Sending Schneider Citect SCADA logs to Splunk

Collecting logs from Schneider Citect SCADA and sending them to Splunk could be a complex task because of the unique combination of the log source and the desired destination. In this post we will take a look at how you can forward log data from Schneider Citect SCADA to Splunk by incorporating the NXLog log collection tool.

Schneider Citect SCADA

Citect SCADA is a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition solution from Schneider Electric that is typically deployed in the manufacturing industry for monitoring and controlling production equipment and the delivery of utilities. It is used for both large manufacturing plants as well as smaller facilities, allowing you to analyze data using enhanced configuration capabilities. Citect SCADA can monitor your operational systems in real time and retrieve important plant-related data since it is the main user interface in your production environment.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs

Citect SCADA produces a wide variety of logs about its operation. Some of the logs are available through Windows Event Log, but most of the logs are in the format of flat files.

Due to the critical nature and scope of the systems Citect SCADA controls, there is no room for errors. Its stable, uninterrupted operation is crucial to plant safety. Although the logs Citect SCADA generates contain valuable information about the systems it controls, the relatively high level of log noise and the lack of a consistent log format present some challenges.

NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool, capable of tackling the most demanding cases log collection may pose. Owing 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 Citect SCADA logs.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs from Windows Event Log

Windows Event Log is the main log aggregation framework on the Windows platform. The logs Citect SCADA generates contain driver traffic, updates, and system related information. Citect SCADA creates two distinct Windows Event Log entries for Schneider Electric: SUT Service for Schneider Electric software updates and Runtime Manager logs. It can also read directly from the Schneider Electric SUT Service source.

Collecting Citect SCADA logs from file

File-based logs of Citect SCADA include; change log, syslog, tracelog as well as software update logs. These logs are stored in the C:\ProgramData\Schneider Electric\Citect SCADA 2018\Logs directory and, in most cases, do not follow a consistent formatting scheme.

Network Monitoring on Citect SCADA

NXLog provides a specific feature that collects events from the communication channels between Citect SCADA devices and other computers on the network. This feature is another possible source for log collection because it supports the passive monitoring of network traffic by generating logs for various industry standard protocols.

The easiest way to collect and normalize Citect SCADA log data is to use NXLog. With its unique capabilities, it can collect logs from literally any file, in any format. Given the wide variation in format and structure of such log files, NXLog is ideally suited for these systems.

For more information on how to integrate NXLog with Citect SCADA, you can find detailed documentation here.

The above mentioned sources, and the features NXLog provides all play an important role when normalizing logs in order to be accepted by Splunk.

Sending logs to Splunk

Splunk is a platform for data collection, searching, indexing, and data visualization. It accepts logs forwarded via TLS, TCP, UDP or HTTP and can ingest both structured or unstructured data from a multitude of sources.

Generic structured logs

To send logs via HTTP, Splunk’s HTTP event collector handles HTTP requests with either raw data payloads or formatted as JSON objects. To send logs via TCP or UDP you will need to set up the appropriate data input and specify the transmission protocol. To do this, use the Splunk dashboard to set up a new data input following their configuration guidelines. Alternatively, to send logs via TLS, you will need to edit your configuration files to generate the required security certificates.

Specific structured logs

Windows Event Log data can be forwarded to Splunk in XML format by installing the Splunk Add-on for Windows version 6.0.0. To reliably forward Citect SCADA logs to Splunk, all you need to do is specify Splunk’s network socket address along with the path and file names of the log files in your NXLog configuration file.

For more information on how to configure NXLog and send logs to Splunk, please visit the Splunk section in the NXLog User Guide.

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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.