Users log on and off your company's network all day long. You may think, "No big deal. It's part of the process." But data extrapolated from user logs is a big deal. It can provide your business with valuable information about network security and give you insight on how to improve operations.
Enacting procedures to properly maintain log data, and going through the effort of monitoring your logs is worth the effort. As enterprise systems become more complex (especially as more companies spread their data over various cloud services), properly handling user log data will continue to become a high priority for organizations with sensitive data at stake.
Jim Frey, vice president of research at Enterprise Management Associates explains the importance of log management to Processor: "Log management has always been essential to operations and security monitoring, but it has received increased attention recently as more teams realize there is essential information in logs that they can't find from other data sources."
At first glance, a network's login records look like a dense file. It's a large list of usernames and login/logout times. Extracting essential and valuable information from a log can seem daunting, especially when dealing with a complex network. Data analytics tools can help, and log management tools have improved over recent years as the IT world prioritizes in Big Data.
Any business looking to get the most out of their log data will want to have three elements in place for log management.
Frey mentions the importance of this first step to Processor, "Collection is the starting point, and the important thing to remember is you need a flexible mechanism for gathering logs regardless of where they may be coming from--network, compute, security, storage, and application." Every system has this information accessible to network administrators. Reach out to SMART Services at 586 258-0650 if you need help locating and collecting this data from your company's network.
Efficient Consolidation of Data
Once you've collected and archived your logs, you'll want to consolidate the information and make it readily scalable. If you don't intentionally organize your logs, then the sheer amount of data will get out of control and become difficult to search through to find any useful information. There are Big Data tools that can help you with this too.
Using the right analytics tools, you can quickly search your log data in order to find exactly what it is you're looking for. Whether it be suspicious activity or user patterns that can be used to improve efficiency, you will want to equip your business with an analytics tool capable of combing through your logs with a simple query. This will produce real-time events and alerts. Frey also mentions the need for a tool that will provide "standard reports and dashboards showing important operational and security viewpoints, and ad hoc analyses for investigating issues and incidents."
Monitoring and managing your logs is a great way to prevent issues and catch hackers that have stolen an employee's credentials. Monitoring the activity of your network is one of the proactive security services SMART Services offers your business with our managed IT services. If there's something funky going on with the way users are logging into your network, we'll catch it from our end and report it. We'll then work with you to come up with a solution so that your company's sensitive data won't be compromised.
Take advantage of SMART Services's proactive IT solutions by giving us a call at 586 258-0650.