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Oracle Tips by Burleson

Chapter 8 General Oracle Auditing

functionality can be extended not just to an application user management, but to auditing as well.

Other Types of Audit

You might have noticed the central theme of the auditing actions mentioned in the previous sections is auditing access to the object. However, creating a trail of activity is not just about accessing the specific objects; but other things as well – such as data. The Oracle tool AUDIT can't capture changes to the data inside objects like tables.

Similarly, if the source code of a procedural object like a function or procedure is changed, the audit command captures the fact that it was changed, but not what was changed. Typically, the changes to data find their way into the redo logs and then to the archived logs, which can be mined later to identify the changes. The changes can also be captured at the source through triggers. All these options that are beyond the capabilities of the regular audit command have been discussed in subsequent chapters in this book.

Another part of the problem in auditing is when the user only selects, not changes, the data. This does not cause any triggers to fire and this information does not go into the redo log files, and therefore can't be mined later. Unfortunately, prior to Oracle 9i, it was not possible to capture the user's select statements. In some cases, this may not seem important, but in a scenario where you are dealing with data containing PHI, auditing is mandated by HIPAA. Oracle 9i introduced a new feature called Fine Grained Auditing (FGA) that allows not merely recording of select statements, but even records selectively based on user defined filtering criteria. In
 

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