AlienVault® USM Anywhere™

Microsoft Windows SQL NXLog

When you configure Microsoft SQL Server to send logs through NXLog to USM Anywhere, you can use the Windows SQL NXLog plugin to translate the raw log data into normalized events for analysis.

Device Details
Device vendor Microsoft
Device type SQL Server
Connection type Syslog

Before you configure the Microsoft SQL Server to send logs to USM Anywhere through NXLog, you must have enabled the SQL Server Audit feature and send audit results to the Windows Application Log. You also need to have the IP address of the USM Anywhere Sensor.

You can use SQL Server Management Studio or Microsoft Transact-SQL (T-SQL) to perform this task. See the Microsoft documentation if you need detailed step-by-step assistance.

To use the SQL Server Management Studio

  1. Create a new server audit:

    1. In Object Explorer, expand the Security folder, right-click the Audits folder, and select New Audit.
    2. In the Audit destination list, select Application Log.
    3. Select the other options as needed and click OK.
  2. Create a database-level audit specification

    1. In Object Explorer, expand the database you want to send log to USM Anywhere.
    2. Expand the Security folder, right-click the Database Audit Specifications folder and select New Database Audit Specification.
    3. In the Audit list, select the audit you created in the previous step.
    4. Select the other options as needed and click OK.

Configure NXLog

Before you configure the integration, you must have the IP address of the USM Anywhere Sensor.

To install NXLog CE and configure forwarding

  1. Download the newest stable NXLog Community Edition.
  2. Make a backup copy of the original C:\Program Files (x86)\nxlog\conf\nxlog.conf file and give it another name.
  3. Download the NXLog configuration for USM Anywhere and save it as your new nxlog.conf file.
  4. Open the configuration file for editing and replace usmsensoriphere with the IP address of the USM Anywhere Sensor.

    USM Anywhere listens for syslog at UDP port 514, TCP port 601, or TLS/TCP port 6514.

  5. Depending on the protocol you decide to use, edit the configuration file as detailed below. Make sure USM Anywhere allows inbound requests to the corresponding port.

  6. Some sections in the nxlog.conf file have been commented out to improve performance. Depending on which product you want to collect logs from, you need to uncomment the corresponding section.

    • To collect logs from the Microsoft SQL Server, uncomment the section between MSSQL-NXLOG and /MSSQL-NXLOG.
  7. Save the file.
  8. Open Windows Services and restart the NXLog service.
  9. Open USM Anywhere and verify that you are receiving NXLog events.

Note: If you need to debug NXLog, open C:\Program Files (x86)\nxlog\data\nxlog.log.

Plugin Enablement

The Windows SQL NXLog plugin automatically processes all messages when the raw message contains MSSQL-NXLOG.

Available Plugin Fields

The following plugin fields are important attributes extracted from the syslog message. The USM Anywhere reports use these fields, and you can also reference them when creating custom reports. In addition to reporting, the USM Anywhere correlation rules make use of these fields.

  • application
  • customfield_0
  • customfield_1
  • customfield_10
  • customfield_11
  • customfield_2
  • customfield_3
  • customfield_4
  • customfield_5
  • customfield_6
  • customfield_7
  • customfield_8
  • customfield_9
  • customheader_0
  • customheader_1
  • customheader_10
  • customheader_11
  • customheader_2
  • customheader_3
  • customheader_4
  • customheader_5
  • customheader_6
  • customheader_7
  • customheader_8
  • customheader_9
  • event_category
  • event_name
  • event_outcome
  • event_severity
  • event_type
  • external_id
  • highlight_fields
  • plugin_device
  • plugin_device_type
  • rep_device_hostname
  • rep_device_rule_id
  • session
  • source_address
  • source_hostname
  • source_process_id
  • source_username


For troubleshooting, refer to the vendor documentation:

Create a Server Audit and Database Audit Specification