Security is very important for any organization and so is managing their event logs. If you do not know what an event log is, it is a fundamental tool that helps offer information on network traffic, use, and other factors.
It saves this information for recovery by security specialists or automated security systems, allowing network administrators to better manage security, performance, and transparency.
Understanding Event logs and Security logs
We have seen logbooks in traditional shops where customer details were stored. Event logs have a similar concept, but it is infused with network intelligence. Log files are often used to capture events that occur in end-user devices or Information Technology-based systems.
Log files are used by operating systems to keep track of occurrences. Log files are created by each operating system, as well as by programs and hardware devices.
Many different types of information like login sessions, failed password attempts, and account lockouts are stored in those event logs.
The key concept of log management, according to exabeam, is:
A computer system's raw data is kept in a log.
Log data may be used to extract events, which are things that happen anywhere on a network or computer system.
Incidents are incidents that have been detected as potentially compromising security. Unauthorized access to data or IT systems, as well as violations of security policies, are examples of this.
A tool called Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tool frequently use an event log. The practice of gathering and monitoring logs for security purposes is known as SIEM logging.
Security teams use SIEM systems to collect event data from IT systems and security tools throughout a business and utilize it to spot abnormal activity that might indicate a security breach.
This program does a deeper examination of an event log's contents to assist network managers in determining what's going on in their network. In this blog, we will look into different types of event logs available.
Also Read | An Introductory Guide to Security Analytics
What is an Event?
We already understand what event logging is, but what are the events that these logs record? Let us know more about different events:
This is the sort of event that represents a task, such as an application, driver, or service, running successfully.
When a network driver loads successfully, for example, an Information event is reported.
This sort of recurrence is not always noteworthy, but it may suggest the possibility of a future problem.
For example, When disc space becomes scarce, a Warning message is logged.
An occurrence that implies a serious problem, such as data loss or loss of capability.
An Error event is recorded if a service fails to load during startup, for example.
An event that describes the successful completion of a security event that has been audited.
When a user connects to the computer, for example, a Success Audit event is registered.
An audited security event that did not finish successfully is described by this event.
For example, when a user is unable to access a network disc, a Failure Audit may be reported.
Also Read | What is interaction analytics?
Events that require auditing:
Manage Engine has written a detailed article on this. Many security conditions do not register events by default, which implies your resources are still vulnerable to hacking. To audit and log security events, you must create audit policies.
Auditing is required for the following critical security events:
Login/logoff of users
logging on/logging off/restarting a pc
Objects, files, and directories are all accessible.
The time on the system has been changed.
The audit logs have been deleted.
All of the audit policies do not need to be configured. As a result, logging for each and every activity will occur, which will increase the log size. The logs rollover and the older logs are erased based on the size of the roll-over configuration.
The security of the environment will be improved by configuring the proper policies that are truly vital to your environment.
Domain controllers have critical event auditing enabled by default. Configure the audit policies accessible under Local Security Settings for the other Windows devices. The following audit policies are available:
Logon events in your account
Management of accounts
Access to the directory service
Happenings at Logon
Access to objects
Changes in policy
Use of a privilege
Keeping track of the process
occurrences in the system
Also Read | Introduction to Application security
Types of Windows Event Logs for Security:
Based on the component at fault, event logs are generically divided into a few default categories. The system, the system security, the applications hosted on the system, and other components are among the components for which events are logged.
Instead of logging events in the normal Programs category, some applications log them in a custom category.
In this type of log, any event that has occurred gets logged by an application. This is an in-built feature of the application and has been pre-determined by the developers while making the application.
An example of this type of log can be when the user gets an application error while starting the app, and it gets recorded in the application log.
Security-related events, such as login attempts or file deletion, are logged in this type of log. According to their audit policy, administrators decide which events to report in their security log.
For example, valid and invalid Logins and logoffs, any file deletion, etc.
In this type, events are logged by the operating system.
For example, The failure to start a drive during the starting process is recorded in the System Logs.
DNS Server Log:
This log keeps track of DNS server and name resolution events. Only DNS servers have access to this log.
File replication service Log:
The events of domain controller replication are recorded in the form of an event log. Only domain controllers have access to this log.
Directory Service Log:
This sort of log keeps track of AD occurrences. Only domain controllers have access to this log.
Also Read | What is cloud security?
Event log monitoring:
For publicly listed organizations, the health care sector, and other industries, security compliances like SOX, HIPAA, and others demand developing security management processes to defend against attempted or successful unauthorized access.
With or without needing to comply with specific standards, securing the information on your network is vital to your organization. One of the sources for tracking and logging login attempts is the Windows event logs.
A human check on every Windows device is inconvenient and impracticable, necessitating regular automatic audits and monitoring of event logs.
There are many more corporate systems and security solutions that create logs than the common log sources described above. They might all have security consequences. However, because many firms have limited security staff, it's critical to prioritize logs for analyst monitoring.
Warnings, errors, and failures are the sorts of events to be concerned about. All of these things point to a problem. They might even indicate a potential attack and data leak in some circumstances.
To select which events to configure, which ones are significant, when to be notified, and how alerts are delivered, you'll need to create an event log monitoring and audit strategy. In this blog, we have mainly learned about the types of events and event logs.
Next Read | Information security vs cyber security