Problem Analysis

Audit trails may also be used as on-line tools to help identify problems other than intrusions as they occur. This is often referred to as real-time auditing or monitoring. If a system or application is deemed to be critical to an organization’s business or mission, real-time auditing may be implemented to monitor the status of these processes (although, as noted above, there can be difficulties with real-time analysis). An analysis of the audit trails may be able to verify that the system operated normally (i.e., that an error may have resulted from operator error, as opposed to a system-originated error). Such use of audit trails may be complemented by system performance logs. For example, a significant increase in the use of system resources (e.g., disk file space or outgoing modem use) could indicate a security problem.

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