent time as an architect designing the Department of Commerce ESOC SIEM solution. He also worked at the NSA as a civilian conducting Red Team assessments and within the office of compliance and policy. Commercially, he has worked with MSSP practices and security consulting services for various fortune 500 companies. Chas also enjoys teaching Networking & Cyber Security courses as a Professor at the University of Maryland Global College.

More posts by Chas Clawson.

People who read this also enjoyed