Logging and monitoring

by Elina D

What are log files in ISO 27001?

In ISO 27001, a log file is defined as a "record of events having significance for the management of the information system". In other words, a log file is a record of all the events that have happened on a system, and these events can be anything from system start-ups and shutdowns to user login and logout times. There are many different types of log files, and each type of log file is used for different purposes. For example, system logs can be used to track system performance, while application logs can be used to track application usage. If you're not sure what type of log file you need, you can consult the ISO 27001 standard for more information.

Log files are a key part of any ISO 27001-compliant information security management system (ISMS). They play an important role in helping organisations to identify, investigate and resolve security incidents.

Different types of log files can be used in an ISMS, but the most common are system log files and application log files. System log files contain information about system events, while application log files contain information about application events.

Organisations should have a policy in place for managing log files, including how they should be stored, archived and deleted. They should also ensure that log files are regularly reviewed, and that appropriate action is taken in response to any security incidents identified.

Logging and Monitoring

What is log management and why is it important?

In computing, log management (or log management and analysis) is the collection and analysis of log files. Logs are records of events that happen in computer systems, and they can be used to identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot problems. Log management is a critical part of maintaining the health and performance of a computer system.

A log management system gathers, parses, stores, and analyses logs from multiple sources. It can be used to monitor the health of a system, detect issues, and troubleshoot problems. Log management can also be used to compliance purposes, such as auditing and reporting.

There are many different types of logs, including system logs, application logs, and security logs. System logs contain information about the operating system, hardware, and software. Application logs contain information about the application, such as error messages and performance data. Security logs contain information about events that could potentially be harmful to the system, such as failed login attempts.

Log management is a complex task, and it is important to have a good understanding of how logging works before implementing a log management system. There are many different open source and commercial log management solutions available.

Which events should be logged in ISO 27001?

To determine which events should be logged in ISO 27001, it is important to first understand the purpose of logging. Logging provides a record of events that can be used to detect, diagnose, and investigate incidents. The goal is to collect enough information to reconstruct what happened and identify the root cause. This information can then be used to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
There are four main categories of events that should be logged:

  • Security events: These are events that could pose a security threat to the organisation, such as attempted unauthorised access to data or systems.
  • System events: These are events that relate to the functioning of the system, such as a system crash or failure.
  • Application events: These are events that relate to the functioning of an application, such as an error message.
  • User events: These are events that relate to user activity, such as login and logout times.

A.12.4.1 Event Logging

Event logging is a process of tracking and recording system events in a computer system. It is a security-related activity that is often used to detect, diagnose, and troubleshoot problems. Event logging can be used to track user activity, application crashes, or system errors. It can also be used to monitor system performance or to detect malicious activity. Most event logging systems use a centralised database to store log data. This database can be used to generate reports or to perform ad-hoc queries. Event logging systems can be configured to send alerts when certain events occur.
Event logging is a critical part of any security program. By tracking events, administrators can identify patterns of malicious activity and take steps to prevent future attacks.

A.12.4.2 Protection of Log Information

To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of log information, A.12.4.2 stipulates that log information must be protected. Some of how this protection can be achieved include:

  • encrypting log information
  • storing log information in a secure location
  • maintaining tight controls over who has access to log information

The purpose of this provision is to prevent unauthorised individuals from accessing or altering log information, which could be used to cover up malicious activity.

Logging and Monitoring

The benefits of Logging and monitoring

Logging and monitoring are essential to any modern business. By tracking activity and knowing what is happening on your systems, you can prevent issues before they become problems. This can save you time and money, and help you keep your systems running smoothly. Here are some of the benefits of logging and monitoring:

  • Logs can track activity and know what is happening on your systems in real-time
  • Logs can prevent issues before they become problems
  • Logs can save time and money by fixing problems before they cause significant damage
  • Logs can keep your systems running smoothly and efficiently
  • Logs can be used to understand the inner workings of a system.
  • Logs can help debug and troubleshoot problems.
  • Logs can be used to monitor system performance and activity.
  • Logs can help detect potential security issues.


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