Love them or loathe them, log files play a central role in this. Logs are the lifeblood. They tell us the Who, the What, the Where, and the When. They give is insight. They give us answers. Very occasionally they might even make us laugh when the computer jargon points out the very obvious or make a simple fault sound incredibly serious.
Because of the widespread deployment of networked servers, workstations, and other computing devices, and the ever-increasing number of threats against networks and systems, the number, volume, and variety of computer security logs has increased greatly. This has created the need for computer security log management, which is the process for generating, transmitting, storing, analysing, and disposing of computer security log data.
Log files are critical to the successful investigation and prosecution of security incidents, therefore best practices recommend logging all events. However, enforcing such a policy can often overwhelm already overworked system administrators. The last thing you want is information overload. But it is true to say that logging only subsets is a risk. There are emerging solutions that do indeed gather a log for every event that takes place on the network, and provide an easy way to retrieve specific information if and when required.
Log files generally fall into one of three categories. Security software logs primarily contain computer security-related information, while operating system logs and application logs typically contain a variety of information, including computer security-related data.
- Anti-Virus Software
- Intrusion Detection & Protection
- Remote Access Software
- Web Proxies
- Vulnerability Management Software
- Authentication Servers
- Network Devices
Operating systems (OS) for servers, workstations, and networking devices (e.g., routers, switches) usually log a variety of information related to security. The most common types of security-related OS data are:
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