| Without tracking privileged activity, it would be difficult to establish, correlate, and investigate the events relating to an incident or identify those responsible for one.
System documentation should include a definition of the functionality considered privileged.
A privileged function in this context is any operation that modifies the structure of the database, its built-in logic, or its security settings. This would include all Data Definition Language (DDL) statements and all security-related statements. In an SQL environment, it encompasses, but is not necessarily limited to:
There may also be Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements that, subject to context, should be regarded as privileged. Possible examples in SQL include:
DELETE affecting more than n rows, for some n, or
DELETE without a WHERE clause;
UPDATE affecting more than n rows, for some n, or
UPDATE without a WHERE clause;
any SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE to an application-defined security table executed by other than a security principal.
Depending on the capabilities of the DBMS and the design of the database and associated applications, audit logging may be achieved by means of DBMS auditing features, database triggers, other mechanisms, or a combination of these.
Note that it is particularly important to audit, and tightly control, any action that weakens the implementation of this requirement itself, since the objective is to have a complete audit trail of all administrative activity. |