Regular security logging is instrumental when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of your network security and operations. MSPs use security logs to understand developing security incidents, achieve compliance, conduct post-incident investigation, and ensure the day-to-day health of their IT environment. However, with so many Managed Security Service products available on the market, which ones truly enhance your security stack?

Often, MSPs looking to bolster their logging capabilities turn to tools such as SIEMs (Security Information and Event Management) and LMSs (Log Management Systems). No doubt, these platforms can aggregate incredible amounts of data from multiple sources in an infrastructure to provide visibility. However, they are slow to derive immediate context, especially in the event of a security breach where response times are critical.

Logging & Compliance Capabilities + True MDR Service

Here is where a true, 24/7 Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service could enhance the value of security logging. This blog post discusses how you can maximize the power of log collection by pairing it with active threat hunting and immediate response provided by an MDR. Experienced MDR analysts can leverage the raw data logs to help MSPs stay ahead of cyberthreats. Rather than overwhelm your teams and systems with complex data logging platforms, extensive data logs, and alerts, an MDR team would be able to pinpoint indicators of threat in the data quickly so you can fight back threats within minutes and hours, not days and weeks.

What Are Security Logs Used For?

Security logging is a process that collects a full record of events occurring within an MSP’s networks and systems. Security logs contain log entries – data related to each of those specific events.

The log entries are then regularly audited and used for the following:

  • Identifying indications of unauthorized activities attempted or performed on a system, application, or device
  • Satisfying security compliance framework requirements
  • Establishing normal operational baselines and trends and build organizational standards, policies, and/or controls
  • Providing evidence during investigations, audits, and forensic analysis

Challenges of Implementing Security Log Management

Requires expert configuration and manual upkeep

Logging tools need to be configured specifically to meet an MSP’s business needs and its unique threat landscape. Many logging tools require management from a dedicated team to parse logs and reports, update rules, respond to alerts, and keep the software updated. Much of this work is manual which can be a significant hit to efficiency levels. Also consider this: the configuration will need to be reviewed often to ensure that the platform augments data analysis rather than hindering it. If it is not regularly calibrated to monitor evolving types of networks, it cannot keep up with logging dynamically changing data.

Managing data collection, analysis, and search

The effectiveness of logging tools is based on both the quality and amount of data that it logs. It is easy to overload your systems with huge volumes of data sources, creating noise and alert fatigue. If a team is busy responding to an unfiltered stream of alerts, they may miss the ones that are critical in identifying bad actors. The team would also need to perform manual parsing, filtering, and consistent re-evaluation for validity. Further, many logging tools operate under the use case scenarios that you implement. There is simply no way to categorize incoming data into a simple binary of ‘malicious’ or ‘safe’.

In the long term, understand that traditional logging platforms and tools are designed to log thousands of events daily. As you store these ongoing logs, it can be overwhelming to keep data organized enough to ensure efficient search capability. The more information that you must interpret, the more inefficient it is to derive real meaning from the data.

The Importance of Real-Time Response

During a security event, cutting down on response times is crucial to safeguarding sensitive data. To do so, MSPs need a proactive and agile approach to real-time response. While many logging platforms are good for defending against known threats within fixed parameters, their rule-based approach may not translate well to advanced threat response. Since they are built to alert on potential threats after locating evidence within aggregated data logs, their reactive models can lack the context needed to provide actionable data right away. If you are unable to pinpoint anomalies in real-time, you will not be able to make timely decisions on how to tackle critical events. Real-time logging is a start to collecting valuable information and ensuring visibility across an IT environment, but the true value is in real-time data interpretation allowing for immediate action.

How to Enhance Logging with MDR

While traditional logging tools such as SIEMs and LMSs are not effective for real-time threat detection and response, they are an excellent means of discovering raw data and meeting compliance expectations. Their strength lies in housing the substantial amounts of data needed to aid in investigative efforts and audits. Also, they are valuable in helping organizations build monitoring controls and improving threat profiles based on logged evidence of suspicious behavior.

To create a more robust security solution and ensure full threat visibility, place the power of log aggregation with a Managed Detection Response (MDR) platform. MDRs are designed to provide real-time response across your IT environment, proactively threat hunt for evidence of advanced malware, and identify key indicators of compromise. Experienced MDR analysts can sift through complex security logs, collecting the threat intelligence needed to actively search networks, detect, and detain threats that evade anti-virus or anti-malware solutions. Implementing an MDR solution allows the data to be quickly parsed for patterns and correlations that may not have otherwise been recognized.

In the hands of an experienced MDR team, real-time comprehension, threat hunting, and response can enhance the value of security logs and telemetry collected from your network processes, devices, and systems.

Uncomplicate Logging & Compliance – Introducing Blackpoint LogIC

In this blog post, we highlighted the complex realities of implementing traditional logging platforms including the expert configuration, manual upkeep, and data management needed to sustain their operation. As MSPs provide security services for more with clients across multiple industry verticals, security logs will continue to grow in volume and variety.

If you are building a streamlined, end-to-end security stack, Blackpoint Cyber can help. We are pleased to introduce Blackpoint LogIC, our new Logging with Integrated Compliance MDR add-on. LogIC leverages our nation-state grade 24/7/365 MDR technology to cover your security, logging, and compliance needs. Log events in real-time, auto-map to thousands of compliance requirements at once, and generate the compliance reporting you need to satisfy PCI-DSS, HIPAA, NIST 800-171, and CMMC security frameworks. Built to be hyper-efficient and affordable, keep logging and compliance simple with LogIC’s push-button setup and optimized storage capabilities.

Keep your stack lean without compromising your cybersecurity posture. Sign up for a demo today to learn more about Blackpoint LogIC.

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