Collecting logs from Siemens SICAM PAS/PQS and sending them to Logstash could be a complex task due to this unique combination of the log source and the destination SIEM. In this post, we will look at how you can forward log data from Siemens SICAM PAS/PQS to Logstash using the 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 integrating NXLog with SICAM PAS/PQS, see the Siemens SICAM PAS/PQS integration guide.
The log sources mentioned above and NXLog’s features play a crucial role in normalizing logs accepted by Logstash.
Logstash is a data collection and processing tool. It is often used as part of the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana) to collect logs from various sources, normalize them, and forward them to Elasticsearch. NXLog and Logstash can be configured to exchange log data between each other in various formats, including JSON and syslog, and over different transport protocols such as TCP, UDP, and HTTP(S).
- NXLog as a data shipper for Logstash
Due to Logstash being resource-intensive and requiring Java to run, it is often used as an ingester, with different data shippers forwarding logs to it. NXLog, with its small resource footprint, can act as a data shipper for Logstash with the benefit of being an all-in-one solution. An NXLog installation can collect and process logs from different sources on the same host, all configured within a single configuration file.
- Sending logs to Logstash
Logstash supports data ingestion from various sources through its many input plugins and can process data in various formats by using filters and codec plugins. NXLog also offers a vast selection of output modules and extensions that can forward logs in the data formats and ingestion methods supported by Logstash.
For more information on configuring NXLog and sending logs to Logstash, see the Logstash integration guide in the NXLog User Guide.