Track WordPress Activity With An Audit Trail Log

By 29th September 2014 February 2nd, 2021 Migrated, Shield Security
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With the Shield, we’ve created a toolkit that lets you lock down your site from intruders and prevent unauthorized access to core components of your site.

Not only that, we give you full control over automated tasks such WordPress Automatic Updates, as well as one of the most powerful Anti-SPAM comment filters available today.

Today, we take it one step further – we let you look back and see what you, and any other users on your system, has done on your site.

With v4.0 of the Shield Security, we give you a WordPress Audit Trail – full insight into all significant actions taken on your websites.

How The WordPress Audit Trail Works

The Audit Trail is designed to be your note-taker. It will watch your WordPress site and for certain specific actions that take place, it will record it in the database for your review, if necessary.

Information that it currently records include:

  • The time of the request to the site
  • The currently logged-in user if applicable
  • The originating IP address of the request
  • The event
  • An optional message for the event.

With all this information it’s easy review the activity on your website.

You may want to review the information for any number of reasons, but for whatever that reason happens to be, the Audit Trail will keep you fully informed.

Organizing Events With Audit Trail Contexts

The Audit Trail monitors key activity on your site and records events as they happen.

Since many things can happen on a site we need a way to group these activities, and to achieve this we created “Contexts”.

Contexts, in relation to the Audit Trail, are large areas of the WordPress system within which certain groups of actions may fall.  With version 4.0 of the Shield, there are 7 main contexts as follows:

  • Users / Logins
  • Plugins
  • Themes
  • WordPress Core and Settings
  • Posts and Pages
  • Email
  • Shield

Each of these contexts have 1 or more associated events.  For example, “Plugins” has:

  • plugin activated
  • plugin deactivated

As the Audit Trail feature develops, more events will be added, as well as more Contexts as appropriate.

The Shield context is a special context where the plugin logs and tracks itself. Included in this context are events such as:

  • Firewall blocks
  • Firewall skipping
  • White list notifications
  • Two Factor Login Authentication
  • etc. and with more to come.

Why do you need an Audit Trail?

Often, when a website breaks, it’s helpful to know what immediately preceded it. Problems typically occur after a change and being able to see events leading up to a break can really help to pinpoint the cause of it.

The Audit Trail will let you see exactly what has been happening on your site. It gives you a view on the activity of your users and when this activity happens.

Sure, it can be used to identify and record malicious activity, but the most useful application of an Audit Trail is identifying the cause of sudden problems that can affect a site.

How to enable the Shield Audit Trail

Activate WordPress Simple Firewall Audit Trail FeatureLike all other features before it, activating the Audit Trail feature is easy.

Simply click on the Audit Trail feature from the drop-down menu, and then click to activate the feature.

You will have the option to enable each individual context as you desire.

Then, as information comes into the Audit Trail, you can view it by navigating to the “Audit Trail Viewer” page.

Suggestion, Comments, Feedback?

Shield v4 is the first stage in the Audit Trail feature.  We’d like to hear what you think, and any suggestions as to what extra features you’d like to see here.

Please feel free to email us in our support centre, or leave a comment below!

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