Log Management, Monitoring, Security & The Importance of Log files

The Importance of Log files: Log Management, Monitoring, Security and More

As a beginner, it is normal to use the print() function to print out the things in the console and check whether everything is working fine or debugging. This print() function might be good in the coding phase, but what happens when your application is live in for production environment? We need proper monitoring; the print() function won’t effectively help us there. Consider the case where a user reports a bug, and you wish to recreate it in your development environment. Now, you have logged the user activity in a log file. In that case, it might be easier to refer to those logs and replicate them in a nonproduction environment for further analysis.

So, What are log files?

Log files are created automatically to keep track of every occurrence from your application. A log file is created or updated by almost everything you use. The programs on your phone and your computer’s operating system create log files. They provide details such as specific database columns that are malfunctioning, which you would typically not track in your error messages.

How Log Management Systems Can Help?

A Log Management System (LMS) is a software solution that collects, sorts, and stores log data and event logs from several sources in a single location. Log management software systems enable IT teams, DevOps, and SecOps experts to provide a centralized location for all essential network and application data. This log file is typically completely indexed and searchable, allowing the IT staff to quickly access the information needed to make network health, resource allocation, or security decisions.

Log management systems are used to assist organizations in managing the massive amounts of log data generated throughout the enterprise. These tools help determine:

  • What information and data should be logged.
  • Which format should it be logged in?
  • The time period for which the log data should be saved
  • How to dispose of the data when it’s not needed.

Why do you need to keep copies of log files?

Log file analysis allows you to take a proactive approach by pointing out issues and their root causes before or as they happen. For example, say you added something to a domain class but forgot to run the migration. This may cause some problems. For many reasons, you don’t want to tell users that you are missing a certain column in your table. Only those who have access to the servers can see the log files and find the root cause of the problem to fix the issue. Most of the time, this is where you should look when you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your code after hours of debugging. When you open a log file, it doesn’t look very safe. It has thousands of lines, and it all looks very technical. Most of the stuff in the logs won’t matter to you. You need to know what to look for.

Our security professionals use the logs to keep track of activities on your organization’s systems and networks, detect unusual activity, scan for vulnerabilities, and improve your organization’s security posture. Furthermore, log data needs many cyber safety protocols and applications.

What data should you include in a log?

The information to be logged is subjective and depends on the context of the particular application. It should usually cover four W’s (When What, Where, Who)

  • WHEN — Logged event’s timestamp
  • WHAT — The activity type or error classification (e.g., database error, file I/O).
  • WHERE — Within the event’s environment (login module, file upload module etc.)
  • WHO — The user name or application name.

Download Our Case Studies to Know More

Keeping Sensitive Data Out of Logs – Security in Log Management

The ‘logging levels’ discuss the data that should be recorded in our log. There are various levels of logging. Since many new developers aren’t familiar with logs, we must take the time to educate them so they can learn how to investigate errors more effectively.

Need Security Consulting?

Payoda is your watchtower lookout and can provide the data that could alert you to a data breach. Reviewing logs may help in the detection of malicious attacks on your system. Given the volume of log data created by systems, manually reviewing all these logs daily is impossible. Log monitoring software handles this duty by employing rules to automate the inspection of these logs and only highlighting occurrences that may indicate problems or risks. This is frequently accomplished through real-time reporting systems that notify you through email or text message when something suspicious is detected.

Our experts will help you monitor systems, oversee network activity, inspect system events, and store user actions (e.g., renaming a file or opening an application) inside your operating system.

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