Summary: In this age of stringent data privacy regulations, Audit trails provide the necessary record of system activity by systems and application processes that act as proof in adverse situations. Audit trails are also an important mechanism for improving internal controls, reducing errors & fraudulent activities, and verifying the accuracy of processes. This article will explore some of the benefits of Audit trails and how they can help businesses attain compliance.
Audit trails are an important part of any business, especially heavily regulated businesses. Audit trails help businesses attain compliance with laws and regulations. In addition, there are many benefits to using Audit trails, like having irrefutable records of activity & data erasure, lowering the risk of fraud, avoiding significant financial reporting errors, preventing unauthorized users from using company resources, assisting businesses in identifying asset infiltration attempts, and investigating security incidents. As a result, businesses should consider implementing them if they haven’t already done so.
What are Audit Trails?
Audit trails are a sequence of records that document the history of events relating to a particular business process. They provide a thorough, chronological record that allows tracking and tracing financial data, accounting records, project information, data erasure reports & certificates, etc. They can track changes made to data, catalog data erasure activities, monitor compliance with internal policies and procedures, and uncover potential fraudulent activities. They are especially important for meeting compliance with data privacy and protection regulations. Audit trails can be generated manually or automatically and stored in paper or electronic format. Audit trails can be easily searched and analyzed to identify trends and patterns when they are maintained electronically. These electronic Audit trails can also be uploaded to the cloud for easy access.
Why are Audit Trails Important for Compliance?
Audit trails are a crucial compliance activity to retain customer confidence, safeguard the brand, and adhere to laws, rules, and compliance frameworks. They provide a verifiable record of what happened in the system. This record can be used to identify issues and ensure that corrective action is taken. For example, public companies must maintain an accurate record of all financial transactions under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This act requires firms to adhere to strict controls and a financial accounting framework to provide auditable financial records that can be verified and tracked.
Conversely, data privacy regulations require that businesses destroy the data that has reached its logical end or if a customer raises a “right to be forgotten” request. Data erasure reports and certificates help meet the burden of proof for compliance. Furthermore, HIPAA requires monitoring who has access to a patient’s medical information, when that secure data was accessed, who accessed it, and why. This information is visible thanks to an Audit trail that records information with the relevant date and time stamps.
Audit trails are also a crucial part of the chain of custody in IT asset disposal. In addition to that, Audit trails can improve efficiency and effectiveness. Internal & external data breaches can be identified with the help of Audit trails. Monitoring an Audit trail can assist in spotting malware and ransomware crimes and highlight instances when outsiders are attempting to cause harm. By providing visibility into process and system changes, Audit trails can help businesses identify areas where improvements can be made while also enhancing the information security capabilities of the business.
How do Data Erasure Certificates Act as Audit Trails for Compliance?
Data Erasure is a critical component of global data privacy and protection laws that require wiping sensitive and confidential data from devices that change hands or have come to the end of their lifecycle. Using an overwriting software like BitRaser is ideal for businesses of all sizes to perform data erasure securely. The software permanently erases data from HDDs, SSDs, laptops, desktops, Mac devices, servers, and more. It automatically generates and uploads data erasure certificates and reports to the centralized cloud console that can be accessed from any location. The cloud console also allows assigning users like an auditor. A third-party auditor can use the credentials and verify the reports and certificates of erasure, streamlining the process. These tamper-proof reports and certificates provide crucial details like hardware information, erasure summary, erasure results, date & time of erasure, hardware diagnostics, etc. These details fulfill the compliance and auditing requirements required by regulatory authorities.
Audit trails can be an extremely helpful tool for businesses in attaining compliance. By providing a clear and concise record of all activity, Audit trails make it easy to track potential issues and ensure everyone follows the rules. In today’s highly regulated environment, having an effective Audit trail system can make all the difference.