Collecting logs from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS and sending them to IBM QRadar could be a complex task due to this rather unique combination of log sources and SIEM solution. In this post we will take a look at how you can forward log data from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS to IBM QRadar using NXLog.
FAST/TOOLS is Yokogawa’s SCADA software platform. Its client-server architecture comprises three main functional components: a SCADA server, a Web HMI client, and a Web HMI server. The SCADA server is responsible for collecting, processing, and managing the logs it receives from the Web HMI clients. The Web HMI server displays events and other operational data from Web HMI clients while also serving as the human-machine interface for displaying the logs that the SCADA server has processed.
FAST/TOOLS comprises several function-specific modules that include OPC server and client functionality and a history scheduler. The FAST/TOOLS software platform integrates with cloud computing and virtualization infrastructures. It is widely deployed in the oil and gas industry and large manufacturing plants worldwide.
FAST/TOOLS produces a wide variety of logs about its operations.
These logs are available in flat files and stored in the
C:\Users\Public\Yokogawa\tls\log\ system directory.
There is no room for error or trade-offs because Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS monitors and controls the type of operations Its steady, uninterrupted operation is essential to maintaining plant safety. However, due to excessive log noise, 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 various log formats is an absolute necessity.
NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool capable of tackling the most challenging cases log collection may pose. Its rich features allow it to read almost any log format and parse fields to produce structured data for further processing. It is the perfect tool for monitoring and collecting FAST/TOOLS logs.
- RDBMS data collection
FAST/TOOLS provides an ODBC (open database connectivity) interface that collects data from the FAST/TOOLS data set services layer and sends it directly to an external ODBC compliant database. With FAST/TOOLS, you can view table components and perform faster queries, obtaining much quicker insight into your plant operations. FAST/TOOLS includes an embedded relational database management system (RDBMS) that allows you to execute more complex queries and cross-reference FAST/TOOLS data with your own RDBMS environment.
- Collecting FAST/TOOLS logs from file
FAST/TOOLS' file-based logs include start logs, diagnostics logs, system monitor logs, and systems error logs. The processes that detect system errors send messages to the FAST/TOOLS unsolicited message handler (UMH), which manages all the necessary information present in these logs. This information includes the name of the process that detected the error, a timestamp, and an error code. You can view these application error logs in the
messages.umhfile of the FAST/TOOLS data directory. NXLog is capable of parsing these complex logs by using regular expressions.
- FAST/TOOLS passive network monitoring
FAST/TOOLS supports open platform communications (OPC) functionality and includes an embedded OPC Unified Architecture (UA) environment. It also supports classic OPC for distributed communication (DCOM) links across your network. NXLog can passively monitor your network traffic and generate logs for most network protocols.
NXLog’s data normalization and log aggregation capabilities can extend the functionality of Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS. Because NXLog can collect logs from literally any file in any format, it is ideally suited for integrating with FAST/TOOLS' wide variety of log types and file formats.
For more information on integrating NXLog with this SCADA software environment, visit our detailed Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS integration guide.
The above mentioned log sources, and the features NXLog provides, all play an important role when normalizing logs to meet QRadar’s requirements.
IBM QRadar is a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system, which accepts log data for further analysis, correlation, and threat intelligence. Its primary role is to identify known or potential threats, provide alerting and reports, as well as aid incident investigations.
For QRadar to accept logs from NXLog, appliances need to be configured with the appropriate log source in QRadar. This can be done by navigating from the menu to data sources, events, and then log sources. Here, a log source can be set that is either specific or generic.
- Generic structured logs
Setting up a generic log source in IBM QRadar is essential for log sources that are not among QRadar’s set of predefined log source types. Once a generic log source is defined, logs can be sent to QRadar using LEEF (Log Event Extended Format).
- Specific log types
IBM QRadar provides many log source types that are predefined, making it easier to collect and send a large number of log types to it natively, such as those in Windows Event Log, DHCP server logs, DNS debug logs, Microsoft Exchange Server logs, as well as Microsoft SQL logs.
Forwarding logs to IBM QRadar is straightforward with NXLog, and it can be accomplished with TCP or even TLS/SSL if security is a main concern.