Why Your Organization Needs Log Management

| July 14, 2020

What is log management? 

Most IT systems can generate log files, which contain information about an application’s performance and provide critical data to developers on what is not working correctly. 

Logs also provide vital insights (Think: “who, what, where, and when) for investigating an organizational security breach or a targeted cyber attack. When logs are analyzed in real-time or near real-time, this helps prevent a cybersecurity attack. Effective log management happens when the method is combined with software solutions that automatically turn off ports in a network firewall or immediately lock-down an insecure account.

This is all part of log management. 

How does log management work? 

Log management is known as the process of managing your system’s log files. However, that simple definition requires many complex actions in a coordinated, comprehensive approach. Numerous gigabytes of information are generated across your organization by the day, so as you can imagine, there’s too much data to review your log files line line-by-line. That’s where automation comes in. 

Log management software has evolved over the years from merely consolidating log files to reading the data in real-time and providing statistics and alerts based on the information. Nowadays, this is referred to as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). These logging systems can sort through many log files, consolidate and correlate data into events, and ultimately alert your security team that there’s a potential issue or security threat. This automated approach makes it faster and easier for your organization or IT team to take swift action if and when a security threat occurs. 

Why does your school, business, or organization need log management? 

If your IT team isn’t collecting, storing, and analyzing log data throughout your organization, your school or business is vulnerable and facing a significant gap in your network’s security visibility. By managing and reviewing log files, your IT team will be able to detect a cybersecurity threat in real-time. Most importantly, this enables your organization to enact a rapid response to deter and prevent the attack.

How do I get started with log management? 

Log files must be determined to be immutable before they can be managed. This means the files are unable to be tampered with. 

Next, choose a well-known system for correlating the number of events generated by your IT systems. It’s helpful to know how much daily data your log files are generating before you select a SIEM enabled system. Once you’ve implemented your SIEM solution, start the process by analyzing firewalls, systems, and application logs.

Lastly, remember that automation is critical. With the right software and systems in place, the end-user can focus on working with the data collected through log management, without having to worry about any configuration issues.  

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