Sending Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS logs to Microsoft Azure Sentinel

Collecting logs from Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS and sending them to Microsoft Azure Sentinel 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 Microsoft Azure Sentinel using NXLog.

Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS

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.

Collecting Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS logs

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.umh file 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 Microsoft Azure Sentinel’s requirements.

Sending logs to Microsoft Azure Sentinel

Azure Sentinel is a SIEM solution offered as a scalable, cloud-native, service within Microsoft Azure. Its main features are security analytics, alert detection, threat intelligence, and threat response. With the comprehensive view of your enterprise’s network security environment that it provides, the response time needed to assess and respond to possible security threats can be greatly reduced.

Log sources

To forward logs to Azure Sentinel from NXLog you should already have a Microsoft Azure Sentinel subscription. Then, you can create a Log Analytics workspace for storing your log data, queries, and functions. By configuring NXLog with your Log Analytics workspace ID, your primary (or secondary) key, and a table name for storing the logs, it can connect to Azure Sentinel, convert any log source on the fly to the format Azure Monitor requires, and finally send the log data securely for ingestion as custom log events. Using the Azure Sentinel dashboard, you can view those ingested events by navigating to General > Overview > Logs. Under the Tables tab, your custom logs will appear with the same table name you chose while configuring NXLog.

Forwarding logs to Azure Sentinel is straightforward with NXLog. All it takes is following a few 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.