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Mitigate cyberthreats with log forensic analysis

A log, in the context of computing, is a document that contains the details of events that have occurred in a system. All software and systems generate log files. These files include information such as time, source, raw text, and fields about events; the details stored in logs are important to enterprises for analyzing network activities. Logs act as an important source to detect threats, mitigate attacks, and conduct post-attack analysis. Log management is the process of collecting, storing, analyzing, and archiving log data.

Why you need log forensics

Log forensics refers to the process of analyzing log data to identify the time a security incident was initiated, who initiated it, the sequence of actions, and the impact it had on the business. It also helps to identify the data that has been affected by an attack and to identify the attack pattern.

Log forensics helps to:

  • Reconstruct the attack scenario and gather evidence to prove an attack.
  • Meet compliance mandate requirements by demonstrating how the attack happened.
  • Identify security system vulnerabilities or loopholes that led to a cyberattack to seal the loopholes and thwart future attacks.

Performing log forensic analysis

Conducting log forensics manually can be a daunting and time-consuming task because a large number of logs can be generated within a network in a short period of time. A log management tool helps ensure the security needs of the organization are addressed.

It is important to have a tightly integrated, comprehensive log management tool in place for searching through logs. Log management tools usually include log search methods that help make conducting log forensics easy. With a massive volume of log data being generated each day, the solution must be capable of searching through the log data and providing the required information without compromising performance. The solution must also be capable of building search queries using natural language input from the user, rather than requiring that queries be built in a specified language. It must provide an intuitive platform where users can build their own queries, so that they don't have to depend on the log search mechanism.

A few of the common log search methods include Elasticsearch and Lucene. These search methods are scalable, fast, and help to search different data types generated from different sources.

For instance, data from an event can easily be extracted by providing the event ID in the search option. This will provide details regarding an event that has taken place and its effect on the business. Log forensics helps mitigate existing threats, anticipate possible network security issues, and identify vulnerabilities in the network that can lead to a data breach.

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