How NXLog can help meet compliance mandates

Compliance mandates are frameworks that organizations must implement to meet industry regulations. Some of these mandates provide guidelines and best practices, while others may be tied to legislation. With the constant and rapid changes in technology, ensuring that your organization adheres to the relevant regulations is an ongoing process.

So why should you comply? Simply put, not complying might cost you more than implementing processes to meet regulatory requirements. By not complying, you might be violating the law, and in case of a data breach, you may face litigation from affected parties. In either case, millions of dollars in fines or settlements are not unheard of.

Compliance mandates deal with several aspects of business operations that require continuous monitoring and auditing of processes. They cover the Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability (CIA) triad of information security. All compliance mandates require that you log events, review them regularly, and retain the logs for a defined period. In case of a breach, event logs are the only means of identifying what happened and how it happened. They provide the audit trail required for forensic analysis.

The amount of logging you need to manage for meeting compliance mandates is vast. Without the right tools, this task will be unmanageable. NXLog allows you to collect logs from diverse systems, normalize and process data, and then aggregate the processed data to a central repository. This post will highlight areas where NXLog can help you meet compliance requirements related to monitoring and logging.

Common compliance frameworks

Regulation Objective Target

HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Protection of individually identifiable health information, otherwise known as protected health information (PHI)

Healthcare sector

FISMA - The Federal Information Security Modernization Act

Implementation of information security plans to protect sensitive federal agency data

Federal agencies

FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Protection of student education records

Schools

ISO 27001

Provides requirements for an information security management system (ISMS)

Organizations with an ISMS

SOX - Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Protection of financial data to combat corporate fraud

Public firms and entities

PCI-DSS - The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

Protection of cardholder data.

Organizations dealing with credit cards as means of payment

How can NXLog help?

Data encryption

All compliance standards focus on data privacy and data disclosure management. To comply with objectives, you may need to encrypt data during transfer and storage. NXLog provides several encryption features. It supports TLS/SSL encryption during TCP or HTTP(S) transfer. It can also encrypt files using AES symmetric encryption for secure storage.

Compression

NXLog can compress files using gzip or zlib to reduce data size at rest, which is ideal for archiving historical data and reducing storage requirements and costs. It also supports TLS/SSL compression when transferring data to a SIEM or log repository over TCP or HTTP(S). In addition, NXLog implements a batch compression module for transfer between NXLog instances, considerably reducing bandwidth requirements during transport.

File integrity monitoring (FIM)

Compliance regulations often require you to ensure that audit and log files have not been tampered. NXLog provides a file integrity monitoring module to help you detect modifications to files and directories and alert you about any unexpected changes or deletions. The module works on the filesystem level and supports different platforms, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Log processing

With NXLog, you can transfer log data as is or processes it for easier analysis. However, because you can generate multiple output streams from a single log source to meet different logging goals, you are not required to choose one over the other. You can have both. Log filtering allows you to remove unnecessary or duplicate events at the source. As a result, less data needs to be transported and stored, which reduces data volume during subsequent processing stages. You can also trim logs to remove irrelevant data, helping to minimize bandwidth usage, data storage requirements, and licensing costs for commercial SIEM systems, which often charge based on data volume.

NXLog supports parsing and outputting logs in all standard data formats such as JSON, XML, and CSV, to name a few, which is highly beneficial for data normalization when collecting logs in different formats. Furthermore, when you parse logs, you can implement log classification to handle events according to priority/type and create alerts when specific conditions are met.

Conclusion

Monitoring and logging are a vital part of compliance mandates. In order to ensure that logs cannot be tampered with, all compliance mandates require you to store logs in a secure, remote location, separate from the system that generated them. Logs must also be easily accessible for incident response.

Organizations often need to comply with multiple frameworks, e.g., a health institution that processes credit card payments will need to comply with HIPAA and PCI DSS. In such cases, logs must be collected from diverse sources, resulting in large amounts of data in various formats.

NXLog allows you to use a single solution for all your log collection requirements, facilitating customized configuration and management of your log sources. In addition to its log processing and forwarding capabilities, as well as support for multiple platforms, it helps you to reduce the complexity of complying with various mandates.

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NXLog Ltd. develops multi-platform log collection tools that support many different log sources, formats, transports, and integrations. The tools help administrators collect, parse, and forward logs so they can more easily respond to security issues, investigate operational problems, and analyze event data. NXLog distributes the free and open source NXLog Community Edition and offers additional features and support with the NXLog Enterprise Edition.

This document is provided for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. Trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

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