Log data is one of the most valuable assets in IT security intelligence. Logs can give you a general overview of your network and let you gain powerful insights into its vulnerabilities.
Almost every device whether virtual or physical is able to generate logs. Raw-generated logs coming from different vendors can be different in format and severity type. Solving security problems with this data would be very time-consuming.
When critical information is needed, it is usually difficult to find a solution from the large pool of different raw logs. They would have to be manually collected from each device and analyzed independently. Not very effective for today's security needs!
Here is our list of the top seven log and event analyzers:
- SolarWinds Security Event Manager – FREE TRIAL This log management system for Event and Syslog messages includes a machine learning function that analyzes consolidated log records and identifies troubling events. Runs on Windows Server.
- Datadog Log Analysis – FREE TRIAL A cloud-based service that gathers logs from Windows Events, Syslog, and application messages, consolidates them, and provides tools to view and analyze the data.
- Sematext Logs – FREE TRIAL A cloud-based service that collects, consolidates, and files log messages and includes access to files and a data viewer.
- ManageEngine EventLog Analyzer – FREE TRIAL This alert-based log consolidator shows live data visualizations for incoming log records and draws performance thresholds to identify system problems. Runs on Windows Server and Linux.
- ManageEngine ADAudit Plus – FREE TRIAL This software package provides file integrity monitoring of workstations, servers, and cloud platforms, accessing Windows Security Event logs for verification. Available for Windows Server, AWS, and Azure.
- LOGalyze A free, open source log server and analyzer that provides compliance reporting for HIPAA, and PCI DSS. Installs on Windows Server and Linux.
- NetVizura EventLog Analyzer A log server and consolidator that includes a data viewer with analysis capabilities. Installs on Windows, Windows Server, and Linux.
Specialized event log management tools will make the IT admin’s life easier.
A log manager + analyzer tool collects and analyzes log event data automatically.
It can help you identify attack attempts, devices that are misconfigured, track user activity or even help you to meet regulatory compliance.
Event Log Managers are so helpful because they will automatically sort out all raw events and let you easily browse through them.
Security Information and Event Management “SIEM”, products provide real-time analysis of logs generated by network appliances or applications. In a few words, SIEM solutions are the synonym of a sophisticated event log analysis system.
The components of a SIEM can be (but are not limited to):
- Log centralization
- Data aggregation and collection
- Long-term storage
- Forensic Analysis
The following list of products have some or all of the common components of a good SIEM.
The Best Log Analysis Tools/Software of 2023
SolarWinds Inc. is one of the leaders in IT infrastructure management and security software. They are trusted by more than 250,000 customers worldwide and have been in the market since 1999.
Among their favorites, “Security Event Management” has been around since 2001 and is one of the industry’s most trusted log tools.
How does the Software work?
It automatically collects logs from multiple servers, applications, and network devices. Then it centralizes the logs into a single device. Finally correlates all logs, providing specific information such as event name, date, source, and severity.
What makes is so GOOD?
Most of the log analysis tools approach log data from a forensics point of view. But, Log and Event management uses log data more proactively. It can learn from past events and alert you on real-time before a problem causes more damage.
Troubleshooting can be simpler by using the pre-defined filters organized by categories. With these categories, you can specify more details of an event, such as source, destination, IP, port number and more.
To maintain adequate governance over the whole environment, the software can let you store and evaluate historical data. You can use stored data to run automated audits to establish a strong compliance.
- Enterprise-focused SIEM with a wide range of integrations
- Simple log filtering, no need to learn a custom query language
- Dozens of templates allow administrators to start using SEM with little setup or customization
- Historical analysis tool helps find anomalous behavior and outliers on the network
- SEM Is an advanced SIEM product built for professionals, requires time to fully learn the platform
Price: The “Security Event Manager” can provide extended capabilities for $4495.00. Try it out!
Download a fully functional 30-day free trial of the Security Event Manager by registering to SolarWinds website.
Official Download: solarwinds.com/security-event-manager
Datadog is a cloud-based system monitoring and management platform that includes a range of modules, such as its log management and analysis systems. The main log management service offered by Datadog is called Ingest. This includes a log server to collect and consolidate log messages that derive from Windows Events, Syslog, and application status messaging. This package also includes a data viewer that has analytical tools built into it.
How does the software work?
The processing system for Datadog Ingest is resident in the Cloud. An agent program needs to be installed on-site in order to capture circulating log messages. The Agent uploads all detected messages behind the scenes on an encrypted connection. The Ingest server receives the messages, standardizes their format, and files them, while also displaying them live in the Datadog system dashboard. Saved messages can be recalled instantly and shown in the data viewer.
The analytical features of the Datadog Ingest data viewer include the typical sorting, grouping, and filtering utilities that can be expected from most data access tools. However, this system has some extra features that make it a powerful log analysis tool.
Some of the outstanding features from Datadog Ingest are:
- Data visualization graphs and charts
- A log analysis query builder
- An optional log parser
- An AI-drive alert threshold mechanism
- A guided problem detection customizer
- Specialized vendor-specific metrics collection
- Data aggregation and drill-down capabilities
As an online service, the Datadog software is instantly available without the need to install, host, or maintain any software other than the agent program, the management of which is organized by cloud-resident processes.
- Supports live log collection as well as long-term archival options for SIEM solutions
- Can monitor both internally and externally giving network admins a holistic view of network performance and accessibility
- Allows businesses to scale their monitoring efforts reliably through flexible pricing options
- Would like to see a longer trial period for testing
Price: Datadog Ingest is a metered service with a charge of $0.10 per GB of processed data per month.
Download: Datadog Ingest and other Datadog system management services can be accessed on a 14-day free trial.
Sematext Logs is a hosted version of ELK – the Elastic Stack. This is a cloud platform and it includes storage space for your logs. The suite of tools offered by this service includes Logstash, which collects and consolidates log messages and then stores them.
The core of the service is Elasticsearch, which enables you to search through log records. The tool lets you set up data search scripts that can also order, group, and format the records. Kibana is the interface for the ELK.
How does the software work?
You need to install an agent program on a server on your site. This will collect all log messages as they pass around your network and it will upload them to the Sematext server. As messages arrive, Logstash reformats them into a neutral format, which means that messages from different sources, such as Windows Events and Syslog, can be stored together and put into a single data pool. While converting the messages, the Sematext system also shows them live in the Kibana interface.
It is possible to feed extra information into the Sematext system, such as SNMP reports that will give you live network performance information to link into your log data. There are other ways to customize the Sematext system, such as setting up thresholds on any of the metrics the system gathers and commanding that they trigger alerts when crossed.
Some of the notable features of Sematext are:
- Log consolidation and filing
- Storage on a cloud server for up to one year
- Customizable data feeds and searches
- Decide your own metrics to collect
- Secure data transfers
- Performance alerts
- Analytical screens
- Customizable reports, plus out-of-the-box formats
Elastic Stack is very widely used for data management applications. The Sematext system gives you control over your own implementation without the hassle of hosting it.
- Uses Elasticsearch for flexible query options
- Supports data outside of just event logs such as SNMP reports
- Supports threshold-based alerts, ideal for maintaining SLAs
- Has a freeware version for testing
- No on-premise version
- Relies on Kibana for data visualization
Price: Sematext Logs is offered in three editions: Free, Standard (starting at $50 per month), and Pro (starting at $60 per month). Both of these paid plans come with a processing rate of 1GB per day and a retention period of seven days. The price increases with longer retention periods and larger processing volumes.
Download: Access a 14-day free trial of this cloud service.
ManageEngine is a big name in the IT security and management software. ManageEngine is trusted by more than 120,000 organizations worldwide to help them manage and secure their IT.
How does the software works?
It collects, analyzes, correlates, searches, reports, and stores logs from a centralized platform. The data collected is converted into easy to understand reports and graphs. When it detects abnormal behavior, the software sends security alerts in real-time to email or SMS.
EventLog Analyzer is a complete event manager and one of the most cost effective solutions. It can support almost 700 different devices from multiple vendors. Its documentation and simple installation make it a very competitive SIEM product.
Some of the Outstanding features from EventLog Analyzer are:
- Real-Time Event Correlation
- Compliance Reports
- Universal log collection
- File integrity monitoring
- Privilege user monitoring
- Real-time alerting
- Log forensics
It is also one of the easiest to install and use event management software in the market.
- Customizable dashboards that work great for network operation centers
- Multiple alert channels ensure teams are notified across SMS, email, or app integration
- Uses anomaly detection to assist technicians in their day-to-day operations
- Supports files integrity monitoring that can act as an early warning system for ransomware, data theft, and permission access issues
- Forensic log audit features enable admins to create reports for legal cases or investigations
- Takes time to fully explore the entire ManageEngine ecosystem
Price: EventLog Analyzer is available in three different editions. Free, Premium (at $595) and Distributed (at $2,495), which makes it the most cost efficient event manager in the market. The priced edition comes with annual maintenance support and additional upgrades.
Download: Download a free and fully functional version of the EventLog Analyzer for a limited time.
ManageEngine ADAudit Plus is a security software package that focuses on file access on workstations, servers, AWS accounts, and Azure accounts. The service collects Windows Event log messages to identify activity on Windows machines.
How does the software work?
- Collect: ADAudit Plus listens for Windows Events messages that relate to file access activity or changes to Active Directory
- Analyzes: The software blends Windows Events data with other sources of information and creates its own log records
- Alerts: Some events are simply recorded for future reference, while other events, such as changes to AD objects, automatically generate alerts. Extra alerts can be generated by the user entering specifications
- Creates compliance reports: ADAudit Plus implements compliance auditing and will also generate compliance reporting on demand for SOX, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, FISMA, and GLBA
The ADAudit Plus system will run on Windows Server, AWS, or Azure. The system’s purpose is to log file access events but it has the capacity to implement automated responses if these actions are specified by the user.
- File integrity monitoring for workstations, servers, and cloud platforms
- Alerts that can be forwarded as notifications through email or SMS messages
- Protection for Active Directory
- This isn’t a SaaS package
Price: There is a Free edition for monitoring up to 25 workstations. Two paid versions are:
- Standard: Implements file integrity monitoring from $595
- Professional: Adds on Active Directory DC protection from $945
Download: Get a 30-day free trial.
LOGalyze is an open-source centralized log management and network monitoring software. It is easy to use and has a low operational cost. It can provide support to Unix, Linux, Windows servers and many networking devices.
How does the software works?
- Collect: It collects log events data from hosts and network devices.
- Parses and Stores: It determines source host, severity, and type from the collected logs. It will then store the identified logs into its appropriate field.
- Analyzes: It analyzes log data with its powerful engine.
- Alerts: When an event matching specific criteria is generated, LOGalyze will notify the user.
- Creates compliance reports: LOGalyze can help you comply with multiple regulatory acts like HIPAA, PCI DSS and more.
LOGalyze provides you with multi-dimensional statistics and detection of events in real-time. It also comes with an extensive ability to explore stored logs. You can organize and examine each log collected from any device.
But the best thing about LOGalyze is that it is open source, supported by a strong community and it is completely free.
- Open-source tool which allows anyone to build a feature, or view the source code
- Can support multiple environments such as Windows, Unix, and Linux
- Completely free
- Steeper learning curve than other event log analysis tools
Price: You can download full-featured LOGalyze, without time limit, and completely free.
Download: Download the full LOGalyze software.
7. NetVizura EventLog Analyzer
With a strong reputation on security tools, Netvizura released EventLog Analyzer in 2014. EventLog Analyzer helps you troubleshoot operational problems and identify security events.
It collects system logs from any device, analyzes them by making decisions and stores them in a single central location. EventLog Analyzer can store many logs that can help for further investigation.
The central log management is so powerful that it can process more than 20,000 logs per second.
It is also easy to browse and search for logs. Its search platform allows you to use filters or zoom to a specific time. The filters can let you see the most important part of the log, such as severity level, device, and alarms. You can create customized filters to avoid showing unnecessary information.
Its database is automatically maintained. You can define a maximum size for your database and allow automatic deletion based on data age.
- Can process high volumes of logs, making it a solid option for larger companies
- Robust search filters help sort by severity, application, or timeframe
- No month-to-month pricing options
Price: Starting price for $1,300. Full support is included in the price for the first year. You can also purchase the product as a yearly subscription.
Download: Download and try NetVizura for free for a limited time of 30 days.
Event Log Analysis Tools FAQs
Event Log Analysis Tools FAQs
Event logs can record a wide range of events, including system events (such as startup and shutdown events), application events (such as software crashes), and security events (such as failed logins and attempted security breaches).
What types of event log analysis tools are available?
There are a variety of event log analysis tools available, including open-source tools like Graylog and ELK Stack, as well as commercial tools like SolarWinds Security Event Manager and LogRhythm.
What types of features do event log analysis tools typically include?
Event log analysis tools can include a wide range of features, including the ability to collect and parse event logs from multiple sources, perform real-time analysis of log data, create custom alerts and notifications based on log data, and generate reports and visualizations to help identify trends and potential issues.
How do event log analysis tools handle large volumes of log data?
Event log analysis tools use various techniques to handle large volumes of log data, including log file compression, log file rotation, and log data archiving. Many tools also use machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify patterns in log data and filter out noise.
How can event log analysis tools help with compliance?
Event log analysis tools can help organizations meet compliance requirements by collecting and analyzing log data to demonstrate that security controls are in place, and by alerting administrators when specific events occur that could indicate a security breach or other compliance issue.