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Event log

(also log book)

Event log definition

An event log keeps track of all system events and activities on a specific network, including logins and failed and successful password attempts. It usually contains the date and time of the event, the source, and a description of the event. Event logs help track user activity, identify patterns and trends in system activity, monitor and troubleshoot IT systems, and detect security threats and incidents in a timely manner. They primarily benefit IT administrators and security professionals.

Contents of an event log

  • Specific date and time of logins
  • Explanation of the event
  • How severe the event was
  • A code, password, or another factor to verify the event
  • Exact usernames, emails, and IP addresses used

Types of event logs

  • Application logs record activities related to specific apps or programs, such as errors or warnings.
  • System logs record events related to the OS or another system component, such as system startup and shutdown events, hardware and driver events, and other system-level data.
  • Security logs record security-related activities, such as login attempts or user permission changes.
  • Audit logs track activities related to system auditing and compliance, such as system setting changes or data modifications.
  • Performance logs record information about system performance, such as CPU and memory usage.