Log management is the process for generating, transmitting, storing, analyzing, and disposing of computer security log data. There are two main classes of log management systems, the basic centralized log collector and security information and event management or SIEM.
Centralized logging servers aggregate and normalize logs from numerous sources. SIEMs, on the other hand, provide additional benefits that provide greater security functions, compliance features, and oversight. A SIEM allows you to use log management tools that have analysis functions to correlate separate events. For example, a SIEM would be able to correlate a series of forced login attempts to a spike in unexpected network traffic from the host. Log management provides the foundational layer of insight to understand these correlations.
What to Seek in Log Management Tools
Successfully incorporating a log management strategy can help businesses maximize the efficiency in which they monitor their cyber security systems. Leveraging the right tools allow security analysts and administrators to define whether a reported threat is actually a threat using specific functions such as correlation algorithms and threat alerts and notifications. Correlation techniques help connect isolated events and are useful for identifying abnormal activity. Alerting tools allow administrators to configure triggers to notify staff of anomalous or threatening activity for further action.
Data Considerations for Log Management Services
When planning to implement log management tools, there are a few key data factors to consider. To deliver the greatest return on log data, creating a framework that takes the following variables into consideration can ensure that you choose the tools that align with your security policy.
- Volume – Log and event data can accumulate rapidly and surpass hundreds of gigabytes of data per day. As IT devices continue to grow, collecting, centralizing and storing data can be challenging.
- Normalization – Logs are produced in multiple types of data formats. Normalization provides a homogenous set of data that can then be used for further analysis.
- Velocity – The different rates at which logs are produced from devices and applications can make data aggregation even more difficult.
- Veracity – When log data is being collected, it may not be accurate across the board. This can be problematic for systems that perform intrusion detection systems.
Choosing the Right Tools for Your System
Basic planning can go a long way in determining the right log management tools. It is key to map the different types of logs across your company’s IT infrastructure and then determine the type of information needed from these systems. This often results in generating several types of logging formats including Syslog, Netflow, Windows Event Logs, and SNMP.
NIC helps make sense of these different configurations and how they fit into your larger security strategy. Schedule a free consultation for more information on how the right log management tools can be used to optimize your current IT infrastructure and cyber security system.