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The Role of File Auditing in Compliance

Philip Robinson
| Read Time 4 min read| Published On - January 17, 2023

File auditing in compliance

File auditing is a critical aspect of many compliance regulations, including the GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. But can IT teams get the data they need to satisfy compliance audits using native file server auditing tools? Let’s explore this.

What is File Auditing?

File auditing is the examination of each event taking place on a file server. This includes tracking file access and recording who, what, where, and when important changes are made. It involves analyzing the most frequently accessed and updated files, tracking successful and unsuccessful file access attempts, and more. In order to provide data security and visibility throughout the data life cycle, the principal goal of file server auditing is to keep track of all operations occurring within the extended environment. In short, file auditing can be used to;

  • Monitor the assignment of secure access controls.
  • Measure the effectiveness of access controls.
  • Monitor access to and usage of sensitive data.

How File Auditing Helps with Compliance

The ability to determine who has access to which files, when they were accessed, when they were modified, and other information is a requirement of most data protection laws, including the GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA, to name a few. Most file auditing solutions are able to produce detailed audit reports at the push of a button, and companies can send these reports to the relevant authorities to demonstrate their compliance efforts.

The Downsides of Native File Auditing Tools for Compliance

While it is theoretically possible to use your system’s native file auditing tools to scrutinize your server’s event logs, doing so is often a slow, painful, and convoluted process. In fact, using native auditing methods, it is virtually impossible to construct a file auditing system that satisfies the compliance requirements imposed by legal regulations. Below are some of the main downsides of native file auditing tools when it comes to compliance:

  • They cannot scale up to fulfill the rigorous audit requirements of a large firm, and this will result in performance issues.
  • When the disc storage capacity is reached, the event logs created by the native auditing tool will be overwritten.
  • Due to the limited search capabilities of native auditing tools, it is difficult to quickly identify crucial audit data.
  • It is not possible to view reports via a single console. All events are indiscriminately logged, and thus require bespoke scripting to filter and correlate events to provide reports that detail who did what and on which file. To further complicate the matter, the same event might have a different ID in different versions of the Windows file server, which the script writer will have to account for.
  • There are too many log entries created for each action, which means finding risky events that could result in security incidents is a time-consuming and arduous task.
  • Due to the lack of alerting or email notification capabilities, any suspicious operations carried out within the file system would go undetected.
  • Native auditing tools don’t come with any compliance-specific reporting capabilities.

How Lepide Helps in File Auditing and Meeting Compliance Mandates?

Lepide Auditor is a comprehensive file auditing software that plays an integral role in achieving and maintaining compliance with industry standards.

Lepide enables organizations to determine where their regulated data resides in their file stores, how much it they have, and what the data is. In addition to this, Lepide enables organizations to see who has access to regulated, how the permissions are being granted, and spot changes to permissions that can affect access rights. Using Lepide, it’s easy to spot users that have excessive permissions to regulate data and implement a policy of least privilege in accordance with industry standards.

Lepide Auditor also provides detailed tracking and monitoring of access to sensitive data, so that organizations can ensure that regulated data is being used in accordance with industry regulations and standards.

With Lepide, organizations can comply with laws and regulations such as HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and SOC 2, among others. Additionally, Lepide’s robust file auditing system can aid in incident response and investigations in the event of a security breach. This makes Lepide a valuable tool for organizations looking to protect their sensitive data and maintain compliance with industry standards.

If you’d like to see how Lepide can help you audit file server changes, schedule a demo with one of our engineers or start your free trial today.

Philip Robinson
Philip Robinson

Phil joined Lepide in 2016 after spending most of his career in B2B marketing roles for global organizations. Over the years, Phil has strived to create a brand that is consistent, fun and in keeping with what it’s like to do business with Lepide. Phil leads a large team of marketing professionals that share a common goal; to make Lepide a dominant force in the industry.

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