Central log management is very important for every company and organization today. Gartner emphasizes that “central log management is important, but often undervalued, a tool for an organization’s threat management capabilities and compliance requirements. Security and risk management leaders can benefit from the adoption of a log management tool for multiple security operations use cases”. This statement emphatically shows the benefits of effective log management. Logstail offers the solution for effective log management as a cloud service. But let’s discuss the ten most important Log Management advises.
The most important Log Management advises
- Choose the right tool – The market today offer a variety of tools. The best approach is to make the market research based not only on your current needs but taking into consideration the future expansion of your infrastructure. Also, think that every tool needs time and effort to be invested in from the organization to make the most of it.
- Define in detail the information you need – Systems today produce a ton of logs. If you want to write the right log analysis rules and alerts, the log data must record the right activity and the log management platform must have enough contextual data to analyze. This requires the right planning of which systems to focus on logging and the type of logs you need to gather.
- Store your log data for a sufficient amount of time – After determining which type of logs you need, you must define how much time you are going to keep them. Breaches can occur months after a system has been compromised, so if your data has been deleted or overwritten by more recent, your investigation will be unsuccessful. You also have to define the required retention time of data stored for compliance purposes.
- Standardization of log data is a must – If you can implement a standard format for log data then you are going to save a lot of time and effort. If normalization happens at the collection layer, then you can also reduce the load on your log management systems. Additional benefits are consistent reporting from all systems and applications and reduced workload every time you start configuring a new service.
- Use log files data not only reactively but also proactively – Log files contain information necessary to determine what is causing a problem. During the problematic situation, IT staff is acting reactively and sometimes relying on intuition or speculation in order to determine what happened. And the logs are a record of what actually happened. But you can acquire even more value when you set a mechanism to search your logs on a regular basis before the problem happens. This is called a proactive approach.
- Don’t rely on just static reporting – Problems today arise due to many reasons. Static reporting is effective only in some cases. But searching through log files should be done not just on the characteristics of individual rows but also on predefined baselines of expected activity. Log management systems today can be tuned to monitor trends and provide feedback to the IT staff in order to take the appropriate action.
- Fine-tune your alerting mechanisms – Log management tools today provide a variety of ways to reduce the number of alerts produced from them. Customization and fine-tuning of your alerts will decrease the working load of your analysts and help them to focus on the really important and dangerous for your organization.
- Don’t limit the logging only on performance or security – Log management systems are very effective for aggregating and analyzing log file information. The information being gathered can be used not only for performance or security but also for other purposes as well. Your organization can analyze customer experience and trends. A well-designed logging infrastructure can also take the customer experience into account.
- Run log management together with a SIEM – Your organizations may already have a SIEM in place. The benefits and costs of implementing a log management solution will take the task of log aggregation and storage from the SIEM. Your SIEM will enhance its ability and focus more on conducting more comprehensive searches with a wider variety of data sources and more data to investigate.
- Human is always the defining factor for success – No matter how good a tool (log management system) is, you must be prepared to invest the time in installing and managing it properly. Log management systems need experienced personnel to configure it and use it. Failure to look and review the alerts popping up from your console means that you will miss critical security events.
In conclusion, a complete log management solution is a must today for every organization, but it is easy to fall victim to the complexity involved. Logstail brings today the functionality of centralized monitoring to your hands. Now you can convert your data into actionable insights with just some tweaks and prevent performance and security issues. You can maximize the performance of your infrastructure or be notified of potential problems and take the appropriate actions. Sign-up for a free demo in order to realize the power of Logstail.