If you are even involved in the log management chores at your company, ask yourself an honest question: “Am I guilty of any or all the items on the list below?” It’s pretty common for most of us to commit at least one or two logging sins from time to time. Log management can be a complex undertaking for even the most talented IT wiz, but Papertrail can simplify even if bad habits tend to have a way of creeping into our work habits over time and creating chaos.
In addition to just flat out avoiding the logging function altogether, overworked admins can also fall into the routine of sloppy storage, not reading files after they’re produced, ignoring vital information in the files, and focusing only on problems rather than the big picture of what the data reveals about our network. See how many, if any, of the following faults you are familiar with. Sometimes, just knowing about a particular pitfall is the weapon you need to avoid it.
Poor Storage Practices
It’s easy to fall into the habit of either not storing or storing improperly. Every system has its own methods for taking care of this chore. But, if you don’t follow the protocols or if you fail to retain logged data, you’ve begun a self-defeating cycle of behavior.
This mistake comes in either not logging at all and logging way less than is necessary. Of all the pitfalls on this list, this one is the most damaging because it stops your progress even before you begin. With no data, there will be nothing to analyze. Plus, you run the risk of failing to meet compliance guidelines within your industry and quite possibly with law enforcement, depending what your company does.
There’s a type of dilemma that began way back in the early days of information management during the 1970’s. Key personnel often received reams of reports every day, but had no time to look at them. Today, that same has come about in a new form that is IT professionals and others within a company who simply ignore vital information from the event logs. The whole point of recording a computer system’s activity is to learn about efficiency. So, if an otherwise responsible manager neglects to view analysis data, the entire effort was wasted.
Ignoring Important Factors
When an analysis report notes, for example, that there have been repeated hacking attempts on the system during the past three months, at the same time each day, everyone should be informed about the situation. Ignoring vital revelations like a hacking attempt or anything else amounts to rash neglect of one’s duties. Unfortunately, it’s easy enough to assume that others have seen the same reports and will take the necessary precautions.
Emphasizing the Negative
The end result of the task often reveals both positive and negative features of a company’s operations. Too often, key personnel in a corporation focus on the negative in order to correct problems, which is good. But the downside is that they ignore the good and thus fail to learn valuable lessons about how to replicate smart behaviors and practices.