Thursday, December 14, 2006

Does the Word "Content-Free" Rings a Bell? :-) More on Logging

This piece, even though it borders on being content-free at times :-), has a few fun insights on logging and audits (some painfully obvious to us logging people :-))

For example: "Does the fact that audit logging is enabled satisfy all the different regulatory compliance requirements? [...] In all but the most generic cases, the clear answer to this is no." But of course! Having logs is great, but looking at them is awesome (and sometimes required - see PCI Requirement 10)!

Or this "gem" - "The problem is no one looks at these logs unless something bad happens" which goes straight back to my famous (and old) "Five Mistakes of Log Analysis" paper (an update, called "Six Mistakes of Log Management" is to be published soon) Having a log management solution solves this one nicely.

Or this one: "
Audit logging is not just for compliance reasons." Guess what, every sysadmin worth his salt have known this for, say, 20 years :-)

Overall, the piece is much better at asking questions than giving answers. Seriously, is this true: "What do you log? Do you look at successes and failures? How vulnerable are your logs once they've been written? How long do you keep your logs? Only you can answer those questions." No, there are pretty good answers already given to the questions above. Such answers are given in various regulations (some mentioned in the article) as well as "best practice" and IT governance frameworks, such as COBIT, ITIL and various ISO docs.

Mike Rothman kicks it as well by saying "
Kevin Beaver beats the horse a bit too much about why you should log (providing the regulatory context) and not enough perspective on how you should do it."

In any case, I liked the blurb since it helps to bring awareness of log management to those still hiding from it under their desks...

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Dr Anton Chuvakin