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Common Event Format (CEF)

Product - Various products that send CEF-format messages via syslog

Each CEF product should have their own source entry in this documentation set. In a departure from normal configuration, all CEF products should use the “CEF” version of the unique port and archive environment variable settings (rather than a unique one per product), as the CEF log path handles all products sending events to SC4S in the CEF format. Examples of this include Arcsight, Imperva, and Cyberark. Therefore, the CEF environment variables for unique port, archive, etc. should be set only once.

If your deployment has multiple CEF devices that send to more than one port, set the CEF unique port variable(s) as a comma-separated list. See Unique Listening Ports for details.

The source documentation included below is a reference baseline for any product that sends data using the CEF log path.

Ref Link
Splunk Add-on CEF
Product Manual

Splunk Metadata with CEF events

The keys (first column) in splunk_metadata.csv for CEF data sources have a slightly different meaning than those for non-CEF ones. The typical vendor_product syntax is instead replaced by checks against specific columns of the CEF event – namely the first, second, and fourth columns following the leading CEF:0 (“column 0”). These specific columns refer to the CEF device_vendor, device_product, and device_event_class, respectively. The third column, device_version, is not used for metadata assignment.

SC4S sets metadata based on the first two columns, and (optionally) the fourth. While the key (first column) in the splunk_metadata file for non-CEF sources uses a “vendor_product” syntax that is arbitrary, the syntax for this key for CEF events is based on the actual contents of columns 1,2 and 4 from the CEF event, namely:


The final device_class portion is optional. Therefore, CEF entries in splunk_metadata can have a key representing the vendor and product, and others representing a vendor and product coupled with one or more additional classes. This allows for more granular metadata assignment (or overrides).

Here is a snippet of a sample Imperva CEF event that includes a CEF device class entry (which is “Firewall”):

Apr 19 10:29:53 CEF:0|Imperva Inc.|SecureSphere|12.0.0|Firewall|SSL Untraceable Connection|Medium|

and the corresponding match in splunk_metadata.csv:

Imperva Inc._SecureSphere_Firewall,sourcetype,imperva:waf:firewall:cef

Default Sourcetype

sourcetype notes
cef Common sourcetype

Default Source

source notes
Varies Varies

Default Index Configuration

key source index notes
Vendor_Product Varies main none

Filter type

MSG Parse: This filter parses message content


Variable default description
SC4S_LISTEN_CEF_UDP_PORT empty string Enable a UDP port for this specific vendor product using a comma-separated list of port numbers
SC4S_LISTEN_CEF_TCP_PORT empty string Enable a TCP port for this specific vendor product using a comma-separated list of port numbers
SC4S_LISTEN_CEF_TLS_PORT empty string Enable a TLS port for this specific vendor product using a comma-separated list of port numbers
SC4S_ARCHIVE_CEF no Enable archive to disk for this specific source
SC4S_DEST_CEF_HEC no When Splunk HEC is disabled globally set to yes to enable this specific source