Log analysis in forensic services typically involves systematically reviewing and examining server logs, firewall logs, and other system and security logs. This process helps trace the events that led to a cyber incident. Automated tools may sift through thousands of log entries to flag unusual or suspicious activities. Once these activities are identified, experts perform a deep dive into these logs to correlate events, identify indicators of compromise, and provide a detailed chronology of the incident.
In the aftermath of a ransomware attack, log analysis revealed that the malware gained initial access through a phishing email that an employee unknowingly opened. This was verified by correlating data from email server logs and endpoint security logs.
In an insider threat scenario, log analysis showed repeated unauthorized attempts to access a sensitive database late at night, eventually identifying a disgruntled employee.
Risks of Not Doing It:
Failing to perform log analysis can result in a lack of understanding of how, when, and where a cyber incident occurred. This ignorance not only hampers incident response and recovery but also makes it difficult to improve security measures effectively. It may also lead to compliance issues, as many regulations require thorough incident investigations. The absence of detailed log analysis can result in extended periods of exposure to security risks, data loss, and financial repercussions.