What Are 4 Types of Logging? A Cybersecurity Expert Explains.


Updated on:

I’ve seen the impact of cyber attacks firsthand. The amount of damage hackers can do is often devastating and it’s something that individuals, companies, and organizations should take seriously. One of the ways to ensure your security online is by understanding the different types of logging.

Logging is a process of recording information or events in a system. This can be useful in detecting anomalies within your system, including any attempts made by hackers to gain access to sensitive data. When you’re aware of the different types of logging, you can take proactive measures to guard against these threats.

There are four types of logging that you should know about, and I’m going to explain what they are, so you can start implementing preventive measures to safeguard your digital life. Read on to learn more.

What are 4 types of logging?

Logging is an important aspect of security and IT management. It helps to keep track of system behaviors, changes, errors and security incidents. There are different types of logging that can be utilized depending on specific needs and situations. Here are four types of logging and how they work:

  • Circular logging: This type of logging is useful when all you need to do is restart recovery, and use the log to reverse the transactions that were running at the time that the system was shut down. Circular logs overwrite the oldest log entries once the log file has reached a specific size.
  • Linear logging: This type of logging stores log entries in sequence, usually in a sequential file format. Linear logs are useful for tracking changes such as modifications made to a database, as they provide a complete record of all activity.
  • Active log: An active log is used to keep track of current transactions and changes as they happen. Active logs are typically small and only keep track of what’s happening in real time.
  • Inactive log: Inactive logs are used to keep track of transactions that have already been completed or have failed. They provide a historical record of activity, which can be used for diagnostic purposes, identifying issues with processes and detecting security incidents.
  • Second log file: A second log file can be used as a backup to primary log files. This helps to ensure that logging is resilient to hardware failures, data corruption and other issues that could impact the integrity of log data.
  • In summary, utilizing different types of logging can help organizations improve cybersecurity, identify system errors and track system activities. By deploying a logging strategy that takes all these considerations into account, system administrators and security professionals can ensure that their systems are secure and resilient to malicious actors.

    ???? Pro Tips:

    1. Understand the different types of logging – There are four types of logging: security, application, system, and network. Familiarize yourself with each type to know what information they collect and their significance in cybersecurity.

    2. Security Logging – This type of logging focuses on auditing system and application activities. It helps IT personnel to spot potential security issues and vulnerabilities over time.

    3. Application Logging – It deals with the events that occur in an application. It is excellent for troubleshooting and software development.

    4. System Logging – System logs provide an excellent reference point for IT professionals, especially when tracking the application’s performance, troubleshooting hardware, and basic monitoring infrastructure.

    5. Network Logging – Network logs record the disparate devices that connect to the internet and communicate with other computers to access data or other critical activities. Understanding them will help you stay more aware of what’s happening on your network, both in case of suspicious activity and otherwise.

    The Four Types of Logging: Circular, Linear, Active, and Inactive

    one of the most critical tasks when securing a system is keeping a record of all activities within it. Logging is one of the primary methods used to accomplish this. It is a process of recording all the events occurring on a system, generating a file with timestamps, and additional information such as the severity of the event. In this article, we will dive deeper into the four types of logging: circular, linear, active, and inactive logs.

    Circular logging:

    Circular logging is a technique used when all you need is to restart recovery after a system shutdown. This logging process utilizes the log for reversing the transactions that were running at the time of the system shutdown. Circular logs continually overwrite the oldest transaction information in favor of new information. Therefore, they take less storage space compared to linear logs.

    Linear logging:

    Linear logging involves arranging log entries in sequential order; this provides a clear view of the life cycle of a specific transaction. Linear logs are useful when you need to examine data in chronological order to understand all events leading up to a particular problem. These logs have a beginning and an end, and nobody can edit the information.

    Active log:

    The active log is the current log that the system uses to store transactions. It receives information on all transactions, changes, and modifications taking place in the system. The data usually stays in the active log for a short period before being transferred to a permanent storage medium.

    Inactive log:

    The inactive log is the previous version of the active log. When a new transaction log file is created, the old transaction log file becomes inactive and is stored in permanent storage for future reference.

    Second log file:

    A second log file, also known as a secondary log file or archive log file, is an additional log file that supplements the initial transaction log file. This log contains any changes made to the initial file, ensuring all transactions are recorded for compliance and recovery purposes. The secondary log file also acts as a backup file for the primary log in case it gets damaged or deleted.

    When to use circular logging:

    Circular logging is best used in a cluster environment where multiple systems maintain the same data. This process ensures all cluster nodes have consistent data, even in the event of data or system loss. Additionally, circular logging is useful when debugging software issues.

    Benefits of linear logging:

    Linear logging provides the advantage of data organization, chronological tracking of transactions, and unalterable records. The sequence also provides critical information when recreating or troubleshooting an issue. By knowing the exact sequence of events leading up to a problem, system administrators can quickly determine its root cause and restore the system.

    Understanding active and inactive logs:

    The active log contains all changes to a system, while the inactive log contains the same information but from an earlier version. Both logs enable system administrators to recover data in case of a system crash or other catastrophic failures. It is crucial to note that active logs receive regular updates, while inactive logs do not; they are merely archives for reference purposes.

    In conclusion, logging is a critical process in ensuring system security. With circular logging, linear logging, active and inactive logs, and secondary log files, system administrators can manage logs effectively. Different types of logs serve specific purposes, and organizations must ensure they are using the right type or combination of logs for optimal results.