Audit trails are vital in discovering and understanding what went wrong when a company or organisation suffers a security breach, data loss or misconduct. Having a detailed log of who accessed what and when, can make the search for what went wrong quick and easy. But, as this blog will discuss, there are more benefits to keeping audit trails than being prepared for when something goes wrong!
Having automated tracking of user activity also maintains transparency of your board and management teams. For example, different documents require different levels of security and therefore access controls are needed. But it is one thing to say that only certain people have access to confidential documents and data, but another to prove it. By having a record of access controls and who has accessed and edited documents, you can prove that only the right people have access to sensitive information. This ability to ensure transparency through recording actions also applies to document alterations, meetings and resolutions. Keeping a record of who did what and when is not only useful for security purposes, but good practice in the interests of transparency and good governance. Furthermore, these records allow for full accountability of individuals as well as the entire board by producing a trail of their actions and any wrongdoings.
Similarly, a record of your processes will prove your compliance with your industries regulations and standards when it comes to data management and business operations. An automated, detailed log will make it clearer to any external auditors that your board is working as expected without the need for IT or governance teams (or even board members themselves) to spend lots of time documenting board members actions.
Implementing audit trails (and automating them), as well as streamlining the ‘logging’ process for the meeting admin or IT team, can identify gaps in your meeting and governance processes by recording user logins (including failures), document access and meeting changes.
As already mentioned, audit trails should not just be used in preparation for the worst case scenario but as another layer of security for your company or organisation. Tracking the actions of users, particularly concerning sensitive information, means they cannot misuse this data and they know that any breach or misuse can be traced back to them, meaning they are more cautious with this information.
When governance goes wrong (cyber-threats, security breaches, data corruption, or misuse of information)
Benefits of technology
Audit trails are now easily automated and stored digitally, saving admin time and allowing for more secure and longer storage of old audits - as well as enhancing the above benefits.
On Convene, administrators have access to the audit trail log in the web portal, which keeps a record of user actions, such as login, creation, modification, exporting, or deletion, as well as the date and time at which these transactions occurred. Audit reports can also be generated and provided to the client periodically or upon request. Convene allows users to export the records from the system as a PDF report. Records that can be exported include meetings, review and approvals, and resolutions.
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