Logs are imperative in a digital application as they can provide numerous information about the application. Information like success and error messages, error origination, log-in, and server IP details are a few examples of how logs can help. They make debugging applications easier. They play a significant role in the development mode but need to be handled carefully in the production mode as they are prone to potential data breaches.
If not handled correctly, logs can expose information like:
- Workflow of an application
- User data
- Security tokens
Workflow of an Application:
The workflow describes the checkpoints the data passes through in an application. It can reveal the architecture of the application to the attackers. For example, in the case of authentication, logging comments like “Generating Token”, “Token verified”, etc., can cue the attacker that the authentication process uses a token for process validation.
These sensitive logs can be extremely useful in the development mode as they can help debug the application and ensure everything is working fine. But in the production mode, these need to be removed as they can expose data making the application vulnerable to data breaches.
Sending or receiving user data from the server in the digital application and then logging in to see the correctness of the data is a common practice. But these logs need to be handled very carefully as they contain user data like contact details, email addresses, payment details, etc. Leaving these logs in the production mode can result in data leakage and endanger the application’s security and the users since they contain sensitive information. Removing sensitive data before sending the application to production mode becomes essential.
Security tokens are tokens generally used to authenticate a user or a session. We can send these tokens with every request to the server. Post that, the server validates the token and allows resource access to the user. Now, let’s assume this token is logged-in to the application. The attackers can access and exploit it to access server resources and user data. It is a huge security risk for an application. Attackers accessing the server-side can also make the database vulnerable to attack.
It is necessary to avoid logging any of these logs to make our application more secure.
Infosys Enterprise Data Privacy Suite (iEDPS) is an application used for protecting sensitive information. Few out of many features of iEDPS that help in the protection of application logs are:
- Discovery: It helps in discovering sensitive data in a data source. The sensitive information here can be SSN, token, log-in details, etc. In addition, a user can also have their own defined vulnerable data pattern.
- Masking: This feature can transform sensitive data and make it secure.
With the help of iEDPS, you can avoid the security risks and breaches of sensitive information present in logs.
Protecting logs is difficult in the production environment as it is easy to access them in an application. If the data logs contain sensitive information, the application is vulnerable to an attack and can easily lead to unauthorized access rendering a big security problem. iEDPS is one of the best solutions for protecting the logs and making the application more secure.
Author: Malay Varma