Understanding the importance of audit log procedures is important for your business. Ensuring your audit log management is effective supports your security, accountability, and compliance.
Unfortunately, we see numerous businesses overlooking this concept for more urgent issues. To help prevent you from making this mistake, we are providing you with a complete explanation of audit logs and how to ensure your business can take advantage of this opportunity.
What is an Audit Log?
We often hear audit logs referred to as an audit trail. The importance of audit log procedures for your business is the record you receive of any changes and events. Your audit log records the logs created by your IT devices based on events regarding specific activities or sequences.
Every audit trail operates differently according to your operating systems, applications, and devices. You receive a record of which individual performed an activity, the specific activity, and the response of your system.
You can use an audit trail to determine suspicious activities or to locate and fix any network issues. Your audit trail can be either an electronic or manual record.
You will need to input your logs for a manual record as opposed to using automation. We are aware of numerous industries dependent on audit logs including accounting, financial, billing records, health information, and design controls.
Benefits of Audit Logs
An audit log offers advantages and benefits for businesses and IT teams including the following:
Detect Security Breaches
A detailed audit log helps monitor data while tracking potential information misuse and security breaches. It ensures users adhere to protocols while preventing fraud. Examining audit records reveals an intrusion in real-time.
Audit Trails and Compliance
Audit logs are important for compliance because sensitive information is secure and only accessible to authorized users.
This is critical for numerous industries including government, finance, legal, and accounting. Logs serve as proof for auditors that files are shared securely and remain in compliance with privacy laws.
An audit trail is also used for reconstructing events after the occurrence of an issue. It shows why, when, and how normal operations were interrupted.
To avoid future issues, you need to know why an intrusion occurred or your system crashed. Use audit logs for data corruption or loss by reconstructing files to see when changes were recorded.
Advantages of an Audit Log
The following are the advantages linked to an audit trail:
Lower Capital Costs
Decrease capital costs by finding and repairing errors and fraud quickly. Your financial statements will reflect lower interest rates and an improved ROI or return on investment.
Ensure operating efficiency within your business with an audit log. As a result, there is a positive influence on your entire staff.
Deter Inefficiency and Fraud
If your business suffers a loss, proper auditing ensures funds are available for transfer. In some instances, the insurance carrier resolves your claims.
Easily settle management disputes by using the information obtained from audit trails. This is an effective option to constructively improve the efficiency of your business.
Profit and Loss Information
Logs help determine the profit and loss of your business. Employees have the opportunity to talk about the ideas necessary to improve your business and overcome difficulties.
Audits enable you to handle challenges to ensure any conflicts are resolved quickly. This means you can reach your maximum profit level.
Audits enhance the reputation of your business while helping to ensure growth. The necessary review of regulations helps you maintain a good reputation for your industry.
Audit Log Disadvantages
In addition to advantages, audit logs also have the following disadvantages.
You will have to pay for the additional cost of testing.
An audit also requires the attention of your staff, which means there will be disruptions in your workflow.
You will not receive prepared and analyzed data from your audit log. You receive financial accounts for the provided data based on the information you have agreed to accept.
Protect your account
Conducting an Audit Trail
The system will be unable to maintain different audits at the same time. We generally see two different types of audit records, keystroke monitoring, or a record of all keystrokes and event-oriented logs.
Logs based on events usually have records detailing your system, user, and application events.
The audit trail should also contain enough information to determine what events occurred and the individual responsible. Records should specify the command or program initiating the event, the associated user, the time of occurrence, and the final result.
Actively monitor all systems connected to the internet or a third-party, processes involving sensitive or valuable information, all critical applications, and any systems abused or compromised in the past.
Any critical events or suspicious behavior should generate an alert you can assess and act on.
Each system or application will require a risk assessment to determine the level of monitoring, log review, and audit necessary.
We recommend logging a minimum of the following:
- Key events including the time and date of all logoffs and logons
- Failed and successful attempts to access your applications, data, and systems
- System utility usage
- Terminal identity
- Networks and files accessed
- Activating protection systems including antimalware and intrusion detection
- User IDs
- System configuration changes
- Security exceptions including triggered alarms
Challenges of Log Management
Your log management is incapable of distinguishing between bad and good activity. The traditional purpose of your log management is collecting data. This does not mean it can determine the difference between malicious activity and normal business activity results.
You will discover the majority of systems for log management are automated. Your logs are generated by machines for central storage.
The result is a lot of logs requiring the attention of a human to conduct an investigation for digital threats. Unfortunately, we have seen a lot of businesses skipping this important step.
If you do not perform this step, you risk a massive accumulation of logs resulting in unchallenged potential security events taking place on your servers. Proper log management requires your resources, expertise and time if you intend to perform the process properly and receive optimal benefits.
You may be challenged when you collect your logs from the cloud. Do not assume your data will be collected and your activity monitored by cloud services. We have seen this misunderstanding trigger a lot of unnecessary confusion.
No matter which type of solution you decide to use, your data should be treated in the same way as when it is on your servers.
The Final Word
The audit trail from Teamstack was created to help you remain current regarding the activities of your users. Teamstack enables you to know when your users have logged in, logged out, and requested credentials.
Your audit will also contain the IP address, browser details, and location of all of your users. This means you can tighten your security and spot malicious attempts to log in.