The log management service is often outsourced to a third-party service provider due to the complexity of the process involved in the collection of logs. When a business plans for outsourcing log management to a service provider, business requirements must be given a top-most priority. To start with, a business must identify the goals it desires to accomplish through log management. After locating the required resources, the decision-making body should select a vendor for availing its services.
With a large number of service providers available and everyone marketing its services in the best possible way, the decision-making process is quite tough. In order to simplify this process and select a vendor, a business must ask the following questions from its cloud-based log management service provider –
What are the safety measures?
Encryption, prevention of data loss, and firewalls are three necessities when it comes to storing log data in the cloud. As long as proper security procedures are followed and security controls are implemented, there is no harm. Apart from getting the required technical details about how the data is stored, you must do a reputation check of the vendor and its past clientele.
How does the data get transmitted?
This question can consist of following sub-questions –
- Is the data encrypted during transmission?
- What type of encryption technique is used for encryption and what is its strength?
- Is the encryption technique proprietary?
- Where are the encryption keys stored?
- Are different keys generated for each client or are they same?
Always be extra precautionary when a service provider states that their encryption technique is proprietary or confidential.
How often does the data get transmitted?
Generally, the logs are transferred in form of batch files. The service providers wait for a particular period of time or size of the collected log data. It is always preferable if the data is transmitted in shorter intervals of time.
What is the compression level?
As it has been observed, the compression level is around 90% for logs made of plain text (ASCII). In order to manage the overall internet traffic on your network and avoid downtime due to bandwidth consumption by log management transmission, inquire about maximum bandwidth utilisation and use this number as the baseline for managing your traffic.
Is there any backup of the data stored in the cloud?
The cloud-based log management service provider shall store log data at multiple locations and it shall have appropriate ways to secure these backups for redundancy. So often, the third-party service provider has further outsourced the data storage part to a vendor. Hence, prefer the service provider who stores your data in-house.
How is the stored log data utilized?
Under this umbrella question, the following questions must be asked –
- How can the business access the stored log data?
- How will the reports be generated out of the stored log data?
- Out of all the stored data, how much is easily searchable?
- Apart from storing log data, which other support services will be provided by the service provider?
- How will the alerts be determined from the stored data?
- How are the alerts displayed to the company personnel?
How are the system updates handled?
The entire process of maintaining an in-house system and upgrading it regularly is replaced by a cloud-based log management service provider. With upgrades, there is an associated risk of a service outage. So, while choosing a service provider, handling of updates should also be considered.
Log data provides valuable insights into the network activities of a business. Considering the business requirements, outsourcing to a cloud-based service provider providing a comprehensive set of services at reasonable charges should always be preferred. In case of any difficulties while choosing a vendor, feel free to get in touch with the experts at LogSign!