In a system where hundreds of log sources exist, prioritising which ones are most relevant can be a formidable task. It could be challenging to maintain track of the many log types and places available when everything at work is a priority. The value of specific sorts of logs will vary based on the details of your environment; nonetheless, it is still useful to have some standards to adhere to. As a technologist, you'll do better if you have a good idea of what kinds of data might be subject to monitoring.
We can begin with the standards, even if it would be impossible to include every probable cause of logs.
The Log File: What Is It?
To facilitate the introduction of new applications and the migration of existing ones, many businesses are turning to private and public cloud data centres. Many benefits come from using cloud computing, and the public cloud in particular. Advantages include less total spending thanks to economies of scale, more effective processes, and less complicated management with less paperwork requirements.
As more and more companies move their most crucial services and apps to the cloud, observability—the ability to see what's happening in the network—has become a top priority. The observability of cloud computing is dependent on two factors. availability of aggregated and analysed data that accurately represents network operations and behaviour.
In order to keep an eye on a network, a log file is a must-have tool. Log files are data files created by computers that include information about the use of an application, operating system, server, or other device. IT departments can use security event monitoring (SEM), security information and event management (SIEM), security information management (SIM), or another analytics solution to gather and analyse log files from a cloud computing environment.
System Event and Activity Log Formats for Popular OSes
Every time an event occurs in the network that matches the requirements for a certain log category, the computer generates a new log file. To aid in troubleshooting and debugging, log files keep a written record of the events created by the system. The best operating systems create and categorise event logs in response to different events in their own unique ways.
Event Logs in Windows
The event log is updated whenever Windows detects a change in the state of any piece of hardware or software. Experts in network security and operations can utilise specialised software solutions to aggregate and analyse these logs, discover patterns and trends, and respond to incidents or potential user difficulties. Activity logs in Windows can be divided into six different groups by default:
- Information that occurs within an application is recorded in its log. These logs are useful for developers because they allow them to monitor and assess the performance of their apps in real time.
- Logs from the Directory Service - A Windows Server domain computer that is configured to handle security authentication requests will generate logs from the Directory Service (also known as a domain controller). Windows Active Directory events such as changes to user permissions, authentication methods, request activity, and other events are recorded here.
- Domain Name System (DNS) servers are responsible for maintaining databases that link hostnames with their corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Every time you navigate to a new webpage, DNS servers are hard at work processing the request made by your browser. A DNS server log is a specialised form of log file used for monitoring
- DNS server activity.
- Domain controllers can view a special kind of log file called the File Replication Service
- Log. Data duplication times and locations are recorded.
- A security log is a log that is created whenever a computer experiences a security event.
- Common examples include failed login attempts, password resets, authentication request failures, and accidental file deletions. The network administrator has the ability to specify which application events are to be logged in the system wide security log.
- The system logs keep track of everything that happens in the system, from driver errors that occur at boot through user logins and logouts.
Observation Records in Linux
Linux's unique configuration makes log files a useful tool. Linux keeps a continuous log of every event that occurs on the system, including server, kernel, and application events. The four categories of Linux events are as follows:
- System activity records
- Logs of events
- Transaction records
- Event records
The Windows OS folder structure is mirrored here.
Event Logs in iOS
iOS's method of creating event logs differs from that of other operating systems. Although iOS does not log every system activity, it does generate crash reports for programmes that have encountered difficulties. An Activity Tracking API is available for use with iOS 10.0 and subsequent versions. Apple's Logging API for iOS allows system administrators to retrieve data from:
- Defense against app hacking
- Options for secrecy
- Securing Computer Networks
- Privacy protection with ciphering
- Manipulating Apple Pay From Your Device
- Electronic communication services via the Internet
- Safety in a network
- Administration of user passwords
Why do IT Companies Monitor Logs?
Mission-critical services at large IT firms rely on a complex web of IT infrastructure and applications. The cloud computing infrastructure can be made more open and understandable to its users through the analysis and monitoring of log files. This fixation on what can be seen is unwarranted. It's important to remember that security is just a means to an end—namely, the success of the company's primary objectives, such as improving system reliability, maintaining regulatory compliance, and growing the company's revenue.
Information technology departments can improve system stability and customer service by keeping a close eye on and analysing system logs on a regular basis. When additional resources are needed to enhance the user experience, this information can be gleaned from a system's logs. Log files are used by analysts to diagnose and repair issues that cause a website or application to run slowly, including slow queries and mistakes that prolong the duration of a transaction.
Data breaches in cloud computing settings can be avoided with the help of log file monitoring by IT organisations. Indicators of a prospective cyber attack, such as failed login attempts, user authentication, and unexpected server overloads, can be identified in log files. The most effective security monitoring tools can immediately send out alerts and programmatically respond when such events are detected on the network.
IT departments can also enhance business decision-making by keeping an eye on log files. User behaviour analytics is a relatively recent area of study that makes use of log files to analyse patterns in how users interact with software. Analyzing in-app user behaviour and making improvements to reduce the time it takes users to perform their desired tasks can increase customer happiness and profitability for developers.
Recommended Log Sources to Keep an Eye On
Instruments of the Infrastructure
Your network of devices can be compared to a "information superhighway." It is possible to retrieve helpful diagnostic and status records by probing network devices such switches, routers, wireless controllers, and access points. The logs reveal every aspect of the network, from wireless AP changes to hardware issues. Change alerts are most likely to have an effect on your domain. By tracking who made what modifications and when, configuration issues can be quickly located and fixed.
It's possible that the edge devices in your network will take on more significance if your firm moves to a cloud-first strategy. Your firewalls and other security devices are handling a higher volume of traffic since more duties are being shifted to cloud infrastructures. The logs of these security devices can be mined for valuable information, such as the types of traffic that have been blocked, the state of VPNs and IDS/IPS systems, and any unusual user behaviour. These records from your SIEM and Case Management systems may be your first line of defence in the event of an attack or suspicious user behaviour. Software like SolarWinds Security Event Manager, which tracks event logs, can instantly notify you of any threats that are detected.
Recordings from the Server
Server logs can tell you a lot about the state of your ecosystem, which maybe goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Both Windows and Linux servers consistently produce logs that detail the system's and each component's actions. An operating system and its applications may experience hundreds of thousands of events every second. Learned in the heat of battle is the capacity to quickly identify which log events are critical and which can wait. In any case, server logs aren't to be disregarded as a possible data source.
We know that gathering web server logs can seem like a hassle, but it's one of the greatest (if not the best) methods for understanding how visitors interact with your sites. Web server logging is a feature that should be available on any modern web server like IIS, Apache, Web Sphere, Tomcat, NGINX, etc. The time and location of your site's visitors can tell you a great deal about their habits and interests. One popular type of log that is sometimes overlooked when developing a company's logging strategy is the web server log.
Servers for Authentication
Whether you're relying on Active Directory, OpenLDAP, or another solution, it's important to know who and what is exploring your system. Each of your authentication servers will have some sort of logging system built in, but it's crucial that you know what to look for. One should provide top priority to token requests, authorisation revocations, and authentication failures. These kinds of logs might be useful for figuring out where attacks might be coming from or why login attempts failed.
Hypervisors allow us IT specialists to more efficiently manage numerous servers and applications, thus minimising downtime and maximising output. It is now possible to run hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs simultaneously on a cluster. Most of the hypervisor's work, however, is done behind the scenes and is never seen by the user. Your hypervisors must continually conduct the delicate balancing act of allocating resources from one virtual machine to another, shifting storage from one cluster node to another, and moving a whole virtual computer to a separate node. Logging and monitoring your hypervisors is a simple way to gain insight into their hidden activities.
Despite being a more recent log type than the bulk of the others on this list, containers are gaining importance in the commercial world. Taking advantage of container management service is the next logical step in this manner. They share some similarities with hypervisors, but are distinct enough to warrant their own category. Discovering why the host felt it necessary to cut the deployment from eight endpoints to four is crucial for troubleshooting and optimising a scaled-out deployment. Most of these data can only be found in the container logs, so be careful when retrieving them.
Physical Features of San Antonio's Infrastructure
Despite the fact that this may seem like an out-of-place addition to the list of the top log types to monitor in light of the current IT trend towards hyper-converged infrastructure or the cloud, it is something that is frequently overlooked. If your fibre switch stops communicating with the transceiver, your server's data will be inaccessible. The same holds true in a multi-path system, where backup channels prevent serious breakdowns in connection. What if three of your server's four connections to your SAN infrastructure failed over the course of several months owing to a terrible series of events? As a result, you have successfully cut data transfer by 75%. Users are naturally annoyed by the drastically slowed performance, despite the fact that connectivity is still intact and data is still being sent. In my opinion, this is one of the most overlooked areas to look for logs.
You can use this with the vast majority of application logs out there. Even though it is becoming less common, some programmes are still using the OS's native logging facilities to manage logs. Most of the information related to your applications is probably stored in simple text files. And what about multi-tier applications, which rely heavily on these logs for troubleshooting? Different logging needs may arise for front-end, middleware, and back-end installations. You shouldn't skimp on managing and importing these logs (from each layer) into a system where you can compare actions by comparing the timestamps.
Yes, They mean that seriously. The customer is frequently held responsible for IT issues even when the fault may rest elsewhere. Sometimes problems at the destination are the result of issues at the destination itself. I'm not proposing that every log on every system needs to be gathered all the time, but rather that selectively collecting logs from endpoints can be vital in getting a more substantial picture of the problem's magnitude. This form of log is the most underutilised for proactive issue resolution.
Categories of Log Information
Six types of logs are monitored by SIEM solutions.
- Security system logs from the perimeter
- Transaction logs from the endpoint system in Windows
- Data on Program Access from a Proxy Server
- The data archiving of IoT devices
Recordings from Surveillance and Security Systems
Network perimeter devices monitor and manage network traffic. Firewalls, virtual private networks (VPNs), intrusion detection systems (IDS), and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) are all examples of perimeter devices (IPS). Insight into network security events can be gained through the massive amounts of data captured by these devices. Using Syslog-formatted log data, IT managers can perform security audits, troubleshoot operational issues, and acquire a better understanding of network traffic.
Event Logs in Windows
All system activity is recorded in Windows' event logs. Furthermore, this recorded data is classified as.
Registers From the End Device
An endpoint is any device at the terminus of a network that may connect to the network and share information with other endpoints and servers. Computers, laptops, smartphones, and printers are just a few examples. As more companies adopt remote staff, endpoints introduce potential entry points for malicious actors into the network.
Audit Trails for Applications
Database management systems, web server software, and custom-built applications are all essential to the day-to-day operations of businesses. In many cases, the company couldn't function without these programmes. All of these applications generate log data that can be parsed for useful insights into how they function.
To prevent data breaches and ensure compliance with established security measures, proxy servers are an essential component of every corporate network. Since the proxy server processes all requests and responses, it can provide information about users' browsing patterns and usage statistics.
Logs From Internet of Things Devices
The phrase "Internet of Things" (IoT) is used to refer to a network in which various devices exchange data via the internet. These devices incorporate hardware and software components to collect, process, and transfer data. Like endpoints, the components of an IoT system generate logs. Log data from IoT devices can shed light on how various hardware components, such as microcontrollers, are used, whether or not firmware updates are required, and how data is received and transmitted by the device. Logging information from Internet of Things (IoT) systems includes storing log data. These devices don't have enough storage space to keep the logs. So, for long-term storage, it's important to move the information to a centralised log management solution. In order to diagnose issues and spot potential security breaches, the SIEM solution reviews the logs.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I'm sure there are other log sources that I've neglected to mention, such as load balancers, proxy servers, and cloud management platforms. Once you've examined these ten types of logs, you'll have a better sense of which ones are ideal for your projects. This is important to consider as you integrate new technology into your system.
Which of these possible log sources you actually employ, if any, will depend on your individual requirements. By considering your long-term goals, you may filter down the many monitoring and log analysis software solutions available. Your understanding of your infrastructure and how to effectively care for it will grow with each new bit of information you get. Remember that it's not a matter of whether anything bad happens, but when. It's a matter of timing. In the IT field, having the proper log types to back up your decisions is a huge benefit.
Log files are a type of computer data file that record activities related to the use of a computer programme, OS, server, or other device. Log files from a cloud infrastructure can be collected and analysed by IT departments using security event monitoring (SEM), security information management (SIEM), or another analytics solution. In Windows, everything that happens is recorded. These logs can be analysed by specialised software in order to spot trends, respond to incidents, and learn more about the system's behaviour. Starting with iOS 10, developers have access to an Activity Tracking Application Programming Interface.
Analysts use log files to determine and fix the causes of a website's or application's performance issues. Monitoring log files is another way that IT departments can help businesses make better decisions. You can learn a lot about the health of your ecosystem from the data stored in ServerServer logs. Configuration issues can be quickly located and fixed by keeping track of who made what changes and when. In the event of an attack or suspicious user behaviour, these logs may serve as the first line of defence.
It's easy to see what your hypervisors are up to behind your back if you just log and monitor their actions. Each authentication server will automatically record events in some fashion. Be cautious when retrieving this information, as it can only be found in container logs. Any data stored on your server could be lost if the fibre switch stops talking to the transceiver. System failures are avoided in a multi-path system because of the redundant connections.
Front-end, middleware, and back-end deployments may all require logging. Any computer or other device that can connect to a network and exchange data with other nodes and servers is called a "endpoint." The increased use of remote workers has resulted in an increase in the number of endpoints that can access a company's network. IT administrators can perform security audits and troubleshoot operational issues with the help of log data in Syslog format. Internet of Things (IoT) systems generate log data through the act of logging information.
IoT device logs can explain the functionality of hardware components like microcontrollers. Transferring the data to a centralised log management solution is crucial for long-term archiving.
- In order to keep an eye on a network, a log file is a must-have tool.
- IT departments can use security event monitoring (SEM), security information and event management (SIEM), security information management (SIM), or another analytics solution to gather and analyse log files from a cloud computing environment.
- Logs from the Directory Service - A Windows Server domain computer that is configured to handle security authentication requests will generate logs from the Directory Service (also known as a domain controller).
- The network administrator has the ability to specify which application events are to be logged in the system wide security log.
- Linux keeps a continuous log of every event that occurs on the system, including server, kernel, and application events.
- Information technology departments can improve system stability and customer service by keeping a close eye on and analysing system logs on a regular basis.
- Data breaches in cloud computing settings can be avoided with the help of log file monitoring by IT organisations.
- Protection ToolsIt's possible that the edge devices in your network will take on more significance if your firm moves to a cloud-first strategy.
- Each of your authentication servers will have some sort of logging system built in, but it's crucial that you know what to look for.
- Logging and monitoring your hypervisors is a simple way to gain insight into their hidden activities.
- Despite the fact that this may seem like an out-of-place addition to the list of the top log types to monitor in light of the current IT trend towards hyper-converged infrastructure or the cloud, it is something that is frequently overlooked.
- In my opinion, this is one of the most overlooked areas to look for logs.
- Network perimeter devices monitor and manage network traffic.
- Insight into network security events can be gained through the massive amounts of data captured by these devices.
- Like endpoints, the components of an IoT system generate logs.
- Logging information from Internet of Things (IoT) systems includes storing log data.
- So, for long-term storage, it's important to move the information to a centralised log management solution.
- Once you've examined these ten types of logs, you'll have a better sense of which ones are ideal for your projects.
FAQs About Types of Logs
- Reproduce the issue that you would like to troubleshoot. ...
- Launch the Phone app. ...
- Enter *#9900# to launch the SysDump tool.
- Tap Run dumpstate/logcat.
- Tap Copy to sdcard.
- Event logs.
- Server logs.
- System logs.
- Authorization logs and access logs.
- Change logs.
- Availability logs.
- Resource logs. ...
- Threat logs.
- Perimeter device logs.
- Windows event logs.
- Endpoint logs.
- Application logs.
- Proxy logs.
- IoT logs.