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March 7, 2013 By Praveen Rangnath

Show Me the VPN Logs!!!

Show Me the Money!!! Show Me the VPN Logs!!!

Move over Tesla automobile logs, it’s time for Yahoo VPN logs to get their moment in the sun!

Just as soon as log data dropped out of the headlines they came right back, as Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced a ban on telecommuting – with the decision reportedly driven by analysis of the company’s VPN log data.

From the VPN data, it’s said that the Yahoo CEO determined too many remote workers were not pulling their weight, as evidenced by their lack of connecting to the VPN and accessing Yahoo’s IT systems. Certainly, VPN logs don’t tell the entire story around telecommuter productivity, but they are an important data point, and the information contained in those logs certainly was compelling for Ms. Mayer.

There is of course a bigger picture to this, and it starts with the fact that this is not the first time VPN logs are in the news. (Not even the first time this year!). See this blog post from the Verizon RISK team, where they helped their client identify a developer who took global wage arbitrage to an extreme; he collected his six-figure paycheck in the USA and then outsourced his own job to a Chinese consulting firm, paying that firm a fraction of his salary to do his job for him!

How did he do this? Simple: He FedEx’d his RSA token to China. How did he get caught? Simple: They found him sitting in his office while the VPN logs showed him in China.


All thanks to the logs.

At the highest level, what do the Tesla, Yahoo, and wage arbitrage stories tell us? Simply put, log data is immensely valuable, it’s increasingly becoming front and center, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

We at Sumo Logic couldn’t be happier, as this is further public recognition of the value hidden in machine data (the biggest component of which is log data). We’ve said it many times, log data holds the absolute and authoritative record of all the events that occurred. That’s true for automobile logs, server logs, application logs, device logs, and yes Mr. Developer who outsourced his job to China… VPN logs.

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Praveen Rangnath

More posts by Praveen Rangnath.