Sending Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS logs to Graylog

Collecting logs from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS and sending them to Graylog 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 Graylog using NXLog.

Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS

FAST/TOOLS is Yokogawa’s SCADA software platform. Its client-server architecture is comprised of 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 it receives from Web HMI clients while also serving as the human-machine interface for displaying the logs that the SCADA server has processed.

FAST/TOOLS is comprised of several function-specific modules that include OPC server and client functionality as well as a history scheduler. The FAST/TOOLS software platform integrates readily with cloud computing and virtualization infrastructures. It is widely deployed in the oil and gas industry, as well as in large manufacturing plants worldwide.

Collecting Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS logs

FAST/TOOLS produces a wide variety of logs about its operations. These logs are available in the form of flat files and stored in the C:\Users\Public\Yokogawa\tls\log\ system directory.

Because of the type of operations that Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS monitors and controls, there is no room for error or trade-offs. In fact, 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 a wide variety of log formats is an absolute necessity.

NXLog Enterprise Edition is a lightweight, modular log collection tool, capable of taking on the most challenging 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 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 are able to view table components and perform faster queries, obtaining much quicker insight into your plant operations. FAST/TOOLS also 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’s 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.umh file of the FAST/TOOLS data directory. NXLog is capable of parsing these complex logs by making use of 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’s wide variety of log types and file formats.

For more information on how to integrate NXLog with this SCADA software environment, visit our detailed documentation on Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS.

The above mentioned log sources, and the features NXLog provides, all play an important role when normalizing logs to meet Graylog’s requirements.

Sending logs to Graylog

Graylog is a popular open source log collection tool that supports centralized log collection, data visualization, searching, and analysis. With its wide range of features, Graylog allows your security team to more effectively monitor the security of your IT infrastructure and to swiftly identify and act on security incidents.

To enable logs to be accepted by Graylog, from NXLog, you must first set up your appliance with the appropriate input source, in the Graylog web interface. This is done simply by navigating to system and then inputs. Here, you can establish if the input source is via UDP or TCP. However, if choosing to send logs over TLS (Transport Layer Security), you must configure your TLS certification file as well as your TLS private key file.

Log sources

Setting up a generic log source in Graylog is important if you wish to send logs from a source that is not among Graylog’s list of predefined log sources. This can be achieved by sending logs to Graylog using GELF (Graylog Extended Log Format).

Forwarding logs to Graylog with NXlog is straightforward and can be accomplished by following simple configuration steps.

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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.