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Manual Chapter: Configuring Remote High-Speed Logging of Network Firewall Events
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Configuring Remote High-Speed Logging of Network Firewall Events

Overview: Configuring remote high-speed Network Firewall event logging

You can configure the BIG-IP® system to log information about the BIG-IP system Network Firewall events and send the log messages to remote high-speed log servers.

Important: The BIG-IP system Advanced Firewall Manager™ (AFM™) must be licensed and provisioned before you can configure Network Firewall event logging.

This illustration shows the association of the configuration objects for remote high-speed logging.

Associations between remote high-speed logging configuration objects

Association of remote high-speed logging configuration objects

Task summary

Perform these tasks to configure remote high-speed network firewall logging on the BIG-IP® system.
Note: Enabling remote high-speed logging impacts BIG-IP system performance.

About the configuration objects of remote high-speed Network Firewall event logging

When configuring remote high-speed logging of Network Firewall events, it is helpful to understand the objects you need to create and why, as described here:

Object Reason Applies to
Pool of remote log servers Create a pool of remote log servers to which the BIG-IP® system can send log messages. Creating a pool of remote logging servers.
Destination (unformatted) Create a log destination of Remote High-Speed Log type that specifies a pool of remote log servers. Creating a remote high-speed log destination.
Destination (formatted) If your remote log servers are the ArcSight, Splunk, IPFIX, or Remote Syslog type, create an additional log destination to format the logs in the required format and forward the logs to a remote high-speed log destination. Creating a formatted remote high-speed log destination.
Publisher Create a log publisher to send logs to a set of specified log destinations. Creating a publisher.
DNS Logging profile Create a custom DNS Logging profile to define the data you want the BIG-IP system to include in the DNS logs and associate a log publisher with the profile. Creating a custom Network Firewall Logging profile.
LTM® virtual server Associate a custom DNS profile with a virtual server to define how the BIG-IP system logs the DNS traffic that the virtual server processes. Creating a virtual server for Network Firewall evemt logging.

Creating a pool of remote logging servers

Before creating a pool of log servers, gather the IP addresses of the servers that you want to include in the pool. Ensure that the remote log servers are configured to listen to and receive log messages from the BIG-IP® system.
Create a pool of remote log servers to which the BIG-IP system can send log messages.
  1. On the Main tab, click the applicable path.
    • DNS > Delivery > Load Balancing > Pools
    • Local Traffic > Pools
    The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. Using the New Members setting, add the IP address for each remote logging server that you want to include in the pool:
    1. Type an IP address in the Address field, or select a node address from the Node List.
    2. Type a service number in the Service Port field, or select a service name from the list.
      Note: Typical remote logging servers require port 514.
    3. Click Add.
  5. Click Finished.

Creating a remote high-speed log destination

Before creating a remote high-speed log destination, ensure that at least one pool of remote log servers exists on the BIG-IP® system.

Create a log destination of the Remote High-Speed Log type to specify that log messages are sent to a pool of remote log servers.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Logs > Configuration > Log Destinations .
    The Log Destinations screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique, identifiable name for this destination.
  4. From the Type list, select Remote High-Speed Log.
    Important: If you use log servers such as Remote Syslog, Splunk, or ArcSight, which require data be sent to the servers in a specific format, you must create an additional log destination of the required type, and associate it with a log destination of the Remote High-Speed Log type. With this configuration, the BIG-IP system can send data to the servers in the required format.
    The BIG-IP system is configured to send an unformatted string of text to the log servers.
  5. From the Pool Name list, select the pool of remote log servers to which you want the BIG-IP system to send log messages.
  6. From the Protocol list, select the protocol used by the high-speed logging pool members.
  7. Click Finished.

Creating a formatted remote high-speed log destination

Ensure that at least one remote high-speed log destination exists on the BIG-IP® system.

Create a formatted logging destination to specify that log messages are sent to a pool of remote log servers, such as Remote Syslog, Splunk, or ArcSight servers.

  1. On the Main tab, click System > Logs > Configuration > Log Destinations .
    The Log Destinations screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique, identifiable name for this destination.
  4. From the Type list, select a formatted logging destination, such as IPFIX, Remote Syslog, Splunk, or ArcSight.
    Important: ArcSight formatting is only available for logs coming from Advanced Firewall Manager™ (AFM™), Application Security Manager™ (ASM™), and the Secure Web Gateway component of Access Policy Manager® (APM®). IPFIX is not available for Secure Web Gateway. Remote Syslog formatting is the only type supported for logs coming from APM. The Splunk format is a predefined format of key value pairs.
    The BIG-IP system is configured to send a formatted string of text to the log servers.
  5. If you selected Remote Syslog, from the Syslog Format list, select a format for the logs, and then from the High-Speed Log Destination list, select the destination that points to a pool of remote Syslog servers to which you want the BIG-IP system to send log messages.
    Important: For logs coming from Access Policy Manager® (APM®), only the BSD Syslog format is supported.
  6. If you selected Splunk or IPFIX, from the Forward To list, select the destination that points to a pool of high-speed log servers to which you want the BIG-IP system to send log messages.
  7. Click Finished.

Creating a publisher

Ensure that at least one destination associated with a pool of remote log servers exists on the BIG-IP® system.
Create a publisher to specify where the BIG-IP system sends log messages for specific resources.
  1. On the Main tab, click System > Logs > Configuration > Log Publishers .
    The Log Publishers screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique, identifiable name for this publisher.
  4. For the Destinations setting, select a destination from the Available list, and click << to move the destination to the Selected list.
    Note: If you are using a formatted destination, select the destination that matches your log servers, such as Remote Syslog, Splunk, or ArcSight.
  5. Click Finished.

Creating a custom Network Firewall Logging profile

Create a custom Logging profile to log messages about BIG-IP® system Network Firewall events.
  1. On the Main tab, click Security > Event Logs > Logging Profiles .
    The Logging Profiles list screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Logging Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the profile.
  4. Select the Network Firewall check box.
  5. In the Network Firewall area, from the Publisher list, select the publisher the BIG-IP system uses to log Network Firewall events.
  6. Set an Aggregate Rate Limit to define a rate limit for all combined network firewall log messages per second. Beyond this rate limit, log messages are not logged.
  7. For the Log Rule Matches setting, select how the BIG-IP system logs packets that match ACL rules. You can select any or all of the options. When an option is selected, you can configure a rate limit for log messages of that type.
    Option Description
    Option Enables or disables logging of packets that match ACL rules configured with:
    Accept action=Accept
    Drop action=Drop
    Reject action=Reject
  8. Select the Log IP Errors check box, to enable logging of IP error packets. When enabled, you can configure a rate limit for log messages of this type.
  9. Select the Log TCP Errors check box, to enable logging of TCP error packets. When enabled, you can configure a rate limit for log messages of this type.
  10. Select the Log TCP Events check box, to enable logging of open and close of TCP sessions. When enabled, you can configure a rate limit for log messages of this type.
  11. Enable the Log Translation Fields setting to log both the original IP address and the NAT-translated IP address for Network Firewall log events.
  12. Enable the Log Geolocation IP Address setting to specify that when a geolocation event causes a network firewall action, the associated IP address is logged.
  13. From the Storage Format list, select how the BIG-IP system formats the log. Your choices are:
    Option Description
    None Specifies the default format type in which the BIG-IP system logs messages to a remote Syslog server, for example: "management_ip_address","bigip_hostname","context_type","context_name","src_ip","dest_ip","src_port","dest_port","vlan","protocol","route_domain","acl_rule_name","action","drop_reason
    Field-List This option allows you to:
    • Select from a list, the fields to be included in the log.
    • Specify the order the fields display in the log.
    • Specify the delimiter that separates the content in the log. The default delimiter is the comma character.
    User-Defined This option allows you to:
    • Select from a list, the fields to be included in the log.
    • Cut and paste, in a string of text, the order the fields display in the log.
  14. In the IP Intelligence area, from the Publisher list, select the publisher that the BIG-IP system uses to log source IP addresses, which are identified and configured for logging by an IP Intelligence policy.
    Note: The IP Address Intelligence feature must be enabled and licensed.
  15. Set an Aggregate Rate Limit to define a rate limit for all combined IP Intelligence log messages per second. Beyond this rate limit, log messages are not logged.
  16. Enable the Log Translation Fields setting to log both the original IP address and the NAT-translated IP address for IP Intelligence log events.
  17. In the Traffic Statistics area, from the Publisher list, select the publisher that the BIG-IP system uses to log traffic statistics.
  18. Enable the Active Flows setting to log the number of active flows each second.
  19. Enable the Reaped Flows to log the number of reaped flows, or connections that are not established because of system resource usage levels.
  20. Enable the Missed Flows setting to log the number of packets that were dropped because of a flow table miss. A flow table miss occurs when a TCP non-SYN packet does not match an existing flow.
  21. Enable the SYN Cookie (Per Session Challenge)setting to log the number of SYN cookie challenges generated each second.
  22. Enable the SYN Cookie (White-listed Clients) setting to log the number of SYN cookie clients whitelisted each second.
  23. Click Finished.
Assign this custom network firewall Logging profile to a virtual server.

Configuring a virtual server for Network Firewall event logging

Ensure that at least one log publisher exists on the BIG-IP® system.
Assign a custom Network Firewall Logging profile to a virtual server when you want the BIG-IP system to log Network Firewall events on the traffic that the virtual server processes.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the virtual server you want to modify.
  3. On the menu bar, click Security > Policies .
    The screen displays firewall rule settings.
  4. From the Log Profile list, select Enabled. Then, for the Profile setting, move the profiles that log specific events to specific locations from the Available list to the Selected list.
    Note: If you do not have a custom profile configured, select the predefined logging profile global-network to log Advanced Firewall Manager™ events. Note that to log global, self IP, and route domain contexts, you must enable a Publisher in the global-network profile.
  5. Click Update to save the changes.

Disabling logging

Disable Network Firewall, Protocol Security, or DoS Protection event logging when you no longer want the BIG-IP® system to log specific events on the traffic handled by specific resources.
Note: You can disable and re-enable logging for a specific resource based on your network administration needs.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Virtual Servers .
    The Virtual Server List screen opens.
  2. Click the name of the virtual server you want to modify.
  3. On the menu bar, click Security > Policies .
    The screen displays firewall rule settings.
  4. From the Log Profile list, select Disabled.
  5. Click Update to save the changes.
The BIG-IP system does not log the events specified in this profile for the resources to which this profile is assigned.

Implementation result

You now have an implementation in which the BIG-IP® system logs specific Network Firewall events and sends the logs to a remote log server.

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