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Data Model Mapping in Splunk for CIM Compliance

Join Kinney Group Splunk Enterprise Security Certified Admin Hailie Shaw as she walks through the process of data model mapping in Splunk for CIM compliance. Catch the video tutorial on our YouTube channel here.

Note: the data visible in this video and blog post are part of a test environment and represent no real insights. 

Starting Out with Data Model Mapping

As Splunk engineers, we constantly deal with the question: How do I make my data, events, and sourcetypes Common Information Model (CIM) compliant? This is especially crucial with Enterprise Security use cases, when data will need to map to a CIM compliant data model.  When we search the environment pre-CIM compliance, our query will return no results. This is what we aim to change with data model mapping. 

Figure 1 - Pre-data mapping, the search returns no results in Splunk
Figure 1 – Pre-data mapping, the search returns no results

Begin by downloading the Splunk Add-on Builder app, which you’ll use later. Let’s transition to Splunk docs. The left panel of the webpage lists all data models. For any option, Splunk docs will list out all fields to which users can map. This should be the first step when choosing the data model that matches your environment’s existing fields as closely as possible.  

Creating the Add-on

Turn to Splunk’s Search & Reporting app and navigate to the data that you’re looking to map; the fields will populate on the left side of the screen. Pay special attention to the sourcetype that you wish to matchyou’ll need to supply this to the Splunk Add-on Builder app that will map the fields for CIM compliance. Within Splunk Add-on Builder, select “New Add-on.” The default settings will be sufficient with the exception of the required Add-on name. Click “Create.”  

Figure 2 - The form in this window creates the Add-on in Splunk
Figure 2 – The form in this window creates the Add-on

Click Manage Source Types on the top banner menu. Click “Add,” and then “Import from Splunk” from the dropdown menu. Select your sourcetype, which should populate within the menu after you import data from Splunk. Click Save, and the events will be uploaded. Next, click Map to Data Models on the top banner menu.  

Figure 3 - Import data by selecting the sourcetype
Figure 3 – Import data by selecting the sourcetype

Mapping the Data Model

From here, select “New Data Model Mapping.” You’ll be prompted to enter a name for the event type and select the sourcetype you’re using. The search will populate below, automatically formatted with the correct name. Click “Save.” The resultant data model will include, on the left-hand side of the screen, a list of the event type fields. Hovering over each entry within this list will reveal a preview of the data that exists within the field. 

Essentially, the app takes the fields from your initial data and transfers them onto the data model. On the right of the screen is where you’ll select a data model for the fields to map to. Each data model is filtered through Splunk’s CIM, and you can select which is most appropriate based on the Splunk documentation with which we began.  

Figure 4 - The empty Add-on Builder field before data mapping
Figure 4 – The empty Add-on Builder field before data mapping

When you select a data model, the Add-on Builder will provide supported fields, which you can cross-reference with Splunk Docs; the app is a field-for-field match. This step will give you a list of CIM-approved fields on the right to complement the original fields on the left. To map them together, click “New Knowledge Object” and select “FIELDALIAS.” This is where you’ll need to select which data model field most closely matches the initial event type or expression.

Once you’ve made a match, select OK, and the app will provide a field alias. Repeat this process for each field you wish to include. Once you’re satisfied, click “Done.” As you can see, the data has now populated with the sourcetype listed. 

Figure 5 - Match the original entry field to its CIM compliant counterpart using "FIELDALIAS"
Figure 5 – Match the original entry field to its CIM compliant counterpart using “FIELDALIAS”

Validate and Package 

It’s important to validate your package to ensure that it follows best practices. To do so, click “Validate & Package” from the top banner menu. Click the green “Validate” button. When the validation reaches 100%, you can download the package. This page will also generate an Overall Health Report detailing which elements, if any, should be addressed. Once downloaded, change the name of the file to a .zip. By double-clicking, the file will extract, and you can open it to view details of the sourcetype and events within.  

Figure 6 - The overall health report indicates that the validated data package is ready to be downloaded in Splunk
Figure 6 – The overall health report indicates that the validated data package is ready to be downloaded

Return to the Splunk instance through Search and Reporting and run the data model command again as a search. Now, your events will populate in the data model! You can also view the CIM compliant aliases in Settings > All Configurations.  

 

Compliance, Achieved

The resultant data model is good to go—CIM compliant and ready to be exported. Check out more Splunk tips on our blog and our YouTube channel. To get in touch with engineers like Hailie, fill out the form below: 

 

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