Log management is the collection of self-generated data from IT hardware devices and software applications. The collection of this data can contain useful information about business processes such as the number of errors on a website or even a security issue that displays the number of failed attempts to access a perimeter router.
Many organizations conduct log management practices to meet regulatory compliance in their respected industries. For instance, the Graham-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act provides compliance guidelines to those organizations in the financial industry, while the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has a direct affect on the health care industry. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act offers protection guidelines to publicly traded companies’ financial systems and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) aids in the protection of the federal government’s information systems.
However, the use of log management practices serves more than just a vehicle to satisfy compliance requirements, it can also be used to assist in the fault management process to aid in troubleshooting at the tier 1 level. In addition to fault management, performance analysis is another useful area for log data to obtain information about server CPU, memory, disk and even network throughput. Lastly, log data can conduct trend analysis to view peak usage stats such as the “top”10s as well as aid in the detection of security incidents and violations.
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