If you are involved with cyber security, you must have heard log auditing. In this article we discuss the importance and benefits of log auditing and how it can help improving the security posture of your networks.
The definition of audit log (also known as audit trail) is quite straightforward. When the system is applied a change, it leads to a parallel one in the behaviour of the system. This change in the behaviour must be recorded in an audit log.
What Do Audit Logs Record?
An audit log contains the sequential records of data that is relevant and/or crucial to maintaining the security of the system. In this records, one can find the detailed information on the changes or activities that affects or affected a specific operation, event or process of the system.
Audit logs usually keep tabs on which sources were accessed and contain definite data on source address, destination, user login information, and a time stamp. Also, some regulations like the Sarbanes Oxley Act, HIPPA, or the Gramm Leach Bliley Act require audit logs to cover some additional information as well.
Is It Possible to Bypass Audit Logs?
In the virtual realm, there is no way of circumventing audit logs. If you happen to gain access to a system, there will be an entry about it in the audit log. Due to the existence and imminence of this feature, audit logs have proven themselves very significant in various occasions. For instance, they play a very important role in the detection of security breaches and maintenance of the overall security of a system. Furthermore, they are considered as legitimate documents in a courtroom setting.
That is why it is essential for an IT team to fully comprehend what audit logs are, how and why they are convenient in numerous occasions and use log management tools.
Benefits of Audit Logs
Being able to provide intensive audit logs can save your business from never ending and costly legal battles since audit logs can hold up in the courtroom.
Besides, keeping detailed audit logs helps your IT team to see how well the security measures of your systems perform. In the event of a security breach or a case of internal misuse of information, the best and most accurate data comes from the audit logs. With the information provided by the audit logs, your IT security team can act swiftly on the issue before it gets bigger and becomes harder to manage.
Additionally, audit logs are very useful in establishing that your employees follow the necessary protocols for filing formal documents. Also they can help you avert or detect fraud and data breaches.
According to the US laws, organizations are obliged to comply with various tax regulations and other regulations specific to the industry that they operate within. The Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Gramm Leach Bliley Act or HIPPA are some instances. As they are considered as formal documents that can hold up in a courtroom, audit logs can be referred to during an audit in order to prove that the organization complies with related regulations. Moreover, they can serve as proper records regarding various regulations.