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Database Audit Events

By Adrian Lane

I have attended a lot of database developer events and DBA forums around the country in the last 6 years. One benefit of attending lectures by database administrators for database administrators is the wealth of information on tools, tricks, and tips for managing databases. And not just the simple administrative tasks, but clever ways to accomplish more complex tasks. A lot of these tricks never seem to make it into the mainstream, instead remaining part of the DBA’s exclusive repertoire. I wish I had kept better notes. And unfortunately I am not going to Oracle Open World, but I wanted to for this very reason.

As part of a presentation I worked on a number for years ago at one of these events, I provided an overview of the common elements in the audit logs. I wanted to show how to comb through logs to find events of interest. I have placed a catalog of audit events for several relational database platforms into the Database Security section of our research library. For those of you interested in “roll your own” database auditing, it may be useful. I have listed out the audit-able events for Sybase, Oracle, SQL Server, and DB2. I had a small shell script that would grab the events I was interested in from the audit trail, place them into a separate file, and then clean up the reviewed audit logs or event monitor resource space. What you choose to do with the data will vary.

As part of my latest submission to Dark Reading, I referred to the essential audit-able events most commonly required for regulatory and security efforts. These files list out the specifics for each of those suggestions. If anyone in the community would like to contribute similar information for MySQL or even Postgres, I will add those into the library as well.

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