What is Alfresco Advanced Audit Log Viewer?
Audit Log Viewer is a Skytizens-developed addon that takes the chronological record of security-relevant data kept by the Alfresco Enterprise Management system and presents the information in a user-friendly interface.
Sometimes referred to as an ‘audit trail’, audit logs record the sequence of activities affecting an operation, procedure, event, file, or document. Typically audit logs are monitored by IT folks because they are written in code and difficult for the everyday user to read. The Skytizens Alfresco Audit Log Viewer employs a GUI to make it easy for users to check the audit logs in a convenient way without advanced technical training.
Why is Audit Log Viewer so important?
- Increased security – monitor data for security breaches or internal misuses of information
- Legal protection – audit logs can protect a business from liability during legal battles
- Operations – reinforce document protocols and prevent or track down fraud
- Efficient audit – provides an auditor with reliable, provable information on user activity
- Share responsibility – gives non-IT staff members the ability to monitor their direct reports
The Benefits of Audit Log Viewer
Traditional audit logs are part of any company’s risk management strategy. They allow the company to check user activity when necessary. The benefit of the Audit Log Viewer feature in Alfresco is to give the power of activity audits to staff members beyond the IT team. Managers can check on their staff if there is an issue. Other people in the company can look up system activity without needing special tech knowledge. Having an easy-to-navigate audit log is a proactive way to encourage transparency in an organization. It demonstrates to customers, business partners, and regulators that your business makes a thorough effort to prevent problems.
How Does It Work?
With the Audit Log Viewer addon, administrators and delegate group members in Alfresco gain the ability to read the audit logs thanks to a Graphic User Interface or GUI. In this new easy-to-read format, it is possible to check system activity in two ways.
- Global Audit Log – You can see a minute-by-minute report of all the activity in the system. You can adjust which activity you would like to see by setting the search parameters. You can search by date, username, or type of activity. You can see as much or as little as you would like.
- Document Audit Log – From the list of files in the Document Library, you can access a limited audit log that contains recorded activity for a single document. You can see timestamps of when the document has been edited, by whom, and a breakdown of the original properties of the document at the time of its creation.
Both of these audit logs in the Alfresco system can be exported to html or Microsoft Excel as a report. All the information in the Per Document Audit Log is listed in the Global Audit Log. The Global Audit Log is more extensive, also containing system activity such as failed login attempts and Alfresco updates that are unrelated to the Document Library.
Global Audit Log – Administrator(s) and users assigned to the delegate group can view the Global Audit Log. The Global Audit Log is located in the Tools menu. This view of the log can be filtered by multiple parameters to get the specific information you need.
- Number of entries – Decide how many entries in the log you would like to view. Each entry is a unique activity by a single user. By default, the log shows 20 entries at a time. The maximum that can be viewed at one time is 1000 entries. Even if you request to view more than 1000 (e.g. 2000 entries), the system will show you the maximum 1000 at a time.
- Date– Select a range of dates to audit. The timeframe shown will begin at 12:00 AM on the beginning date and end at 11:59 PM on the final date in the range. If left blank, the audit log will run a report of all activity in the system since the first day of use.
- User -By default, the global audit log includes all users’ activity. If you add a username to the search parameters, you can search one individual user’s activity. It is also possible to search by a few users at a time.
- Event – The global audit log can be filtered by specific activity. There are multiple events that are logged by Alfresco.
- All – Search by all the activities listed below.
- CHECK OUT – User begins to edit a document.
- CHECK IN – User finishes editing a document and replaces old version.
- CANCEL CHECK OUT – User cancels editing session and does not update document.
- COPY – User copies a file in the Document Library.
- CREATE – User creates a new file or folder in the system.
- READ – User reads a document.
- DELETE – User deletes a file from the system.
- CREATE VERSION – User created a new version of an existing file in the system.
- UPDATE CONTENT – User has edited or changed the properties of a file in the system.
- MOVE – User has moved a file in the system.
- LOGIN – User logged into the Alfresco system.
- LOGOUT – User logged out of the Alfresco system.
- LOGIN FAILURE – User attempted to log into the Alfresco system and failed.
- OPEN – User viewed a file in preview mode or opened a file.
- Read Content – User viewed the properties of a file in the system.
- Update Node Properties – Administrators in the Alfresco system updated properties of a system node such as a URL suffix or menu label within the system. Common users will not need this information, but it remains an important part of the audit log.
Document Audit Log – Administrator(s) and users assigned to the delegate group can audit the activity log on a single document. The document-based audit log appears in HTML format and includes a timestamp and user listed for each time the document was opened. The Document Audit Log also includes changes in properties of the file such as when a file is locked for Read-Only permissions.
Export File – Anybody using the Audit Log Viewer can run a report and export it in two formats.
- Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
Open Count – The final aspect of the Audit Log Viewer addon is that it tracks one more piece of information. When a document or file is opened, edited, or somehow accessed by any user, there is a generic “open count” that gets recorded. This number is visible on the preview page of any document in the library.
Permissions Control – Access to the Audit Log Viewer feature is managed by Group.
- Group Access – Permission to use all aspects of the the feature is given by the client’s administrator by designating members of a group.
Stories not lining up? Need to see who did what…and when? Now you can check user activity without a fuss.
The Audit Log Viewer feature is a Skytizens-developed GUI that allows regular users to view activity in the Alfresco system. The audit log is a recorded trail of system access, document use, file editing, and other system events along with a timestamp. The job of viewing the audit log has typically been limited to IT staff due to being written in code and understood only by those with specialized training. This Alfresco addon turns the audit log into a clearly legible list that is filterable and easy to navigate by the common user.
The Audit Log Viewer takes a company’s risk management strategy off the shoulders of IT and shares it amongst the real stakeholders—namely staff supervisors and file managers. This module turns document access and activity into a transparent part of workflow. This module comes in crucial when there is a security breach or internal misuse of information as it provides verifiable information on user activity in the system.