Over the past four years, this survey has become the authoritative source for understanding the current state of log management needs and uses. This year's survey, which will both revisit previously identified issues and address new trends, will be offered as a free resource through the SANS Analysts Program portal. Research is also used to develop SANS training curriculum.
"This survey has taken on a life of its own because it reflects trends in the way logs are actually used—versus the way organizations would like their logs to be used," says Deb Radcliff, Editor, SANS Analysts Program. "In order to provide the clarity and depth that has become the SANS standard, this survey is much more granular than the average survey."
Last year's log management survey showed year-over-year improvement in overall awareness of log data uses and system implementations. In a multiple choice question, detection and analysis of security and performance incidents was the most important reason for collecting log data, followed by compliance, and assessing IT incidents (traditionally an operational control—not a security control).
The 2008 survey also showed that, as awareness for uses of their log data rose, satisfaction with log management took its first drop since 2005, from 37 percent satisfaction to 35 percent. Challenges included collecting data (51 percent), searching data (44 percent), reporting (42 percent), and the "whole lifecycle" (30 percent).
"As organizations understand what their log data can do for them, they want the ability to collect and correlate all this log data to use in troubleshooting system and security issues," says Jerry Shenk, senior SANS analyst and author of the reports. "This reflects a true need for more standardization in log data formats and better normalization processes on the part of log management vendors. The more data we can provide on the specifics, the better equipped SANS- trained professionals will be at extracting maximum value from their organization's log management initiatives."
This is the first survey to gather the support of multiple log management vendors. Sponsored by ArcSight, Intellitactics and LogLogic, this survey heralds the commitment of market leading vendors to join forces and provide objective analysis that can be leveraged to influence product roadmaps, foster helpful information sharing and training, and help establish best practices.
The survey will be posted throughout the month of January at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=FCwjvfHzkGml4stgnYQ7rg_3d_3d. The results will be released to a live audience at the SANS WhatWorks in Log Management Summit held at the Westin Washington, DC City Center, April 6-7. A free, recorded Webcast of the event will then post at SANS Webcasts during that week with the accompanying whitepaper available for download off the SANS Analysts Program Website. Both the webinar and the whitepaper are free for SANS and non-SANS members.
"We are excited to release the survey results to the audience that most needs to hear it. Research like this is invaluable resource material for our training course offerings," says SANS CEO, Stephen Northcutt, a key advisor on the Log Management Survey. "The more participants we have, the more accurate the industry perspective. So we encourage all professionals with log management experience to participate in this year's survey."
About SANS Industry Analysts Program SANS Industry Analysts perform research to identify trends in the IT, IT Security, Operations and IT Audit markets, with access to resources unparalleled anywhere else: The Internet Storm Center for latest in threat information; the GIAC Advisory board of more than 2000 experts with scores of 90 or above on certification exams; and the MGT 512 Alumni on issues and concerns that impact management.
About SANS SANS is the most trusted and largest source for information security training and certification in the world. It also develops, maintains, and makes available at no cost, the largest collection of research documents about various aspects of information security, and it operates the Internet's early warning system - Internet Storm Center. For more information on SANS, please visit www.sans.org.