At first glance, log data analysis seems like something that should be left to your business’ IT department.
However, log analysis plays such a critical role that you should be paying attention to it for insightful and specific business-centric points of view.
In fact, analyzing data affects your entire business, including legal, sales and marketing, finance, human resources, security, and operations.
Through log analysis, you have the opportunity to discover problems long before they occur or as they happen, and avoid unnecessary delays and lost critical time. Analyzing your business logs brings you a whole set of benefits.
For instance, your business becomes better at responding to incidents, reduces expenses, helps increase revenue as well as ensures that you are operating within legal requirements. Find out about the major reasons why businesses need to analyze their logs – the sooner the better.
1. Improved Business Operations
One of the most obvious benefits of carrying out log analysis is it’s a tool that can be used to improve your business operations. These functions include detecting critical errors in your system, identification of key trends, and improving operational efficiency.
Log analysis also helps your business in supporting Service Level Agreements (SLA) and, not forgetting, system troubleshooting.
Detecting problems in your system early are one of the best ways of finding and solving money-wasting processes within your organization. In turn, this helps you avoid expensive service disruptions that lead to downtime, unhappy clients, and lost sales.
2. Proper Resource Allocation
The worst situation any business can find itself in is having the wrong amount of resources available to support critical operations. From storage capacity to network bandwidth to CPU cycles, your business has to get these metrics just right.
Poor allocation of resources easily leads to poor service delivery, frustrated clients, and, eventually, lost sales.
The easiest thing to do is of course to over-speculate the resources. On the other hand, this will lead to increased expenses and wastage, which have a negative impact on your bottom line.
Using logs and a network monitoring solution, for example, can help you determine the proper resource allocation to ensure you realize maximal productivity for maximum profits.
You can also make use of your logs for verifying third-party billing. For example, make use of available logs to ensure that the amount of bandwidth charged by a service provider is actually right. On its own, this is a benefit that helps improve the bottom line.
3. Improved Security
One of the most important areas to consider while doing business in the modern environment is security. Logs are essential tools to protect organizations proactively as well as for forensic investigations of security breaches.
If you are under a DNS attack, where someone continuously hammers your site to break your servers, log analysis can reveal lots of useful information regarding the attackers. The analysis is even capable of assisting when blocking them from accessing your site via their IP addresses.
At a proactive level, logs help you optimize blocking and filtering of incoming traffic, maximize your email virus protection protocol, monitor failed authentication attempts, and verify firewall configurations.
After the fact, you can use logs to assess the compliance of your security policy, initiate reporting of incidences, and investigate security breaches. In fact, you have no way of understanding security risks or responding to security events without log analysis.
4. Achieve Compliance
Every business has its own internal policies that include employee policies, security policies, and legal policies. In fact, most businesses are required to adhere to strict regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA. For a clear mind when it comes to HIPAA, your business also should utilize HIPAA compliant solutions, such as if you are going to use video conferencing, you should make sure that you are using HIPAA compliant video conferencing software, the same goes for your email, texting, etc. In most cases, the government imposes such regulations.
The only way to ensure that you are following these policies and meet regulation requirements is through log analysis. Apart from simplifying compliance, log analysis supports litigation needs, audit requirements, forensic investigations, and subpoena requests. Concisely, log analysis is the only way to ensure that your business stays out of legal trouble.
5. Support Sales and Marketing Efforts
While it’s not obvious that log analysis can have a direct impact on your business’ sales and marketing, it certainly does. First, log analysis is used to measure the effectiveness of a sales campaign.
Traffic loads, customer navigation, conversion errors, and other similar information are critical in improving the sales process – and you can use logs analysis as a means of driving revenue!
Overall, whether you are aware or not aware of the fact, analyzing your business log influences every department in your business. Indirectly or directly, log analysis affects every business’ bottom line through increased revenue, reduced expenditure, and delighted clients.
Now you know that log analysis is not a back office task for the IT department alone. Each department requires the intelligence in your business logs to improve performance.
This is why every organization should be proactive when it comes to analyzing logs, and now is the best time to start.
Ashka Shastri, an infosec consultant, responsible for handling ISO 27001:2013, SOC 2 and GDPR compliance at Acquire Inc. She has 2+ years of experience in Information Security Compliance & Audit. Ashka’s primary focus is on emerging technology issues and privacy concerns for the organization. With a Master Degree in Cyber Security and Certified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor, Ashka actively supports initiatives that aim to improve security for us all. She is an active writer and enjoys spending her time educating people on security and privacy.