(also audit logging, audit trail)
Audit log definition
An audit log refers to a chronological record that provides evidence of activity on your system within a certain period. Namely, audit logs document each event that happens on the software systems you use across your company, the time at which an event took place, who performed the activity, and who or what was impacted. You can use your audit logs to track user activity, investigate data breaches, ensure compliance with regulations, and detect suspicious activities.
Additionally, audit logs can be pretty helpful in identifying the responsible parties in case of a leak and discovering whether your systems work correctly. Also, you can use audit logs to examine corrupted files to see what caused their malfunction and potentially restore them to their original state. You can use the data you gather from audit logs to improve your systems, implement new security measures if needed, and reduce fraudulent activity in your network.
Benefits of an audit log
- Enables users to track administrative activities, like creating and deleting user accounts.
- Provides evidence for how and when a user modified data.
- Allows organizations to check whether they met certain benchmarks during a specific period.
- Enables users to create a comprehensive timeline of events that can help identify the cause of outages or incidents.
- Provides evidence that a particular event took place, which can help companies prove their case in legal proceedings.