Why HIPAA and Compliance Matters to Logging

Learning objectives

• Learn the importance of log management
• Understand the basics of cloud-based log management
• Determine if on-premise or cloud solutions are right for you
• Understand how log management improves bug detection,incident analysis, and cybersecurity

LogDNA-Learn-Why HIPAA-Compliance Matters to Logging

In a fast-paced continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) environment, log management empowers developers to more quickly and effectively detect bugs and security vulnerabilities. While it’s often overlooked or considered an unnecessary overhead that administrators should manage, correctly implemented log management will centralize analysis and speed up delivery of software updates and patches.

What is Log Management?

Most administrators and developers are familiar with logs, but enterprise applications and infrastructure can accumulate large dispersed logging files across several environments. Unruly logs with no organization can become more of a burden than a blessing. While logs can facilitate faster root-cause analysis, detection of compromise, and event analysis, management is what makes these logs a valuable forensics tool.

Log management can answer several questions for you when you need to set up infrastructure to support it. Before determining a log solution, ask questions such as:

What must be logged? Do you want to log server activity? What about application errors? Logs can also be used in security and incident response by logging, for example, authentication and authorization requests.

How to log events? This is where SaaS log management is useful. A large organization can accumulate thousands of events a day, which requires large volumes of storage.
How long should logs be retained? Retention plans fall under compliance regulations, so ensure that your retention plan (e.g., 30, 60, or 90 days) follows all regulatory requirements.

Advantages of On-Premise Management or Cloud Solutions?

After determining what to log, the next step is how. Generally, you have two options: store logs in-house or leverage the cloud and third-party SaaS solutions. Using on-premise resources has its own advantages such as giving administrators complete control over the system. It also keeps logs internally, so any downtime from a cloud provider or data breach would not affect internal logs. However, it’s expensive to store logs in-house and requires large storage reservoirs. Using in-house storage can also be much more difficult to manage and secure.

Here are some reasons to use cloud solutions:

  • You have virtually endless storage resources at a fraction of the cost (about 10% of on-premise hardware costs).
  • Centralized authentication and authorization features reduce security overhead.
  • Cloud resources scale up or down, so logging events will not become a bottleneck.
  • Setup is streamlined instead of configuring multiple resources across applications.
  • A centralized cloud solution can be integrated easily instead of finding new complex solutions for every application and resource added to the network.
  • How does effective log management improve bug detection?
  • CI/CD involves frequent promotion to development, staging, and production environments. For any development team, catching bugs before they go to production is critical for software reliability.
Table of contents

Logging in the Age of DevOps eBook