Security Log analysis / reporting tools

I have a Windows SBS 2003 server and would like to track user activity (such as read, create, modify on dirs & files) using the SACL of AD. Enabling an audit of directory service access writes all events to the security log. Going through this info is time-consuming and a real nightmare!

I am after a tool which does this for me so that I can query and report the security log i.e. which user last had access to file1 or which files has user1 last edited/accessed.

any ideas?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Note that enabling auditing of "Directory Service Access" is NOT auditing access to files and directories - it's actually auditing access to the Active Directory database.

You want to enable "Audit Object Access" - that will allow you to go into the properties of a directory, and turn on auditing and select for which users/groups to audit.

After that, you should start seeing data in the security log. To query it, look at MS Log Parser:

Here's an article on using it to parse IIS logs (not exactly what you want, but might be interesting)

Here's an overview of the different security log event IDs you'll see:


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
ombAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the clarification. I have now enabled "Audit Object Access" and specified which dirs I would like audited. Now, lots of events are being written to my security log.

I have checked out MS Log Parser... looks OK but I would prefer a GUI-based program. Any ideas of other software with a nice graphical interface which could analyse and report on the security log events?

Rich RumbleSecurity SamuraiCommented:
GFI's SELM is great, but cost money:
And yes you should turn up the logging if your using the default that the OS uses out of the box.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
OS Security

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.