Network devices like workstations, servers, routers, and firewalls generate a large volume of logs every day. These digital bread crumbs can be your greatest ally in network security; following them could point you towards potential data breaches and network vulnerabilities. Besides analyzing logs, it’s equally important to preserve them.

Logs can be crucial in mitigating attacks

Discovering an attack is often just the tip of the iceberg. In cases where an attacker infiltrated your network ahead of time, forensic analysis of logs can help you discover how the network was compromised in the first place. Once that’s established, you can take measures to ensure the same vulnerability isn’t exploited again.

For instance, say multiple unauthorized access attempts from a suspicious source are detected on a critical server and you need to investigate the incident. You can get more clarification about the attack by asking questions like: Is the malicious actor present within the premises? Is it a compromised workstation? Or is it a remote connection? Having this information on hand when your network is under siege is invaluable. At times like these, your network logs will be crucial in charting out your course of action.

Archiving logs for compliance

Preserving relevant electronic records such as network logs is essential in complying with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, established a set of auditing and financial regulations that public companies in the United States must adhere to.

In corporate America, the dawn of the new millennium was marked by major scandals that culminated in billion-dollar corporations like Enron filing for bankruptcy. Enron was accused of fraudulent accounting practices and obscuring financial data indicative of the actual health of the company, and its auditing firm, Arthur Anderson, became notorious for destroying incriminating evidence shortly before an investigation. For this act, Arthur Anderson only served a five-year probation since the law did not specifically address the preservation of financial documents and the penalty for their destruction at that time. In the wake of these scandals, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was createded to streamline financial auditing and the preservation of data, including electronic data like logs. Subsequent compliance regulations such as the PCI DSS and the GDPR have similar guidelines.

For investors and analysts, it’s vital to have access to a company’s raw financial data that has not been tampered with. Today, most data is stored in an electronic format, not in huge ledgers like in the days of yore. This is why preserving the integrity of your logs is crucial. Logs can tell you with a degree of reasonable certainty that the integrity of your financial data has not been compromised. Therefore, besides storing all your logs, you should also ensure that your logs have not been tampered with.

EventLog Analyzer and log archiving

EventLog Analyzer, a log management tool from ManageEngine, can help you achieve just that. With an intuitive archiving feature, you can systematically archive and encrypt all your device logs, as well as configure alerts in case of tampering. Searching through historic log data is simple: Just set the required time frame, and search for the event you’re looking for. For an essential function like archiving logs, having a log management tool can greatly simplify the process.