Understanding Log Processing

by | Feb 7, 2022 | Cybersecurity Blog

With an increasingly connected world, the need for data analysis is more significant than ever. The spread of computer networks into almost every part of our lives means that not just big companies and governments are collecting data anymore. Whether it is a large corporation with a set of sensors or a person with a log analyzer on their computer, people around the globe are creating more data than ever before. 

Analyzing data and being able to understand patterns better is key to cybersecurity. As more information is collected by servers and now even phones, we need to look at how we can analyze the data collected to ensure the security of users and the company.

What is Log Processing?

Log processing can be thought of as transforming a log into another kind of data, typically organized and structured to be analyzed. This process is crucial for exploring all the data generated by your cybersecurity tools and procedures.   

Having a standard way to store and index logs is essential for proper usage and analysis. Without standardization, sharing log data among different systems or teams would be challenging and would make gathering valuable information more time-consuming. 

The primary purpose of log processing is to provide the “big picture” and dig through it. Logs are often thought of as systems of record, but with appropriate analysis, they can be used just as well as a method of insight.

One Of The Pillars Of Cybersecurity And Threat Intelligence

Logs are an invaluable source of information. Network security professionals rely on log data to detect attacks against their systems so they can respond as quickly as possible to stop any damage from occurring, and after attacks have happened, to investigate the details of the events and take appropriate measures.

Through log processing, you get insight into where your security is most vulnerable and how to fix it. And as logs tend to be large and complex, the application of log processing methods can result in vast amounts of quickly assimilated information that supports informed decision making.

Log Processing Flow

#1 Initial Parsing

Log parser is the software that translates unstructured data from different log formats and turns it into structured data. It can also be called a “log scanner,” which reads input and produces output based on some set of rules. A good log parser is designed in a way that it will read different log types from different host operating systems.

#2 Normalization & Categorization

Normalization combines events into a simplified format that has common properties. The essential information captured by most logs is the same – time, network address, action completed, etc.

Categorization entails giving meaning to occurrences such as system events, authentication, local/remote actions, and so on. Log categorization provides the means for identifying and organizing information about a specific topic as defined by log parser. It is to group logs based on their content, source, or other relevant information.

#3 Enrichment

Log enrichment entails adding relevant information to make the data more valuable. It includes the addition of contextual data using external sources. 

For example, if the initial log contained IP addresses and not the actual physical locations of the users accessing the system, a log aggregator can employ a geolocation data service to locate the users and add their sites to the data.

#4 Indexing

Log indexing is the process of setting up a structure to allow for efficient retrieval of information from logs to turn the data into a searchable index.

Modern networks generate vast amounts of log data. An index of common attributes across all log data is required to successfully search and examine log data.

#5 Storage

Log storage refers to keeping logs for future reference and analysis. This allows for easier searching of events and faster retrieval when needed.

Data lakes can support indefinite store volumes with cheap incremental storage costs and enable access to the data through distributed processing engines or current high-performance analytics tools.

IT Consulting Services You Can Trust!

Cyber attacks are becoming more common and more dangerous. And the targets are not just large corporations or government agencies anymore. Anyone could become a victim, even you that are probably reading this article online. 

With the rise of technology, cyber-criminals have increased opportunities to do their work. You need to manage your cybersecurity on the same level as you work your finance, sales, product, and other aspects of the business. The proper cybersecurity measures from a reliable cyber security company serve as the prime guard against cyber threats.

With Upstart Cyber, you can secure your network with the newest technologies. Our team of IT professionals offers reliable cybersecurity solutions that will keep your company safe from potential threats. Ask for our fully managed IT services. Who could be better than our cybersecurity experts to manage your IT systems? We offer affordable packages according to your needs and budget.

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