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After many conversations with our AWS customers and the AWS CloudTrail team, we recently released our AWS CloudTrail integration
to automatically support the most important log events our customers
wanted to be monitoring across their AWS environments. We found that
some of the most common need for notifications included:
- Starting, stopping, terminating, rebooting instances
- Creating or deleting security groups
- Creating and deleting users
- Updating user profiles
- Adding and removing groups
- Updating role and password policies
- Signing certificate upload or deletion
Logentries will alert
you in real time when any of these events occur so that you can react
appropriately. But what do you do if something suspicious actually
occurs in your AWS environment? For example, you get notified that a
new security group has been created opening up
all of your servers’ so that they are accessible from any IP address …
or someone has created a new user with admin privileges for example??
You’ll likely want to
dig into the logs on your different Ec2 instances to check if anyone has
logged in and exactly what they have been up to. To help with
investigation at the instance level, today we announced our new Windows Security Event Integration
. Logentries will automatically notify you in real time when important events occur in your windows event
logs such as when audit logs are cleared; failed user log-ins; changes
are made to audit policies and more. For more details on enabling these
for your Logentries account check out our integration guide
Analyzing User Logon Behavior
We’ve gotten feedback
from across our Community, and from specific customers, to identify the
relevant events that should be flagged or that you will want to know
about when investigating security events in your Windows environment. Kirill Bensonoff, of ComputerSupport.com
outlined the advantages of getting automated AWS CloudTrail and Windows event notifications together:
“Logentries enables our Operations team to know immediately when
there are security events or potential issues. In addition to real-time
alerting, we can also automatically correlate our Windows event
notification with our AWS CloudTrail Log data to get a complete
understanding of what is happening across our systems and users.”
I also spoke with Brian Honan, CEO of BH Consulting on this topic
recently, and in particular, the discussion focused on the challenges
that organizations are facing as they move to the cloud – an environment
that they are often not entirely familiar with. Brian is a security
industry veteran and expert in the field of information security – in fact he’s literally written the book on The Cloud Security Rules.
According to Brian, “Recent security breaches and subsequent
investigations highlight the absolute need for effective proactive log
monitoring to detect respond and prevent major security incidents. And
in particular with corporates moving to the cloud and relying more on
third party vendors to support their systems, having the ability to
monitoring logs in those systems has become even more essential.”
One further complexity when dealing with Windows Event
Logs can also be in simply understanding what gets logged where as well
as understanding the event structure. Since Windows Vista there are now
two categories of event logs in Windows. Windows Logs
and Applications and Services Logs
Windows Logs category includes the logs that were available on previous
versions of Windows: the Application, Security, and System logs. It
also includes two new logs: the Setup log and the ForwardedEvents log.
Windows logs are intended to store events from legacy applications and
events that apply to the entire system. These logs store events
from a single application or component rather than events that might
have systemwide impact. For a deeper dive on the different logs
contained in each category, check out the Microsoft docs on event logs
The windows event logs will also capture some useful info such as:
- Source: The software that logged the event.
- Event ID: A number identifying the
particular event type. The Event ID and the Source can be used by
product support representatives to troubleshoot system problems.
- Level: A classification of the event
severity. System and application logs have ‘Information’, ‘Warning’,
‘Error’ and ‘Critical’ severity levels. The security log has ‘Success
Audit’ and ‘Failure Audit’ severity levels.
- User: The name of the user on whose behalf the event occurred.
- Computer: The name of the machine on which the event occurred.
- KeyWords: A set of categories or tags
that can be used to filter or search for events. Examples include
“Network”, “Security”, or “Resource not found.”
With the new Logentries Windows Event
Log integration alerts can easily be applied to your relevant logs and
events such that you can begin to easily track important system issues
and spot suspicious events and trends.
Our intention is to make security analysis easier for your cloud environments, so check it out
and let us know what you think!
The Cloud Zone is brought to you in partnership with Internap. Read Bare-Metal Cloud 101 to learn about bare-metal cloud and how it has emerged as a way to complement virtualized services.