Based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition, ‘A Log is a record of the events occurring within an organisation’s systems and networks. Logs are composed of log entries; each entry contains information related to a specific event that has occurred within a system or network’.
Log management is the process of generating, transferring, storing, analysing and positioning of log data.
Types of logs
Also known as an event log, the volume and variety of logs that businesses are capturing and storing within their operations has increased dramatically. With this in mind, most organisations have both operational data and security-related data, which has further enhanced the need for security log management.
As cybercrime has increased, and continues to grow on a monumental scale, organisations are taking their cyber security more seriously. By utilising log management, concerns regarding network operations and its security are made more visible.
Why is log management important?
Log management, or log auditing, can benefit an organisation in a multitude of ways. It ensures that security events are stored for a specific period. Logs are reviewed and analysed, which is essential for identifying security incidents, fraudulent activity, policy violations, operational issues and more.
They can also be useful for performing audits, forensic analysis, establishing baselines and identifying current operational and long-term problems.
Logs are owned by the organisation. And they are valuable. In essence, they provide the overview of your business. Which means you can use them to improve on processes and prevent issues. Which not only aids the customer and employee experience but, by aggregating logs and analysing them, you can formulate strategies to aid decisions and, consequently, influence business growth.
In addition to the benefits organisations gain from log management, there are several laws and regulations that require and compel businesses to store and review specific logs. Showing compliance and due diligence towards security regulations enhances business reputation and accountability.
‘Organisations that do not value the importance of logging and monitoring may have to face issues in case of a breach or incident due to absence of records and evidence, or lax data management practices. This may also lead to legal, contractual or regulatory noncompliance.’ – Vasant Raval & Saloni Verma.
Logs contain valuable information, information that needs to be safeguarded to maintain confidentiality and integrity. This makes accurate log management crucial for growth of every organisation. But despite this, most organisations, and the people responsible for log management, are neither supported, nor prepared to conduct adequate analysis.
This is chiefly due to the fact that the log management process is often considered a low-priority task by administrators and management, especially when resources are stretched. This means that administrators often do not receive tools that are effective at automating much of the analysis process.
Even with the right tools, the task of log analysis is extremely complicated. Often there are too many log sources. Sometimes log content is inconsistent. There can be inaccurate timestamps, different log formats and varying log protection. Organisations also need to protect the availability of their logs and meet data retention requirements at the same time. This equates to a lengthy and complicated process.
Managed Detection & Response (MDR) provides complete visibility of your digital world.
By outsourcing MDR, all your log management requirements are taken care of, so that your team members can get on with their priorities. SecurityHQ’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service provides log management in the form of advanced analytics, data processing, data collection, secure log storage, and ISO 27001, PCI DSS, GDPR, NIST compliance reporting.