Enterprise networks are at risk of digital threats now more than ever. To remain competitive in the digital age, organizations frequently introduce new hardware devices and software installations to their IT environments. But these assets might suffer from vulnerabilities that, if left open, attackers could abuse to change a device’s configuration or make unauthorized modifications to some of the organization’s important files.

Either of these scenarios could help the bad actors establish an initial foothold on the network, access which they could then leverage to move laterally to other systems, exfiltrate important data, and overall cause additional harm.

Companies can leverage security configuration management (SCM) and file integrity monitoring (FIM) to address some of these risks and reduce their attack surface. However, organizations cannot hope to adequately secure their infrastructure unless they have an accurate idea of what is happening and what happened in their environment.

To achieve that level of visibility, they must turn to log management, a security control which addresses all system and network logs.

Here’s a high-level overview of how logs work: each event in a network generates data, and that information then makes its way into the logs, records which are produced by operating systems, applications and other devices. Logs are crucial to security visibility. If organizations fail to collect, store, and analyze those records, they could open themselves to digital attacks.

The Center for Internet Security agrees, which is why the non-profit energy made log management a one of its Critical Security Controls (CSC). Here it puts the threat of insufficient log management in context:

Deficiencies in security logging and analysis allow attackers to hide their location, malicious software, and activities on victim machines. Even if the victims know that their systems have been compromised, without protected and complete logging records they are blind (Read more...)