Q: What are audit logs?
A: Audit logs are records of all events and security-related information that occur within a system. This information is crucial for incident response, threat detection, and compliance monitoring.
Q: Why is audit log management important?
A: Audit log management is essential for every organization that wants to ensure its data security. Without audit logs, organizations would have no way of knowing who accessed what information when or how the incident happened or whether unauthorized users or suspicious activity occurred. Moreover, audit log management supports compliance with industry regulations and guidelines.
Q: What are the best practices for audit log management?
A: To ensure that your audit log management practices meet the CIS CSC version 8 guidelines and safeguard requirements, consider implementing the following best practices:
1. Define the audit log requirements based on industry regulations, guidelines, and best practices.
2. Establish audit policies and procedures that align with your organization’s requirements and implement them consistently across all systems and devices.
3. Secure audit logs by collecting, storing, and protecting them securely to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.
4. Monitor and review audit logs regularly for anomalies, suspicious activity, and security violations, such as unauthorized access attempts, changes to access rights, and software installations.
5. Configure audit logging settings to generate records of critical security controls, including attempts to gain unauthorized access or make unauthorized changes to the network.
6. Generate alerts in real-time for critical events, including security violations, unauthorized access attempts, changes to access rights, and software installations.
7. Regularly test audit log management controls to ensure their effectiveness and meet your organization’s audit log requirements.
Q: What are the benefits of following audit log management best practices?
A: Following audit log management best practices can establish a strong framework for incident response, threat detection, and compliance monitoring. This, in turn, can help safeguard against unauthorized access, malicious activity, and other security breaches, prevent legal and financial penalties, and maintain trust levels with clients and partners.
Q: How long should audit logs be kept?
A: As a general rule, storage of audit logs should include 90 days hot (meaning actively available for immediate review or alerting), 6 months warm (meaning they can be restored within hours), and two years cold (meaning they can be restored within days). However, organizations should define retention periods based on their audit log requirements and compliance regulations.  
*This article was written with the help of AI tools and Grammarly.