Why Having Strong Database Audit Trails Matters

It takes 72 days on average to contain insider threats, according to the Ponemon Institute, with only 16% of these situations being resolved within the first thirty days of the incident.

Sadly, the cost of a single insider threat increases as the incident continues to fester within your IT assets. In such situations, having the ability to stop such incidents in their tracks can be quite pivotal to the survival of your business.

With a strong database audit trail, it becomes quite easy to see such incidents from miles away. Even better, the boundaries for what you can achieve from a strong audit trail go far and beyond.

Here is why you should concentrate on building a strong audit trail:

Intrusion Detection

Your database audit trail can limit the chances of an intrusion crippling your organization. With the right database audit tool, you can identify invasions in real-time and act on them before they start to fester. For instance, your system will record the steps that a hacker takes while trying to gain access to your data.

You can then lock them out of your system once you notice their intrusion efforts. On the other hand, it is also easier to identify bugs that are crippling the performance of your website through your audit trail. After analyzing the trail, you can easily identify the root cause of the problem and prevent it from ever affecting your IT assets again.

Event Reconstruction

In times of disaster, the ‘how, when and why’ all matter when trying to solve the issue. Every detail about what transpired right before the disaster can also help prevent the problem from recurring in the future. Nowadays, audit trails are smart enough to differentiate problems that arise from system errors and errors caused by the operators.

On the flip side, it will also become easier to identify issues with your code while improving the chances of data recovery. With enough insight, rebuilding every aspect of a problem becomes easier and ends up as a learning opportunity for your organization.

Promoting Accountability

The role that accountability plays in the IT world cannot be gainsaid. Every day, changes are made to the database among other IT assets and having someone accountable for the changes can help limit the chances of failure. An audit trail will build a strong way of identifying people who were responsible for certain actions.

CIOs can, therefore, know who to contact when something goes wrong. Furthermore, it offers some form of autonomy to employees as they can work without having IT leaders tracking their every move. Not only does this promote productivity, but it also increases the chances that employees will run your organization from a proactive point of view with less pressure from you.

Remaining Compliant

Some industries like the health industry are heavily regulated. This means that IT professionals running such databases need to stick to a specific set of rules to prevent incurring heavy fines against their organization. An audit trail can help offer you enough insights into how you are performing compliance-wise.


Even better, it makes it easier for compliance officers to audit your IT infrastructure without affecting too much of your daily routine. In case some part of your compliance requirements falls through the cracks, identifying what needs to be done becomes a walk in the park. Your audit trail will provide a story of how the different requirements intertwine and how to take advantage of them.


Accountability, security, and compliance with regulation are all pivotal for the success of your business. Luckily, fortifying your database’s audit trail is the first step to avoiding common issues like insider threats. Consider, using database auditing tools every once in a while to improve the effectiveness of how you run your database.