The Basics of Log Event Management Terms

Now, let’s talk Log Event Management terms. LMS – “Log Management System” or LEM – “Log Event Management” – a system that collects and store Log Files (from Operating Systems, Applications) from multiple hosts and systems into a single location, allowing centralized access to logs instead of accessing them from each system individually.

Let’s set some terms. Although the industry has settled on the term ‘SIEM’ as the catch-all term for this type of security software, it evolved from several different (but complementary) technologies before it.

  • SLM /SEM– “Security Log/Event Management” – a LEM, but marketed towards security analysts instead of system administrators. SEM is about highlighting log entries as more significant to security than others.
  • SIM – “Security Information Management” – an Asset Management system, but with features to incorporate security information too. Hosts may have vulnerability reports listed in their summaries, Intrusion Detection and Antivirus alerts may be shown mapped to the systems involved.
  • SEC – “Security Event Correlation” – To a particular piece of software, three failed login attempts to the same user account from three different clients, are just three lines in their log file. To an analyst, that is a peculiar sequence of events worthy of investigation, and Log Correlation (looking for patterns in log files) is a way to raise alerts when these things happen.
  • SIEM – “Security Information and Event Management” – SIEM is the “All of the Above” option, and as the above technologies become merged into single products, became the generalized term for managing information generated from security controls and infrastructure.
  • SOAR – Security Orchestration And Response – SOAR integrates SIEM into automated responses to understood conditions, such as cyberattack.

SIEM is essentially a management layer above existing systems and security controls. SIEM connects and unifies information from disparate systems, allowing them to be analyzed and cross-referenced from a single interface. Bear in mind, SIEM is only as useful as the information you put in it – the old adage “Garbage In, Garbage Out” pertains in this situation.

Log Event Management, as with all things in technology, spans a broad range of technical capabilities. The adoption of increasing functionality along the LMS to SEM to SIEM continuum is generally referred to as the “maturity” of the solution.

With increasing maturity comes increased costs, operational and integration complexity, and greater benefit to appropriate users within an organization.

Log event management is critical to the overall security posture of an organization. Inadequate or missing logs can lead to blind spots and extensive discovery during the course of a security incident investigation. Equally, missing or inadequate log management systems can expose an organization to legal and regulatory penalties. Most commonly it is the operational impact of inadequate LEM systems that is realized within an organization. IT administrators must manually piece cause-effect data together during their routine duties across multiple systems.

Unfortunately, many organizations realize that they are missing or have inadequate log management systems after a security incident takes place. Taking action well in advance provides for both increased operational efficiency and critical information during a later security incident investigation.

Deploy log management functions before you attempt a wide-scale implementation of real-time event management.”
-Gartner, 2009

Hopefully, this explanation of Log Event Management terms was helpful.

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