Everything you do in your AWS environment creates a log, and every log plays an important role in keeping your customers’ data safe. If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you know that having the ability to store, analyze, and retrieve these records is crucial for security and compliance purposes.
Currently, a variety of enterprise log management solutions offer logging services. However, these solutions are often more trouble and more money than they’re worth.
That’s why we’ve enhanced our Oxygen™ managed services platform (MSP) to include a new service aimed at addressing these needs – unified logging. Cutting through the complications of storing, managing, and retrieving logs, unified logging is built into Oxygen to make your system more secure, and to make those third-party services unnecessary.
What Third-Party Solutions Don’t Solve
Every healthcare organization that stores patient health information (PHI) in the cloud needs a logging solution to be HIPAA-compliant. However, since enterprise log management solutions are both vast and proprietary, companies are often stuck paying for services that they can’t afford and can never fully take advantage of.
Just because you have a third-party solution creating logs for you, moreover, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to access or analyze them when it’s important. Without a unified logging solution, logs are spread all over the place. Often, they are even stored in a proprietary format, which means you can only access and read them if you remain a customer.
In most cases, companies only need to access audit logs when something goes wrong. But too often when dealing with the large products from third-party solutions, it’s when something goes wrong that you realize the problems with your log solution. And in the meantime, you’re paying a premium for a wide variety of services you’ll never use.
The Benefits Of Unified Logging
With Cloudticity’s unified logging service, you can replace the drawbacks of working with a third-party partner with immediate, actionable benefits.
No Added Costs Or Extended Timelines
Unlike expensive third-party services, which can require subscriptions that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, unified logging is already built into Oxygen MSP. Moreover, while installing third-party services can be tedious and time-consuming, simply being an Oxygen customer means you’re instantly ready to go.
Secure And Affordable Storage
Rather than existing in multiple languages or formats, unified logs sit in a data lake in Amazon S3, Amazon’s secure object storage service. This means the data is not only highly durable but highly affordable.
It also means that you’ll never lose access to your data. Other companies might ship your data elsewhere, meaning you can’t leave their services behind without leaving your data behind. However, Cloudticity stores the logs locally to your AWS account, in a nonproprietary format (JSON) that doesn’t require specialized knowledge to read.
Regulatory bodies such as HIPAA and HITRUST require your business to keep audit logs that are both searchable and analyzable. This means, for instance, that businesses attempting to achieve the rigorous HITRUST framework can gain a shortcut to certification through unified logging.
Additionally, HIPAA and HITRUST increasingly consider machine learning and artificial intelligence more important aspects of healthcare organizations’ practices. Because unified logging immediately satisfies a huge number of these controls, it can be indispensable for performing analytics and keeping you compliant.
Automation and configurability are the hallmarks of everything we do at Cloudticity, and unified logging is no different. Because unified logging was created using native AWS services, it’s instantly configurable with all the tools that AWS has to offer.
Additionally, that configurability means your data will be compatible with machine learning – yet another benefit that a third-party solution would require added time and cost to deliver.
Log Correlation Capabilities
When something goes wrong with your data, start by finding the root cause. This requires correlating the various types of logs your system creates (such as error logs, traffic logs, and system metric logs) and being able to analyze the real-time story they tell about your system.
However, pulling and correlating data manually is a technical challenge that eats up time and resources. Unified logging addresses this by allowing you to view all of your data in a common language and on a single dashboard, simplifying the process for identifying the problem and accelerating the timeline to getting your system back up and running.
Unified Logging In Action
Consider a typical use case, such as your business wanting to get started logging firewall logs. For an enterprise log management solution, this addition would involve considerable programming and added costs in terms of time and resources. Many SaaS (software-as-service) partners might even introduce additional expenses for added services.
With Cloudticity’s configurable tools, however, the same process can be implemented almost immediately. Rather than undergoing a drawn-out process of programming and testing, customers can simply leverage Oxygen’s capabilities to incorporate this change within the unified logging service – with no added costs, and with instant compatibility with other AWS tools.
Working to eliminate our customers’ reliance on expensive and unnecessary tools is nothing new for Cloudticity. For instance, we’ve done similar work helping businesses manage their HL7 messages, a standard format for system messages.
As we worked with our customers, we realized that too often they’d end up spending thousands on custom applications to process or ingest those HL7 messages at all. Just as we added the unified logging service to Oxygen, we developed our own HL7 ingest engine so that customers could begin handling these messages on their own.
Cloudticity is always striving to add to our platform, just as we’re constantly pivoting to address the latest developments in digital healthcare. Never content to remain at the engineering level of AWS, we are constantly moving up the stack and working to enhance it. Through configurable and cost-saving solutions like unified logging, we’re also empowering our customers to do the same.
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