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It is a sad, if well-known fact that the majority of security breaches in any business are the work of insiders. This is as true for IT security breaches as any other area, and finding out what has happened and who did it can be a tricky problem.

One answer is to be able to audit the activity of trusted users within a business, so it becomes possible to track not only who has had access to what application, but also what activities took place. This is the goal of the Application Auditing solution from Compuware, which is capable of providing detailed forensic information and audit reports. The toolset is based on the company’s Hiperstation mainframe security system, which is directly integrated with the mainframe operating system. Heavy transaction loads can be accommodated in this way, with some Hiperstation claimed to have recorded more than eight million transactions per day.

The system can have a wide range of uses, such as tracking users’ common work practices with applications so that workflow and operation can be improved. It is the security context, however, that is the primary target, and here it can provide indisputable proof of user actions that can be used to detect events that range from finding operational problems through to serious policy violations. In this context, it then gives the evidence needed to prevent incidents from becoming larger by catching up with the miscreants more quickly.

The company has indicated that, prior to the formalization of Application Auditing as an offering some of the tools have already been used to provide audit-based evidence in legal proceedings. ®

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