Log management

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Log management (LM) comprises an approach to dealing with large volumes of computer-generated log messages (also known as audit records, audit trails, event-logs, etc.). LM covers:[1]

  • log collection
  • centralized aggregation
  • long-term retention
  • log rotation
  • log analysis (in real-time and in bulk after storage)
  • log search and reporting.

Concerns about security,[2] system and network operations (such as system or network administration) and regulatory compliance drive log management.

Effectively analyzing large volumes of diverse logs can pose many challenges — such as:

  • huge log-volumes (reaching hundreds of gigabytes of data per day for a large organization)
  • log-format diversity
  • undocumented proprietary log-formats (that resist analysis)
  • the presence of false log records in some types of logs (such as intrusion-detection logs)[examples needed]

Users and potential users of LM can build their own log-management and intelligence tools, assemble the functionality from various open-source components, or acquire (sub-)systems from commercial vendors. Log management is a complicated process and organizations often make mistakes while approaching it.[3]

Suggestions were made[by whom?] to change the definition of logging. This change would keep matters both more pure and more easily maintainable:

  • Logging would then be defined as all instantly discardable data on the technical process of an application or website, as it represents and processes data and user input.
  • Auditing, then, would involve data that is not immediately discardable. In other words: data that is assembled in the auditing process, is stored persistently, is protected by authorization schemes and is, always, connected to some end-user functional requirement.

Logging can produce technical information usable for the maintenance of applications or websites. It can serve:

  • to define whether a reported bug is actually a bug
  • to help analyze, reproduce and solve bugs
  • to help test new features in a development stage

Deployment life-cycle[edit]

One view[citation needed] of assessing the maturity of an organization in terms of the deployment of log-management tools might use[original research?] successive levels such as:

  1. in the initial stages, organizations use different log-analyzers for analyzing the logs in the devices on the security-perimeter. They aim to identify the patterns of attack on the perimeter infrastructure of the organization.
  2. with increased use of integrated computing, organizations mandate logs to identify the access and usage of confidential data within the security-perimeter.
  3. at the next level of maturity, the log analyzer can track and monitor the performance and availability of systems at the level of the enterprise — especially of those information-assets whose availability organizations regard as vital.
  4. organizations integrate the logs of various business-applications into an enterprise log manager for better value proposition.
  5. organizations merge the physical-access monitoring and the logical-access monitoring into a single view.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-92/SP800-92.pdf
  2. ^ "Leveraging Log Data for Better Security". EventTracker SIEM, IT Security, Compliance, Log Management. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Top 5 Log Mistakes - Second Edition". Docstoc.com. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  • MITRE: Common Event Expression (CEE) Proposed Log Standard. Online at http://cee.mitre.org, retrieved 2010-03-03

External links[edit]