10.1. Secure logging using TLS

The syslog-ng application can send and receive log messages securely over the network using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol using the network() and syslog() drivers.

TLS uses certificates to authenticate and encrypt the communication, as illustrated on the following figure:

Figure 10.1. Certificate-based authentication

Certificate-based authentication

The client authenticates the server by requesting its certificate and public key. Optionally, the server can also request a certificate from the client, thus mutual authentication is also possible.

In order to use TLS encryption in syslog-ng, the following elements are required:

  • A certificate on the syslog-ng server that identifies the syslog-ng server.

  • The certificate of the Certificate Authority that issued the certificate of the syslog-ng server (or the self-signed certificate of the syslog-ng server) must be available on the syslog-ng client.

When using mutual authentication to verify the identity of the clients, the following elements are required:

  • A certificate must be available on the syslog-ng client. This certificate identifies the syslog-ng client.

  • The certificate of the Certificate Authority that issued the certificate of the syslog-ng client must be available on the syslog-ng server.

Mutual authentication ensures that the syslog-ng server accepts log messages only from authorized clients.

For details on configuring TLS communication in syslog-ng, see Section 10.2, Encrypting log messages with TLS.