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Understanding and Using Security Guide (PDF)

Understanding and Using Security Guide — Chapter 9

Auditing

Auditing is the monitoring and recording of selected operational actions from both application users and administrative users. You can audit various kinds of actions related to document access and updates, configuration changes, administrative actions, code execution, and changes to access control. You can audit both successful and failed activities. This chapter contains the following parts:

For procedures on setting up auditing as well as a list of audit events, see Auditing Events in the Administrator's Guide.

Why Is Auditing Used?

You typically use auditing to perform the following activities:

  • Enable accountability for actions. These might include actions taken on documents, changes to configuration settings, administrative actions, changes to the security database, or system-wide events.
  • Deter users or potential intruders from inappropriate actions.
  • Investigate suspicious activity.
  • Notify an auditor of the actions of an unauthorized user.
  • Detect problems with an authorization or access control implementation. For example, you can design audit policies that you expect to never generate an audit record because the data is protected in other ways. However, if these policies generate audit records, then you know the other security controls are not properly implemented.
  • Address auditing requirements for regulatory compliance.

MarkLogic Auditing

MarkLogic Server includes an auditing capability. You can enable auditing to capture security-relevant events to monitor suspicious database activity or to satisfy applicable auditing requirements. You can configure the generation of audit events by including or excluding MarkLogic Server roles, users, or documents based on URI. Some actions that can be audited are the following:

  • startup and shutdown of MarkLogic Server
  • adding or removing roles from a user
  • usage of amps
  • starting and stopping the auditing system

For the complete list of auditable events and their descriptions, see Auditing Events in the Administrator's Guide.

Configuring Auditing

Auditing is configured at the MarkLogic Server cluster management group level. A MarkLogic Server group is a set of similarly configured hosts in a cluster, and includes configurations for the HTTP, WebDAV, ODBC, and XDBC App Servers in the group. The group auditing configuration includes enabling and disabling auditing for each cluster management group.

Audit records are stored on the local file system of the host on which the event is detected and on which the Server subsystem is running.

Rotation of the audit logs to different files is configurable by various intervals, and the number of audit files to keep is also configurable.

For more details and examples of audit event logs, see Auditing Events in the Administrator's Guide.

Best Practices

Auditing can be an effective method of enforcing strong internal controls enabling your application to meet any applicable regulatory compliance requirements. Appropriate auditing can help you to monitor business operations and detect activities that may deviate from company policy. If it is important to your security policy to monitor this type of activity, then you should consider enabling and configuring auditing on your system.

Be selective with auditing and ensure that it meets your business needs. As a general rule, design your auditing strategy to collect the amount and type of information that you need to meet your requirements, while ensuring a focus on events that cause the greatest security concerns.

If you enable auditing, develop a monitoring mechanism to use the audit event logs. Such a system might periodically archive and purge the audit event logs.

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