What's cyber security?

Computer security, cybersecurity or information technology security (IT security) is the security of computer systems in the theft of or damage to their own hardware, applications, or digital information, in addition to in the disruption or misdirection of their solutions they supply. The area is becoming more important because of greater reliance on computer technologies, the web and wireless system standards like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and as a result of development of "smart" devices, such as televisions, smartphones, and the numerous devices which constitute the"Internet of things". Due to its complexity, both regarding science and politics, cybersecurity can also be one of the significant challenges in the modern world.

What's cyber security?

Organizations face many threats to their data systems and information. Knowing all of the fundamental elements to cyber safety is the first step to fulfilling these threats.

Types of cyber security.

The reach of cyber protection is broad. The core regions are explained below, and some other fantastic cyber security plan must take all of them into consideration.

Critical infrastructure includes the cyber-physical systems which society is based on, for example, electricity grid, water purification, traffic lighting and hospitals. Plugging a power plant to the world wide web, as an instance, makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. The solution for associations accountable for critical infrastructure would be to carry out due diligence to safeguard recognize the vulnerabilities and protect from them. Everyone else must evaluate the way an attack on critical infrastructure that they rely on could impact them and develop a contingency plan.
Critical infrastructure.
Critical infrastructure includes the cyber-physical systems which society is based on, for example, electricity grid, water purification, traffic lighting and hospitals. Plugging a power plant to the world wide web, as an instance, makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. The solution for associations accountable for critical infrastructure would be to carry out due diligence to safeguard recognize the vulnerabilities and protect from them. Everyone else must evaluate the way an attack on critical infrastructure that they rely on could impact them and develop a contingency plan.
Network security guards against malicious intrusion in addition to malicious insiders. Ensuring network security frequently requires trade-offs. By way of instance, access controls like additional logins may be required, but slow down productivity. Tools used to track network safety create a great deal of information -- so much that legitimate alarms are often overlooked. To help better handle network security monitoring, safety teams are using machine learning how to flag abnormal traffic and alert to risks in real time.
Network security.
Network security guards against malicious intrusion in addition to malicious insiders. Ensuring network security frequently requires trade-offs. By way of instance, access controls like additional logins may be required, but slow down productivity. Tools used to track network safety create a great deal of information -- so much that legitimate alarms are often overlooked. To help better handle network security monitoring, safety teams are using machine learning how to flag abnormal traffic and alert to risks in real time.
The business's move to the cloud generates new safety challenges. By way of instance, 2017 has seen nearly weekly information breaches from badly configured cloud cases. Cloud suppliers are creating new safety tools to help business users secure their information, however, the bottom line remains: Moving into the cloud isn't a panacea for performing due diligence in regards to cyber security.
Cloud security.
The business's move to the cloud generates new safety challenges. By way of instance, 2017 has seen nearly weekly information breaches from badly configured cloud cases. Cloud suppliers are creating new safety tools to help business users secure their information, however, the bottom line remains: Moving into the cloud isn't a panacea for performing due diligence in regards to cyber security.
Application security (AppSec), especially web application security, has become the weakest technical point of attack, but few organizations adequately mitigate all the OWASP Top Ten web vulnerabilities. AppSec begins with secure coding practices, and should be augmented by fuzzing and penetration testing. Rapid application development and deployment to the cloud has seen the advent of DevOps as a new discipline. DevOps teams typically prioritize business needs over security, a focus that will likely change given the proliferation of threats.
Application security.
Application security (AppSec), especially web application security, has become the weakest technical point of attack, but few organizations adequately mitigate all the OWASP Top Ten web vulnerabilities. AppSec begins with secure coding practices, and should be augmented by fuzzing and penetration testing. Rapid application development and deployment to the cloud has seen the advent of DevOps as a new discipline. DevOps teams typically prioritize business needs over security, a focus that will likely change given the proliferation of threats.
IoT describes a huge array of crucial and non-critical cyber physiological systems, such as appliances, sensors, printers and safety cameras. IoT devices often ship in an insecure condition and give little to no security, posing risks to not just their customers, but also to other people online, since these devices frequently find themselves part of a botnet. This presents special security challenges for the home users and society.
Internet of things (IoT) security.
IoT describes a huge array of crucial and non-critical cyber physiological systems, such as appliances, sensors, printers and safety cameras. IoT devices often ship in an insecure condition and give little to no security, posing risks to not just their customers, but also to other people online, since these devices frequently find themselves part of a botnet. This presents special security challenges for the home users and society.

Log Management Best Practices

You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech organization that doesn’t use logging. It’s a vital tool, particularly crucial for troubleshooting. So, most organizations will have logging, one way or the other. However, fewer organizations go the extra mile and turn their logging strategy into full-blown log management. Those few that do enjoy the benefits log ... Read more Log Management Best Practices

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech organization that doesn’t use logging. It’s a vital tool, particularly crucial for troubleshooting. So, most organizations will have logging, one way or the other. However, fewer organizations go the extra mile and turn their logging strategy into full-blown log management. Those few that do enjoy the benefits log ... Read more Log Management Best Practices

The post Log Management Best Practices appeared first on DNSstuff.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech organization that doesn’t use logging. It’s a vital tool, particularly crucial for troubleshooting. So, most organizations will have logging, one way or the other. However, fewer organizations go the extra mile and turn their logging strategy into full-blown log management. Those few that do enjoy the benefits log management can provide.

This guide on log management and log management best practices starts by briefly covering logging and its importance. Skip this section if you’re already familiar with logging. Then we go on to log management. We’ll define what it is and show why it’s valuable. After that, we present our list of best practices to take your log management up a notch.

The Importance of Logging
Going One Step Further: Enter Log Management
Log Management Best Practices to Adopt ASAP
Start With a Strategy
Follow General Logging Best Practices
Separate and Centralize Your Logs
Think About Security and Compliance Upfront
Practice End-to-End Logging
Adopt Real-Time Monitoring
Summing It Up

 

The Importance of Logging

To understand why logging plays such a vital role in most tech companies, we must understand its use cases. And the most common use case for logging is, by far, troubleshooting.

Think of software organizations, for instance. They divert huge resources into their quality assurance strategies to prevent defects from reaching the production environment. But even then, there’s no guarantee their applications will be perfect—in fact, most applications will have defects due to the nature of software itself, which is an intrinsically complicated thing.

Without logging, developers would be in the dark when trying to diagnose and fix errors in working applications. With logging, they have a shot at fixing the defects as soon as possible, so they can cause the least damage.

 

Going One Step Further: Enter Log Management

Giving how vital logging is, most companies implement a logging strategy to some extent. Unfortunately, many of them fail to take full advantage of their logs, due to not having proper log management in place.

So, what is log management?

Many organizations today generate huge amounts of log data. They need to handle this data in an orderly way. That’s what log management is about, in a nutshell: handling huge volumes of logs, using a comprehensive approach with several processes, including log collection, aggregation, parsing, analysis, search, and reporting.

Why bother with log management? Basically, because by not doing so, you’re leaving money on the table.

Log management can give you a “big picture” view of your organization, improving your troubleshooting processes, preventing problems before they become critical, and  avoiding service disruptions and loss of customer confidence.

But log management can go way beyond troubleshooting. Your log entries are full of valuable insights. By aggregating your logs and analyzing them, you can extract that knowledge and put it to use. In short, log management can transform a reactive, “putting out the fires” log strategy into an active and valuable aid to decision making.

 

Log Management Best Practices to Adopt ASAP

 

Start With a Strategy

The first and most important step when getting started with log management is to set a strategy. Don’t start logging “just because” hoping somehow, down the line, your organization will profit. That’s not how it works.

Think hard about what you want to log and why. Understand the value you want to extract from your logs because this will guide most other decisions from now on. Make sure your strategy also includes:

  • Logging tools and methods. This includes logging frameworks and libraries, auxiliary tools, and deciding on how to implement important techniques such as log rotation.
  • Data hosting methods and locations. When it comes to storage, do you go with self-hosted, cloud-hosted, or a full-blown SaaS approach? Carefully consider the pros and cons of each option, including TCO (total cost of ownership).

 

Follow General Logging Best Practices

If you want to make the most of your log management strategy, you must ensure your logs are as healthy as they can be. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind here. You could implement a seemingly spotless log management process, using the best tools available, but it won’t matter if your logs are sub-par. Here are some logging best practices you should adopt:

  • Keep your log messages meaningful and full of context.
  • Use a tried-and-true logging framework instead of rolling out your own logging solution.
  • Avoid vendor lock-in by using a façade that allows you to swap one implementation for another.
  • Always include timestamps in your log messages, in either UTC or local time plus offset, and always in the ISO-8601 format.
  • Keep your log data both human-readable and parseable, by structuring it using JSON or key-value pairs.
  • Define a log rotation policy on your servers, so they won’t crash due to excess log data.

These are general best practices. It’s also important to be aware of best practices for specific platforms/languages, such as Rails or Node.js.

 

Separate and Centralize Your Logs

Move all your log entries to a centralized location, apart from the production environment. This is one of the main tenets of log management and an essential step for reaping its benefits:

  • Having all your logs in a centralized location makes it easier for you to manage them.
  • Aggregating your logs lets you analyze them, which will give you insights you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.
  • Having a separate location for logs allows you to grant access privileges to those who need them (developers, QA professionals, etc.) without the need to access the production environment.
  • Having a consolidated logging location away from your data center is essential in case of outages or disasters like fires.

 

Think About Security and Compliance Upfront

Security and compliance are concerns you must think about from the start. When you start implementing log management, verify the security policies of your IT department, and make sure to follow them from the get-go before committing to big purchases that might be vetted afterward.

You should also pay special attention to data regulations, such as GDPR. Failing to adhere to these regulations might cost your company serious financial and legal problems, so make sure you’re doing your best when it comes to protecting user’s data. Alternatives here might include not logging sensitive information or applying anonymization/pseudonymization.

 

Practice End-to-End Logging

End-to-end logging means logging across all components in your system. So, collect and aggregate logs from all sources in your organization, including system logs, web and application server logs, and application logs. Also, monitor logs across different destinations, such as databases and text files.

This provides a high-level view and understanding of your systems and apps, so you can do correlations between logs from different sources and obtain insights that wouldn’t be possible otherwise (e.g., how poor server performance affects user behaviors).

End-to-end logging allows you to see the “narratives” of how problems develop across all layers of your system, giving you the chance to react to them as early as possible.

 

Adopt Real-Time Monitoring

Identifying issues in real time is essential in log management. When things go wrong in production, resulting in an outage, your company suffers in several places. First, it gets hit in the pocket, by losing money directly from the transactions that aren’t happening. It might also suffer legally, if it fails to meet an SLA, for instance. But most important of all, the company suffers reputation-wise, because unhappy customers often become former customers.

Having real-time monitoring in place is key for reacting to issues and solving them before they become a catastrophe.

 

Summing It Up

Logging is essential for any modern organization. However, by just creating log entries and leaving them, there’s a huge waste of potential at best. In the worst-case scenarios, lack of proper log rotation could bring your servers to their knees.

Proper log management does more than improve your troubleshooting processes—and that alone is already a lot of value. It can extract knowledge otherwise hidden in your logs, allowing you to make decisions faster and prevent the problems before they happen.

The best next step for you now would be to get familiar with tools at your disposal, so you can start implementing your log management strategy ASAP.

This post was written by Carlos Schults. Carlos is a .NET software developer with experience in both desktop and web development, and he’s now trying his hand at mobile. He has a passion for writing clean and concise code, and he’s interested in practices that help you improve app health, such as code review, automated testing, and continuous build.

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