The Importance of an Audit Trail

The Importance of an Audit Trail

It’s widely known that a well-managed audit trail is a good indicator of a company that has its business under control. An audit trail consists of your company records that document every step in a business transaction. This could mean invoices, contracts, human resources etc. and it is crucial to pay close attention to maintaining these records.

Audit trails have come a long way over the years, transitioning from manual trails to automated electronic logs that make information far more accurate, readily accessible and easier to use. Data is a very valuable resource in the oil and gas industry and it needs to be managed accordingly.

Without an audit trail, how would you know the answer to any of the following questions?

  • Who exactly accessed or changed data within our systems?
  • When was that data accessed or changed?
  • How did a specific user gain access to the data?
  • Are the privileged users abusing their unlimited access?

Questions like these are almost impossible to answer without a complete audit trail in place.

A comprehensive audit trail captures every decision, approval, and piece of data within a company, and it requires employees to be diligent in their reporting of this information. Whether you are creating a new procedure or altering a contract, the changes that you make should carefully be recorded, in case they come in to question at a later stage.

An audit trail isn’t just about recovering much needed information. It’s also about ensuring the security of your company’s data. Every day, internal and external forces are trying to actively compromise company data, both by accident and on purpose. Surprisingly, some of the most serious threats actually come from existing employees that have authorized access! An audit trail can assist in finding out who is compromising your security and your company’s valuable data.

From the very beginning of Generwell’s development, we’ve had built-in audit tracking.  Every time a change is made by anyone in Generwell (including changing a value to ‘blank’), it is logged with the person’s name, time/date, and before/after value. This ensures that everyone is accountable for their actions and problems can be mitigated by reviewing the past transactions.

The right audit solution needs to be able to not only protect the entirety of an organization’s database, but also analyze the database activity in real-time to allow for adequate security. Your audit solution also needs to be user friendly and easy to follow for external auditors, when the time comes.

At Micotan, we think it is crucial to ensure that data recovery is easy if something goes wrong.  An audit trail is an important part of a secure and reliable system, and over-written data is a big problem for spreadsheets.  By having an automatic audit trail for every change, a company can be confident in their data, even when the information is constantly changing.