Log management is the collective processes and policies used to administer and facilitate the generation, transmission, analysis, storage, archiving and ultimate disposal of the large volumes of log data created within an information system.
A log, in a computing context, is the automatically produced and time-stamped documentation of events relevant to a particular system. Virtually all software applications and systems produce log files.
Effective log management is essential to both security and compliance. Monitoring, documenting and analyzing system events is a crucial component of security intelligence (SI). In regard to compliance, regulations such as HIPPA, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Sarbanes Oxley Act have specific mandates relating to audit logs.
Log management software automates many of the processes involved. An event log manager (ELM), for example, tracks changes in an organization's IT infrastructure. These changes are reflected in audit trails that must be produced for a compliance audit.