Logs provide an important source for security actions. That is why log management remains essential for cyber security measures. In this article, we discussed what log analysis is and how it can help SIEM.
What is a Log?
A log file (or an event log) refers to the instant and automatic documentation of the each and every operation and event of a device and the changes in them. It covers a vast array of information such which user have accessed which files, when a file is created or modified, what those modifications are etc. As a result, there are various types of log files: system logs, audit logs, authentication logs, intrusion prevention system (IPS) logs and such.
What is the Purpose of Logs?
Regardless of the name, every log file serves one purpose: keeping the precise record of security events. Thus they are the first thing to go over, the most important and very first sources of information in the event of an attack. Taking a closer look at log files can tell us the time of the intrusion, pattern of the attack, servers that are compromised and so on. That is why log files are the primary sources for almost any cyber security operation. Through real time log monitoring, malicious attacks, intruders, security breaches and data compromises can be detected. Moreover, vulnerabilities of a system and performance of a network can be assessed or potential problems can be detected and addressed before they occur.
In other words, log monitoring can provide actionable and valuable information for cyber security practices and technologies. SIEM is one of those cyber security solutions that efficiently utilizes log analysis.
What is SIEM?
Security Information Event Management (SIEM) involves the processes of gathering, archiving, analysing, associating and reporting on information that is collected from across the network. Desktops, servers, routers, switches, applications, syslog devices, firewalls, proxy servers, VPNs and perimeter devices are closely monitored by SIEM.
SIEM solutions collect a vast amount of data from these sources and bring it to a repository. Then trend analysis runs are done on this data in order to detect any ‘bad behaviour’ or vulnerability.
Log Analysis for SIEM
On its own, SIEM cannot achieve much. Without any implementations, it would be a giant and meticulously developed database with no data in it.
In order to benefit from SIEM technologies, the first thing you need to do is feeding it with massive amounts of data. The more data SIEM digests, the more information and insight it comes up with.
That is why SIEM is the strongest when it has access to huge sources of information such as the logs. It can collect, bring together and extract information from the log data. Moreover, you can designate various actions for your SIEM to take in the event of various predefined threats.
With the event log analysing capabilities of SIEM, you will get significantly better and more efficient at internal threat management but also, you will have one leg up for keeping up with the regulatory compliances such as GLBA, PCI, HIPAA, or Sarbanes-Oxley.
You can check log management practices for SIEM article to learn more about SIEM.