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Security In Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting your critical IT infrastructure.

Logs – A Gold Mine of Information

Post by Peter McCalister May 4, 2011

In an earlier post I talked about tapping in to the power of the information in our privileged identity management system to improve productivity. Those detailed compliance logs you have been generating are a gold mine of information.

Analyzing large amounts of data is a growing trend. From Google to WalMart companies are building their strategies on complex models and algorithms.

Systems logs can be used not just to look for patterns that indicate a security threat, but those same patterns can show where security and other procedures such as improper configurations of new systems are hurting productivity. Finding those patters can help uncover opportunities to better train, simplify procedures, and uncover best practices that not everyone is following. And once those best practices are discovered you can use controls to ensure that best practices are being followed.

Realizing that value requires a data analysis strategy and a strategy for how to engage the organization in using that analysis. Your data analysis strategy needs to consider the roles of monitoring, logging and reporting, as well as when and how to combine data from different sources. Single silos of data are simpler to use but correlating data across silos provides more powerful insights. Ultimately you will need both, but your data analysis strategy needs to focus on providing insights your organization can act on. And that’s where you need to consider your how to engage your people in using the data. More on that next week.

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