No matter what sort of software or tools your company uses, there is a good chance they will produce logs. Logs are a documentation of time-stamped events relative to a certain program or software. Thousands are produced and they can hold important information on things like bugs, potential security threats and many other important errors or issues. Keeping these logs monitored and managed will ensure you can trace issues back to their root cause. It can also help you monitor policy changes and keep track of how users are utilize your framework, infrastructure or software.
Unfortunately, managing these logs manually could take forever and there is no chance you will be able to catch every single issue that deserves your attention. As a result, many people will use automatic log analysis and log management by Loggly or another company. This will ensure they’re always notified of an error or specific event before it ends up affecting the end user.
However, log management isn’t only good for ensuring your infrastructure and business are operating successfully and securely. It can also help you remain compliant to the various rules or regulations your industry might require. While compliance usually revolves around security or privacy in some way, this isn’t always the case.
Nearly every company will be responsible for complying with some kind of legal requirements. As you can imagine, not being compliant can cause some serious issues with your company. It can cost you a lot of money, lead to penalties and could greatly tarnish the reputation of your company. With that in mind, this article is going to take a look at why log data is so important for compliance.
The first reason why logging and log data is so important to compliance is because it is truthful. Logs don’t lie and won’t try to spin a story or situation to make it look more positive for your company. Any data breach or any other event relative to your system, you can be sure that logs will give a truthful and accurate account of what occurred and what caused it. This sort of information is valuable to be able to prove you were being compliant and not cutting corners. Without logs to back up the things you say or report about an event, regulators may not always believe you.
Another reason that log data is important to compliance is that it can help identify why or how certain system events took place. While compliance is all about keeping companies accountable for their security measures, it is also about protecting your customers. If you can use log management and log data to learn about how to improve security, why wouldn’t you? Even if your company is not regulated, knowing the common compliance requirements can help you have a more secure company going forward. This will also help you if your industry or company eventually does need to be compliant.
Lastly, while many compliance regulators tell you the requirements for compliance, it is up to you to decide how you want to comply. However, many will actually implicitly imply that you keep and store log data. For example, HIIPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) specifically mentions system logs in multiple requirements. So if you aren’t actually keeping logs, it’s impossible for you to be compliant. Many others also include keeping logs in their actual requirements as well. As a result, keeping an audit trail via logging may actually be required, which only increases the importance of keeping log data.
In conclusion, we hope that this blog post has been able to help you learn a little more about why log data is so important for compliance.