Collecting logs from Siemens SICAM PAS/PQS and sending them to Elastic could be a complex task due to this rather unique combination of the log source and the destination SIEM. In this post we will take a look at how you can forward log data from Siemens SICAM PAS/PQS to Elastic using NXLog log collection agent.
Siemens SICAM PAS is an adaptive power automation system that supports the implementation of project-specific tasks in the industrialization field SICAM PAS uses an intuitive, user-friendly interface that simplifies and optimizes process monitoring. With its distributed architecture SICAM PAS is a scalable solution well-suited to weightier networks where it can leverage your existing network infrastructure to communicate efficiently and securely.
SICAM PAS is a modular system. The UI - Configuration component is responsible for the configuration and parameterization of your plant, as well as exchanging configuration data. UI - Operation can activate or deactivate individual components. UI - Operation Client provides access to UI - Operation on any connected remote computer via a web browser. Value Viewer displays information about any connected device or substation and can verify if the system transfers the correct values.
Siemens SICAM PQS lets you analyze all fault records and power quality data within a single system. With it, you get a quick, uncomplicated overview of the quality of your system. SICAM PAS can identify potential fault sources early on so that they can be systematically eliminated. It also provides automatic reporting and notifications when power quality standards are unmet.
Some of the main components of SICAM PQS include the PQ Analyzer, the Incident Explorer, the Fault Event Viewer, which displays fault events and their records, the Event Viewer, and the Report Browser.
SICAM PAS/PQS is used mainly in electric utility companies and industrial plants worldwide.
SICAM PAS/PQS produces a wide variety of logs concerning its operations. Some of those logs are available through Windows Event Log and network monitoring, but most of them exist as flat files.
Because of the complex nature and scope of the systems SICAM PAS/PQS controls, there is no room for error. Its stable and consistent operation is crucial for plant safety. SICAM PAS/PQS logs often contain valuable information about the systems it controls. However, due to excessive log noise, this valuable information can sometimes remain hidden in the logs it collects. Another challenge is the lack of consistent log formats. The ability to parse data from a wide variety of log formats is an absolute necessity.
NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool, capable of tackling the most complex cases log collection may pose. Due to its rich set of features, it can read almost any log format and parse fields to produce structured data for further processing. For these reasons, it is the perfect tool for monitoring and collecting SICAM PAS/PQS logs.
- Collecting SICAM PAS/PQS logs from Windows Event Log
Windows Event Log is the main logging subsystem for Microsoft Windows. The logs that SICAM PAS/PQS generates contain diagnostic and security-related events, such as user authentication, the state of system components, and record modifications. These events are stored in the PASSecurity and PQ Analyzer Security folders under Applications and Services Logs. NXLog can easily read and collect these events using the appropriate SICAM PAS/PQS source names.
- Collecting SICAM PAS/PQS logs from file
File-based SICAM PAS/PQS logs include installation logs, watchdog logs, system logs, and fault event agent logs. With NXLog’s rich set of features, it can efficiently read and parse such file-based logs, and then reliably forward them to your preferred SIEM solution.
- SICAM PAS/PQS passive network monitoring
NXLog can passively monitor network traffic and generate logs for most network protocols. With this feature it can provide yet another valuable log source by monitoring communications between control centers, bay devices, and substations.
NXLog’s data normalization and log aggregation capabilities can extend the functionality of SICAM PAS/PQS. Because NXLog can collect logs from literally any file, in any format, it is ideally suited for integrating with the wide variety of log types and formats that SICAM PAS/PQS systems generate.
For more information on how to integrate NXLog with SICAM PAS/PQS, you can find detailed documentation here.
The above mentioned log sources, and the features NXLog provides all play an important role when normalizing logs in order to be accepted by Elastic.
Elasticsearch is a search engine and document database for storing, searching, and analyzing log data that you can deploy locally. On the other hand, Elastic Cloud is a SaaS solution that adds value to Elastic with its cloud-native features, such as managed enterprise search, data visualization, and security.
NXLog can integrate with both products by collecting and sending logs or as a relay, aggregating logs it receives from various sources and forwarding them.
- Elasticsearch logs
NXLog Enterprise Edition provides the om_elasticsearch output module that supports sending logs in bulk to Elasticsearch. With the NXLog Community Edition, the om_http module sends logs to Elasticsearch for low-volume logging scenarios. Because it sends a request to the Elasticsearch HTTP REST API for each event, HTTP request and response latency limit the maximum logging throughput.
- Elastic Cloud logs
The Elasticsearch REST API is used to send logs to the Elastic cloud. For NXLog to connect to the API, it requires an API key, the Elasticsearch endpoint, and the Elastic Cloud CA certificate. These requirements are configured on the main menu under Management > Stack Management.
You can view the log records by logging in to your Elastic Cloud instance. Navigate to Analytics > Discover from the main menu, then select the relevant index pattern to display the data.