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Log Management Gains Momentum

News that unauthorized government workers illegally accessed passport files of candidates Clinton, Obama, and McCain, and that UCLA medical personnel snooped in Britney Spears' medical files earlier this month was no surprise to some industry sources -- in fact, it was welcome news.

"It was actually good news, because we could see log management doing its job," says Dominique Levin, VP of products, marketing and business development at LogLogic, a provider of log management products.

Levin and others claim that while the saving and perusal of log files has been standard security and IT procedure for many years, growth has blown out the doors in the last couple of years. Some predict this will be a $1 billion market by 2010. Levin says her company, which sells log management appliances and services through partners to enterprise customers, grew more than 100 percent last year. The six-year-old firm now has over 400 customers, of which 160 signed on in 2007 alone.

One customer, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, is typical: The Healthcare Insurance Portability Accountability Act (Hipaa), like numerous other regulations worldwide, mandates that organizations track and save log files associated with patient records. This means gathering logs from multiple devices, such as firewalls; storing them in a searchable, central repository; and using the data to prompt alerts about network performance as well as security.

Use of a product from LogLogic streamlined all this. "In the past, to analyze logs manually after getting the data from our former database would take 180 to 240 minutes. The same job can now be done in less than 10 minutes," said Asad Syed, a senior security analyst with Northwestern, in a prepared statement.

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