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Log file

(also log)

Log file definition

The log file represents a record of everything that occurs within a system, such as errors, intrusions, and transactions, which can help security experts undercover potential vulnerabilities or breaches. The log file comes with a simple anatomy, such as a timestamp showing when the event happened, user information, event information, or what type of action occurred. Log files play a massive role in detecting security threats from databases, apps, firewalls, servers, web services, endpoints, networks, and IoT devices. They cover every section hackers may use for vulnerability exploitation and help organizations implement advanced security measures.

Log file usage

  • Detect suspicious activity. Log files discover who attacked the system, when, and in which location exactly. As a result, they can help experts clear the data breach in a timely manner.
  • Identify suspicious activity. Log files help security experts identify whether the suspicious activity is malware, phishing, or other malicious activity. Therefore, organizations can implement adequate security features, such as digital signature, SSL encryption, and access control system, or prevent DDoS attacks.

Types of log files

  • Server log. It includes records about the activities in a specific server in a particular period, which can help detect a data breach.
  • Authorization and access log. It provides a list of anyone who accesses files or applications, and it doesn’t allow users that aren’t on the list to access the data.
  • Event log. This log includes information about login attempts, failed password attempts, and suspicious application events.
  • System log. It provides information about system changes, warnings, unexpected system failures, and errors.
  • Threat log. This log has information about an application, system, or file traffic that matches a security profile within a firewall. If some profile doesn’t fit, it alerts an admin that there is a potential threat.
  • Resource log. It alerts an admin if there are any issues with the connection that may indicate hacker attacks.
  • Availability log. It monitors and analyzes the system’s performance and availability, and if it detects a decrease in performance, it sends an alert that there might be a security threat.
  • Change log. This log records all changes someone made to a file or application that may suggest to organizations that there has been unauthorized access.