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Happy (Audit) Trails to Oracle E-records Management

Mandated compliance with various regulations has placed an emphasis on data protection, retention, and security lately. This guide gets past the legalese and tackles electronic records management in Oracle using audit trails.

lthough electronic records have been around since the first databases, regulations about how to manage them are coming onto the scene only now. Legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) set standards for access, security of records, retention, and replacement of paper-based records.

This article discusses the management of electronic records in Oracle using audit trails, mechanisms for preventing previously stored information from being altered or corrupted. An audit trail is a time-stamped record of the changes that users make to a record. It contains the name/identification of the user who performed the modification and typically also includes the reason for the change. An audit trail enables you to audit the system for a record of alterations, as well as to reconstruct the data at a specified point in time.

The following are the various facets of audit trails for electronic records:

  • Audit tools
  • Event selection (selective auditing)
  • Audit data generation
  • Automatic response
  • Audit analysis
  • Storage and archiving

This tutorial addresses the following issues from the system designer, developer, and IT staff points of view:

  • Constituents of an electronic record
  • Audit trails
  • Database design
  • Application security mechanisms
  • Bulk-data capture and processing issues
  • Background processing
  • Application, system, and data-migration
  • Oracle User Administration
  • System administration
  • Procedural mechanisms

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