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Set Up Database Auditing

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  • Overview
  • Procedure
  • Configure a Custom Auditing Filter
  • Example Auditing Filters
Note
Feature unavailable in Free and Shared-Tier Clusters

This feature is not available for M0 free clusters, M2, and M5 clusters. To learn more about which features are unavailable, see Atlas M0 (Free Cluster), M2, and M5 Limitations.

Important
Feature unavailable in Serverless Instances

Serverless instances don't support this feature at this time. To learn more, see Serverless Instance Limitations.

Note
Required Privileges

To enable or disable database auditing, you must have the Organization Owner role or the Project Owner role for the project that you want to update.

Auditing allows administrators to track system activity for deployments with multiple users. Atlas administrators can select the actions that they want to audit, as well as the database users, Atlas roles, and LDAP groups whose actions they want audited. Atlas supports auditing of most of the documented system event actions, with the following limitations:

  • When an Atlas user performs an action in the Atlas UI on a cluster, both the audit logs and mongodb.log file log the mms-automation database user as the user performing the auditable auction. However, the Project Activity Feed logs the actual username of the Atlas user responsible for the action.
  • The Atlas audit logs don't track createUser events.
Important
Performing a Full Database Audit

Due to these noted limitations, you must use a combination of audit logs, the mongodb.log, and the Project Activity Feed to perform a full audit.

The authCheck event action logs authorization attempts by users trying to read from and write to databases in the clusters in your project. The following specific commands are audited:

authCheck Reads
authCheck Writes
[1](1, 2, 3) MongoDB versions 4.2 and later do not support these commands.

Atlas implements the authCheck event action as the following four separate actions:

Event Action
Description
authChecksReadFailures
The authCheck event action for all failed reads with the auditAuthorizationSuccess parameter set to false. This is the default for read-related event actions.
authChecksReadAll

The authCheck event action for all reads, both sucesses and failures. Same as authChecksReadFailures but with the auditAuthorizationSuccess parameter set to true.

Warning

Enabling Audit authorization successes can severely impact cluster performance. Enable this option with caution.

authChecksWriteFailures
The authCheck event action for all failed writes with the auditAuthorizationSuccess parameter set to false. This is the default for write-related event actions.
authChecksWriteAll

The authCheck event action for all writes, both successes and failures. Same as authChecksWriteFailures but with the auditAuthorizationSuccess parameter set to true.

Warning

Enabling Audit authorization successes can severely impact cluster performance. Enable this option with caution.

To learn about how MongoDB writes audit events to disk, see Audit Guarantee in the MongoDB Manual.

Note

To learn about best practices for auditing the actions of temporary database users, see Auditing Temporary Database Users.

Use the following procedure to set up database auditing:

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4

By default, Atlas logs the failed authentication attempts of both known and unknown users in the audit log of the primary node.

5

Alternatively, click Use Custom JSON Filter to manually enter an audit filter as a JSON string. For more information on configuring custom audit filters in Atlas, see Configure a Custom Auditing Filter.

6
Note

Deselecting the authenticate action prevents Atlas from auditing authentication failures.

Note

When selecting the authorization success granularity of auditing for the authCheck event action, Atlas does not support different selections for reads and writes. For example, you may not select Successes and Failures for authCheck Reads and Failures for authCheck Writes. If you select both authCheck Reads and authCheck Writes, Atlas automatically applies your selected granularity to both.

7

To retrieve the audit logs in Atlas, see MongoDB Logs. To retrieve the audit logs using the API, see Logs.

Note
Feature unavailable in Free and Shared-Tier Clusters

This feature is not available for M0 free clusters, M2, and M5 clusters. To learn more about which features are unavailable, see Atlas M0 (Free Cluster), M2, and M5 Limitations.

Important
Feature unavailable in Serverless Instances

Serverless instances don't support this feature at this time. To learn more, see Serverless Instance Limitations.

Atlas supports specifying a JSON-formatted audit filter for customizing MongoDB Auditing.

Custom audit filters allow users to forgo the managed Atlas UI auditing filter builder in favor of hand-tailored granular control of event auditing. Atlas only checks that the custom filter uses valid JSON syntax, and does not validate or test the filter's functionality.

The audit filter document must resolve to a query that matches one or more fields in the audit event message. The filter document can use combinations of query operators and equality conditions to match the desired audit messages.

For a selection of example auditing filters, see Example Auditing Filters. For complete documentation on configuring MongoDB auditing filters, see Configure Audit Filter.

Important

Atlas uses a rolling upgrade strategy for enabling or updating audit configuration settings across all clusters in the Atlas project. Rolling upgrades require at least one election per replica set.

For instructions on testing application resilience to replica set elections, see Test Failover. For more information on how Atlas provides high availability, see Atlas High Availability.

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Warning

Enabling Audit authorization successes can severely impact cluster performance. Enable this option with caution.

For audit filters specifying the authCheck action type, by default the auditing system logs only authorization failures for any specified param.command. Enabling Audit authorization successes directs the auditing system to also log authorization successes. For more information, see auditAuthorizationSuccess

7

You can edit your filter at any time:

  1. In the Security section of the left navigation, click Advanced.
  2. Under Database Auditing Configure Your Auditing Filter, click Use Custom JSON Filter.
  3. Make the required changes.
  4. Click Save.

Use the following example auditing filters for guidance in constructing your own filters.

Important

These examples are not intended for use in production environments, nor are they a replacement for familiarity with the MongoDB Auditing Documentation.

{
"atype": "authenticate"
}
{
"$or": [
{
"users": []
},
{
"atype": "authenticate"
}
]
}
Note

The authenticate action is required to log authentication failures from known and unknown users.

{
"atype": "authenticate",
"param": {
"user": "myClusterAdministrator",
"db": "admin",
"mechanism": "SCRAM-SHA-1"
}
}
{
"atype": "authCheck",
"param.command": {
"$in": [
"insert",
"update",
"delete"
]
}
}
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