audit trail

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audit trail

[′ȯd·ət ‚trāl]
(computer science)
A system that provides a means for tracing items of data from processing step to step, particularly from a machine-produced report or other machine output back to the original source data.

audit trail

A record of transactions in an information system that provides verification of the activity of the system. The simplest audit trail is the transaction itself. If a person's salary is increased, the change transaction includes the date, amount of raise and name of authorizing manager.

A more elaborate audit trail can be created when the system is being verified for accuracy; for example, samples of processing results can be recorded at various stages. Item counts and hash totals are used to verify that all input has been processed through the system.

Routine Queries Are Typically Exempt
An audit trail can include any activity whatsoever, but transactions that do not effect a change are often not recorded. For example, ad hoc searches and database lookups may not be identified in an audit trail. However, if queries and searches are monitored and recorded, they can be invaluable for tracking a malicious hacker or employee. See information security.
References in periodicals archive ?
Audit trails were used to record users' activities within the search phase.
Audit trails tell network managers who is doing business on the network and what users are doing.
In addition, both offer audit trails for determining whether inadvertent or unauthorized changes have occurred.
Configuration audit trails track configuration changes made to network nodes.
Providing comprehensive audit trails to streamline IT audit processes and ensure compliance with government regulations
Reduced requirements for audit trails, but still needed for records created during normal operation
This design also addresses an inherent shortcoming of spreadsheets: They were not designed to keep an audit trail of changes to data.
Both parties maintain an independent audit trail of all service related events, including details such as who accessed a specific device and when.
Ultimately, with CYA SmartRecovery, Open Text customers are ensured their authentic audit trails are recoverable.
Furthermore, the process incorporates a complete audit trail, an essential component for complying with government regulations in the USA, Canada and Mexico.
The solutions can be implemented at any business that requires a high level of integrity for audit trails such as administrations, financial, credit card, telecommunication, medical, insurance, on-line auction and entertainment industries as well as sensitive information sharing environments.
CYA's SmartRecovery provides the only recovery solution that captures and recovers discrete content and its associated audit trails at the incident level in response to data loss as a result of corruption, viruses or human error without system downtime.