Modern IT systems are extremely complex, and often require a significant amount of oversight. When performance begins to lag, errors manifest themselves, or security or compliance issues arise, knowing who has accessed the system and what actions they have taken may be essential.
Also called audit trails, audit logs provide this relevant information. Acting as a record of events within a computer system, an audit log allows auditors and IT personnel to trace user actions. This can provide vital insight into how the system is being used, where problems may be occurring, and what security weaknesses might be present and exploitable. Additionally, regulatory compliance may require that audit logs be maintained for a specific length of time.