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Benefit of Centralized Log Management

What is the Benefit of Centralized Log Management?

Most modern applications generate logs for all activities consisting of metadata regarding what was done. These provide crucial insight to the application’s health and can show when the system’s functionality has been compromised. Additionally, the data collected can provide knowledge on developing interests from application users. The main issue lies in the fact that an application can churn out thousands of logs over the course of its use which can easily prevent either of these bits of knowledge from seeing potential use. Hence the need for central log management.

Removing Needless Digging

Centralized Log Management (CLM) is a system that automatically categorizes and confines all log data in a centralized server accessed through a singular UI, immediately reducing the time spent just looking for where such logs would be stored.  Additional tools on the UI allow for easy analysis and organization of the data in a concise fashion, categorizing various files by type and source.  The need to scan logs individually has also been diminished by the ability to utilize in-memory event correlation to conduct analysis in real-time.  Every part of centralized log management goes towards refining file organization and making it an automated process.

Removing Needless Digging

Centralized Log Management (CLM) is a system that automatically categorizes and confines all log data in a centralized server accessed through a singular UI, immediately reducing the time spent just looking for where such logs would be stored.  Additional tools on the UI allow for easy analysis and organization of the data in a concise fashion, categorizing various files by type and source.  The need to scan logs individually has also been diminished by the ability to utilize in-memory event correlation to conduct analysis in real-time.  Every part of centralized log management goes towards refining file organization and making it an automated process.

Log data in a centralized server

Constant Monitoring and Logging

For error tracking, centralized log management monitors IT environment activity, tracking key activity and metrics.  In real-time, admins can pick out signs of possible errors and suspicious activity with greater ease.  It’s very easy to set up event-based triggers to send alerts the moment a specific type of activity occurs.  Search results are also easy to arrange in ways that are intuitive and provide all useful information from the activities such as the IP address, the event name, and when the event occurred while also providing specifics for the incident type, severity of an incident, and what actions are summarily taken.

Another benefit of event logging provided is the functionality of setting specific parameters for what unauthorized changes are to be audited across all audit files, SQL databases, config files, and executables.  Centralized log management then provides protocols for responding to such unauthorized activity, mostly in the form of alerts.  This comes with a system of tags for administrators to filter certain events for alert triggers.  Finally, responses can be arranged by priority based on the severity of the tag.

Constant Monitoring and Logging

For error tracking, centralized log management monitors IT environment activity, tracking key activity and metrics.  In real-time, admins can pick out signs of possible errors and suspicious activity with greater ease.  It’s very easy to set up event-based triggers to send alerts the moment a specific type of activity occurs.  Search results are also easy to arrange in ways that are intuitive and provide all useful information from the activities such as the IP address, the event name, and when the event occurred while also providing specifics for the incident type, severity of an incident, and what actions are summarily taken.

Another benefit of event logging provided is the functionality of setting specific parameters for what unauthorized changes are to be audited across all audit files, SQL databases, config files, and executables.  Central log management then provides protocols for responding to such unauthorized activity, mostly in the form of alerts.  This comes with a system of tags for administrators to filter certain events for alert triggers.  Finally, responses can be arranged by priority based on the severity of the tag.

Catching Invasive Activity

Centralized log management typically provides deeper insight to log contents for more proactive security actions.  Taking in more logs from security devices in conjunction with internal components such as firewalls and endpoint protection services, it can put together a comprehensive story of what happened during a breach from the moment an infiltrator circumnavigated security to conducting whatever damage was done.  IT can hope to gain plenty of insight from such logged activity, including what sort of behaviors are typical of attackers and what to look out for to intercept an attacker before they accomplish their goals.  The logs provide an extensive amount of insight into the internal workings of a system.

But more importantly, compliance is going to continue to be a necessary component of cybersecurity.  With the collective capabilities of logging all activity within a system, IT not only benefits from having digital forensics to analyze, but it provides an easy format to compile compliance reports into.  The dashboard has a number of default and customizable templates that can be used to generate reports for audits internally or externally.  This meets all the security regulations established by popular standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOX.

Catching Invasive Activity

Centralized log management typically provides deeper insight to log contents for more proactive security actions.  Taking in more logs from security devices in conjunction with internal components such as firewalls and endpoint protection services, it can put together a comprehensive story of what happened during a breach from the moment an infiltrator circumnavigated security to conducting whatever damage was done.  IT can hope to gain plenty of insight from such logged activity, including what sort of behaviors are typical of attackers and what to look out for to intercept an attacker before they accomplish their goals.  The logs provide an extensive amount of insight into the internal workings of a system.

But more importantly, compliance is going to continue to be a necessary component of cybersecurity.  With the collective capabilities of logging all activity within a system, IT not only benefits from having digital forensics to analyze, but it provides an easy format to compile compliance reports into.  The dashboard has a number of default and customizable templates that can be used to generate reports for audits internally or externally.  This meets all the security regulations established by popular standards such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SOX.

AWS Centralized Logging

All data sources must first be integrated with the centralized server and a log management tool before logs can be collected.  Integration can be done through either an agent on the source server or more native methods, depending on the environment type.  For example, AWS conducts its own centralized log management through CloudWatch.  Amazon’s CloudWatch deploys in the main account and is created in the regions where the service is present.  Users can configure filters for group types on their way to being streamed to the centralized server.  There is the option to generate template logs to test the flow to ensure that the data sourcing works.  Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and Kinesis Data Firehose are provisioned to catalog and organize the collected data and deliver it to an Amazon OpenSearch Service domain where a Lambda function is invoked to turn the logs into a document.  More details on CloudWatch can be found on AWS’ own website.

AWS Centralized Logging

All data sources must first be integrated with the centralized logging server and a log management tool before logs can be collected.  Integration can be done through either an agent on the source server or more native methods, depending on the environment type.  For example, AWS conducts its own centralized log management through CloudWatch.  Amazon’s CloudWatch deploys in the main account and is created in the regions where the service is present.  Users can configure filters for group types on their way to being streamed to the CloudWatch archive.  There is the option to generate template logs to test the flow to ensure that the data sourcing works.  Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and Kinesis Data Firehose are provisioned to catalog and organize the collected data and deliver it to an Amazon OpenSearch Service domain where a Lambda function is invoked to turn the logs into a document.  More details on CloudWatch can be found on AWS’ own website.

AWS Centralized Logging

In Summary

Centralized log management is now a crucial element in understanding an application’s internal workings and learning what people are interested in or how to protect it.  The internal functionality of a system is incredibly complex and the smallest details can easily become lost behind countless other mundane logs.  The first step to resolving any issue is understanding how it happened in the first place.  Then there’s learning how to prevent incoming threats to avoid incurring the costs of reparations and damage in the first place.  As cybersecurity threats become a more common issue, meeting newer security standards will be evermore important.  Having a centralized log management system can not only aid existing IT and security teams in their jobs but also ensures that a platform remains compliant with regulations.

In Summary

Centralized log management is now a crucial element in understanding an application’s internal workings and learning what people are interested in or how to protect it.  The internal functionality of a system is incredibly complex and the smallest details can easily become lost behind countless other mundane logs.  The first step to resolving any issue is understanding how it happened in the first place.  Then there’s learning how to prevent incoming threats to avoid incurring the costs of reparations and damage in the first place.  As cybersecurity threats become a more common issue, meeting newer security standards will be evermore important.  Having a centralized log management system can not only aid existing IT and security teams in their jobs but also ensures that a platform remains compliant with regulations.

Dolan Cleary
Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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