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Why does your SaaS application need audit logs?

· 3 min read
Deepak Prabhakara
Co-founder & CEO @BoxyHQ

Audit logs are an important tool for keeping track of activity within your SaaS application. These logs provide a detailed record of the actions taken by users and can be used to monitor for potential security breaches, compliance violations, and other issues. Let’s explore some of the key reasons why you need audit logs for your SaaS app.

  1. Compliance: Many industries are subject to strict regulations that require organizations to maintain detailed records of their activities. Audit logs can be used to demonstrate compliance with these regulations, and to provide evidence in the event of an audit or investigation.

    The retention period requirements of some well-known compliance frameworks are listed below:

    • ISO 27001: 3 years
    • GDPR: Not very specific, as long as necessary
    • HIPAA: 6 years
    • PCI DSS: 1 year
    • NIST: 3 years
    • SOX: 7 years
    • GLBA: 6 years
  2. Cyber Insurance: Obtaining cyber insurance usually comes with requirements around recording and retaining audit logs. These logs help with forensics during insurance claims, otherwise making investigation expensive and time-consuming for both insurers and the affected companies.

  3. Security: Audit logs can be used to detect and prevent security breaches. By monitoring for suspicious activity, such as repeated failed login attempts or changes to sensitive data, you can quickly identify and respond to potential threats. Additionally, audit logs can be used to reconstruct the events leading up to a security incident, which can help you identify the cause and prevent similar incidents in the future.

  4. Accountability: Audit logs make it possible to track the actions of individual users, which can be useful for identifying issues such as data breaches, compliance violations, and other problems. This information can be used to hold users accountable for their actions and to help you identify and address any issues that arise.

  5. Troubleshooting: Audit logs can be used to identify and diagnose issues that occur within your SaaS application. By reviewing the logs, you can see exactly what happened when a problem occurred, which can help you quickly identify the root cause and develop a solution.

  6. Auditing: Audit logs provide a record of the activities that occur within your SaaS application, which can be useful for internal audits. This information can be used to assess the effectiveness of your security controls and identify areas for improvement.

Audit Logs

Audit logs are a powerful tool that can be used to improve the security, compliance, and overall performance of your SaaS application. By keeping detailed records of user activity, you can monitor for potential issues and quickly respond to problems as they arise. If your SaaS app doesn't have audit logs, you should consider implementing them as soon as possible to ensure the safety and security of your data and users. It is also becoming an important part of enterprise readiness.

Introducing our Audit Logs product

We are extremely thrilled to introduce our new Audit Logs product in collaboration with our friends at Replicated. Retraced is a fully open-source audit log service that comes with an embeddable UI that's easily deployed to an infrastructure of your choice. We have spent years building and fine-tuning audit logs systems and think we have finally discovered an optimal solution to this nagging problem.

It’s yet another important enterprise readiness feature to tick as you scale your offerings to the enterprise segment and complements our Enterprise SSO and Directory Sync products to give you a one-stop solution. Come check out the product at our GitHub repo, we’d love to hear your feedback.