| John Spacey, December 21, 2015 updated on October 13, 2017
An audit trail is information that is recorded by an information technology for the purposes of aiding a future audit or investigation. It is common for technologies such as websites, business applications, communication tools, databases and operating systems to create logs that can be used to recreate past activities for purposes such as security investigations. In many cases, these logs are maintained for a time and eventually deleted. In recent years, it is increasingly common for logs to be archived for long periods of time due to the availability of cheap storage hardware and services. Beyond information that is automatically recorded by technology, it is common for organizations to implement an audit trail for finance, risk management, compliance, legal, human resources, health and safety information that are specifically designed to capture and retain anything that might help future investigations in these sensitive areas.
|Definition||Data that's automatically recorded to support future audits and investigations.|
|Value||Reconstructing past activities such as financial transactions, business communications, accidents or security attacks to aid an investigation.|
|Risks||Privacy and security concerns for sensitive information in an audit log.|
|Related Concepts||Compliance AuditsInformation Security|
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