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The Problem of Log Data for Cyber Security

“A watchtower is pointless if there’s no watchman inside.”

A log is a record of the events occurring within an organization’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. Many logs within an organization contain records related to computer security.

Businesses have an electronic sentry inside, within most of their systems known as “Log Monitoring”. Log monitoring systems administrate the network activity, examine system events, and store used actions like renaming a file, opening an application, which occurs within your software system. They are your watchmen or security guards, who have the ability to provide the data that could warn you to a data breach. The row log files are also called as audit records, audit trails or event logs.

What is the problem of log data for cybersecurity?
The biggest problem with the logs is: nobody looks at them. If we look at it from a security point of view, the purpose to keep a log is to act as a red flag when something bad happens. But if the logs are not maintained properly, they won’t be helpful at the time of the crisis. Checking and reviewing the logs can help us identify malicious attacks on the system. It is literally impossible to monitor and review the log data on a regular basis. The reason, there are multiple software in the market, who can take care of the task by using required constraints and can alert us at times of problems or threats are suspected.

At what point does it occur and why?
Log data security issue arises when the logs are not properly maintained and reviewed regularly. In some cases, logs get deleted by some cybercriminal or malicious insider. Criminals might steal some data and delete the logs to cover their tracks or at times some malicious insider messes up the log.

At times, cybercriminal or hackers breach the security and modify the log data and implants inside are malicious for regular attacks.

Why does it need to be resolved? How it impacts business?
It is necessary to be resolved for the safety and security of the firm. Log data can get extracted, transformed, replicated, and normalized before you even get to know your log data management system is hacked.

Who will resolve it and how will it be resolved?
The cybersecurity experts will resolve it. They will help you to make the system as tamper-proof as possible. Below are the steps that will be taken care of while implementing log data management:

  1. Centralized Archiving: It is up to the firm on how they want to keep the log data in the repository, you can send them to the repository in the batches or can be sent all together to the repository. There are chances if you send the log data in batches, you might tend to miss out some of the logs.
  2. Segregation: Segregate the roles. The log data can be accessible by the IT person but the log archives should only be accessible by the cybersecurity personnel. Keep the true copy of your logs at a location or in a directory where malicious insiders cannot attack. Make sure your log archives are set up at a different server than the usual working server. It is something like keep your cash in the locker of your cupboard but the jewelry at some different place.
  3. Monitoring and Alerting: Step 1 and Step 2 are achieved, now what’s next after archiving and segregating log data? To monitor the log data, whether any threats are occurring? If yes, how to alert the company, set an alert or an alarm, when any cybersecurity attack happens, you get notified through emails or messages.
  4. Rapid Response: What to do after you receive alerts of cybersecurity attacks? Address them quickly before the hacker or malicious insider extracts or erases the data. If it’s possible, shift your log data to some other server. Disable all other connections to that system. Block all your transactions. Once everything falls in place, review and scan the machine to figure out how and from where the malicious insider has been implanted.

Security logging and monitoring allows you to respond to incidents in less time more effectively. Reviewing logs regularly can help in rectifying malicious attacks on your network. Even though the log data is generated in a large amount, it is important to keep a track of it and maintain and review it regularly. Log data monitoring software generally takes care of such tasks by automating them.

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