This article is part of our Control of the Month series where we discuss information security controls. This series is provided by the Tugboat Logic Labs team. They have over 100 years of experience in the field of information security as previous Big Four auditors (Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG) and consultants from various industries. Objective? To help you easily understand, implement, and maintain every control. And even impress your auditor! Today, we are unpacking the best logging and monitoring practices.
Are you preparing for a security audit? Hope you can improve your information security game? Or protect yourself against data breaches? No matter what your InfoSec (information security) goals are, you need to record and monitor security incidents.
In this article, you will learn what this basic control is and best practices for logging and monitoring with and without compliance automation.
What are security incidents?
Before we move on to logging and monitoring, let’s define the security events.
A security incident is basically any activity that takes place in a security environment. E-mail messages, intrusion attempts, reported incidents, logins, changes to application permissions or roles, and security configurations are examples of security-related events.
What is security event logging and monitoring?
Logging in is simply how a company tracks, collects and organizes data. For example, when you track all employee app permission changes in a specific spreadsheet. You register this data.
Monitoring displays this data for trends, discrepancies, or issues. This can be done manually in a spreadsheet or with a tool.
Quick tip from an expert: If your organization collects data but never reviews it, it’s not an audit. What you do with the logs or data determines their value and importance as controls, especially to the auditor.
Why is logging and monitoring security events important?
Recording and monitoring best practices are essential to the secure management of any organization. Well-kept logs show the auditor that your organization is consistently compliant and meets security standards.
Logs showing who has permissions and access to your applications and data sets are especially important for any organization. No matter what your security goals are.
Provide comprehensive visibility into who or what can access some of your company’s most valuable assets. Along with when they were accessed. Monitoring these logs also ensures that access control systems and procedures are operating effectively and as intended.
Logging and monitoring security events is a detective or security measure for your business. It allows you to identify problems related to data inconsistencies or breaches early. Before they turn into bigger problems with the auditor and even clients.
What security events should I log and monitor?
Logging and monitoring security events is very important, but that does not mean that you should log and monitor every security event.
Every day countless security incidents happen in your organization. So logging each of them would be extremely overwhelming and inefficient.
The recording and monitoring of security incidents should provide relevant information that can be used to improve business operations. Do not collect data stored in a cemetery in a spreadsheet.
So what should be recorded and monitored for best practice? You may not like this answer. Like many things in information security, the answer is not universal. It really depends on the specifics of your business and goals.
What security incidents you record and monitor should be based on your company’s unique tolerance, scope, risk, and day-to-day operations.
Quick tip from an expert: the auditor’s question “what should I record?” it is a big red flag. It is your responsibility to determine which This is the reason Tugboat Logic founders created compliance software. To have a centralized location that will monitor your security program and ensure controls just like this one is working as intended.
Logging and Monitoring with Tugboat Logic
No matter what road to compliance you choose, logging and monitoring is crucial. Still have questions about what this entails for you? Our team of experts is always here to help.
Ready to start automating your logging and monitoring? See how compliance software will speed this up for you and grab a free trial of our platform. independently. You can use a spreadsheet to list all the risks associated with your business. Be sure not to miss any risk (in which case the audit will fail).
- No compliance automation
- To get started on your own, you should:
- Determine which datasets should be registered and monitored based on a risk assessment.
- Provide a rationale and describe what will be done with the journal.
- Create a process to respond to alerts or problems.
Determine who has access to the logs, who is responsible for them, where you keep them and how long you keep them.
Specify a cadence to monitor and review each log to find trends or discrepancies. The frequency of monitoring can be determined based on the sensitivity and function of the recorded data or based on security requirements.
With compliance automation
Record and monitor best practices – all this information will be provided by the software to automate implementation detail compliance. It will guide you through this process to make sure you don’t miss anything. The software will provide guidance on what data should be logged and monitored, who should have access, and how often the logs should be monitored. This is based on the requirements of the standard and the nature of the control.
Note that the compliance automation software is not a logging and monitoring tool. Instead, it provides a roadmap for logging and monitoring and helps prove that this control is working as intended for the audit.
Important notes on best practices for logging and monitoring
Regardless of the option you choose, you will have to record and monitor your data in the location of your choice. You can do this completely manually and use spreadsheets to monitor your calendar logs and reminders. Or, use the SIEM tool to scan logs and send alerts when a security protocol is triggered.
Companies change every day. For example, think about how access to applications is changing in a growing company. For a security audit, you don’t just have to log this change, you have to show proof of it.
Without software, this is done in the form of screenshots.
With compliance automation, you can rest easy knowing that the software will automatically gather evidence of logging and monitoring and any changes and add them to the appropriate audit.
“You need to track everything for SOC 2 (or any InfoSec audit). Without compliance software, this tracking is not automatic. So, if someone makes an update and forgets to note it, it’s very hard to go back and tell who made that change, when and why. – William Floyd, director of technology for Futu US
Therefore, you need designated support staff to do it manually. However, even for the best project manager it would be a challenge.
Also Read: Why is the Open-Source NLP API Important?