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syslog-ng Store Box 6.1.0 - Administration Guide

Preface Introduction The concepts of SSB The Welcome Wizard and the first login Basic settings User management and access control Managing SSB Configuring message sources Storing messages on SSB Forwarding messages from SSB Log paths: routing and processing messages Configuring syslog-ng options Searching log messages Searching the internal messages of SSB Classifying messages with pattern databases The SSB RPC API Monitoring SSB Troubleshooting SSB Security checklist for configuring SSB

What SSB is

SSB is a device that collects, processes, stores, monitors, and manages log messages. It is a central log server appliance that can receive system (syslog and eventlog) log messages and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) messages from your network devices and computers, store them in a trusted and signed logstore, automatically archive and back up the messages, and also classify the messages using artificial ignorance.

The most notable features of SSB are as follows:

  • Secure log collection using Transport Layer Security (TLS).

  • Trusted, encrypted, and timestamped storage.

  • Ability to collect log messages from a wide range of platforms, including Linux, Unix, BSD, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, IBM System i, as well as Microsoft Windows.

  • Forwards messages to log analyzing engines.

  • Classifies messages using customizable pattern databases for real-time log monitoring, alerting, and artificial ignorance.

  • High Availability (HA) support to ensure continuous log collection in business-critical environments.

  • Real-time log monitoring and alerting.

  • Retrieves group memberships of the administrators and users from a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) database.

  • Strict, yet easily customizable access control to grant users access only to selected log messages.

  • Ability to search log data in multiple logspaces, whether on the same SSB applicance or located on a different appliance, even in a remote location.

SSB is configured and managed from any modern web browser that supports HTTPS connections, JavaScript, and cookies.

Supported browsers:

Mozilla Firefox 52 ESR

We also test SSB on the following, unsupported browsers. The features of SSB are available and usable on these browsers as well, but the look and feel might be different from the supported browsers. Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and the currently available version of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

What SSB is not

SSB is not a log analyzing engine, though it can classify individual log messages using artificial ignorance. SSB comes with a built-in feature to store log message patterns that are considered "normal". Messages matching these patterns are produced during the legitimate use of the applications (for example sendmail, Postfix, MySQL, and so on), and are unimportant from the log monitoring perspective, while the remaining messages may contain something “interesting”. The administrators can define log patterns on the SSB interface, label matching messages (for example, security event, and so on), and request alerts if a specific pattern is encountered. For thorough log analysis, SSB can also forward the incoming log messages to external log analyzing engines.

Why is SSB needed

Log messages contain information about the events happening on the hosts. Monitoring system events is essential for security and system health monitoring reasons. A well-established log management solution offers several benefits to an organization. It ensures that computer security records are stored in sufficient detail, and provides a simple way to monitor and review these logs. Routine log reviews and continuous log analysis help to identify security incidents, policy violations, or other operational problems.

Logs also often form the basis of auditing and forensic analysis, product troubleshooting and support. There are also several laws, regulations and industrial standards that explicitly require the central collection, periodic review, and long-time archiving of log messages. Examples of such regulations are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Basel II accord, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

Built around the popular syslog-ng application used by thousands of organizations worldwide, the syslog-ng Store Box (SSB) brings you a powerful, easy-to-configure appliance to collect and store your logs. Using the features of the latest syslog-ng Premium Edition to their full power, SSB allows you to collect, process, and store log messages from a wide range of platforms and devices.

All data can be stored in encrypted and optionally timestamped files, preventing any modification or manipulation, satisfying the highest security standards and policy compliance requirements.

Who uses SSB

SSB is useful for everyone who has to collect, store, and review log messages. In particular, SSB is invaluable for:

  • Central log collection and archiving: SSB offers a simple, reliable, and convenient way of collecting log messages centrally. It is essentially a high-capacity log server with high availability support. Being able to collect logs from several different platforms makes it easy to integrate into any environment.

  • Secure log transfer and storage: Log messages often contain sensitive information and also form the basis of audit trails for several applications. Preventing eavesdropping during message transfer and unauthorized access once the messages reach the log server is essential for security and privacy reasons.

  • Policy compliance: Many organization must comply with regulations like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), the Basel II accord, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). These regulations often have explicit or implicit requirements about log management, such as the central collection of log messages, the use of log analysis to prevent and detect security incidents, or guaranteeing the availability of log messages for an extended period of time — up to several years. SSB helps these organizations to comply with these regulations.

  • Automated log monitoring and log pre-processing: Monitoring log messages is an essential part of system-health monitoring and security incident detection and prevention. SSB offers a powerful platform that can classify tens of thousands of messages real-time to detect messages that deviate from regular messages, and promptly raise alerts. Although this classification does not offer as complete an inspection as a log analyzing application, SSB can process many more messages than a regular log analyzing engine, and also filter out unimportant messages to decrease the load on the log analyzing application.

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