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Set Up Database Auditing

On this page

  • Required Access
  • Procedure
  • Configure a Custom Auditing Filter
  • Example Auditing Filters

Note

  • This feature is not available for M0 free clusters, M2, and M5 clusters. To learn more, see Atlas M0 (Free Cluster), M2, and M5 Limits.

  • This feature is not supported on Serverless instances at this time. To learn more, see Serverless Instance Limitations.

Database auditing lets administrators track system activity for deployments with multiple users. Atlas administrators can select the actions, database users, Atlas roles, and LDAP groups that they want to audit. Atlas supports auditing 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 action. However, the Project Activity Feed logs the actual username of the Atlas user responsible for the action.

  • The Atlas audit logs don't track user creation or modification events because Atlas performs these operations directly in the admin database.

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. Atlas audits the following specific commands:

authCheck Reads
authCheck Writes
aggregate
[1](1, 2, 3) MongoDB versions 4.2 and later don't support these commands.

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

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

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

Warning

If you enable auditAuthorizationSuccess, you might severely impact cluster performance. Enable this option with caution.

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

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

Warning

If you enable auditAuthorizationSuccess, you might 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.

To configure audit logs, you must have Project Owner access to the project that you want to update or Organization Owner access to the organization that contains the project that you want to update.

Note

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

Use the following procedure to set up database auditing:

1
  1. If it's not already displayed, select the organization that contains your project from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

  2. If it's not already displayed, select your project from the Projects menu in the navigation bar.

  3. In the sidebar, click Advanced under the Security heading.

2
3

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

4

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.

5

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.

6

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

Note

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

Custom audit filters lets users forgo the managed Atlas UI auditing filter builder in favor of hand-tailored granular control of event auditing. Atlas checks only that the custom filter uses valid JSON syntax, and doesn't 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.

To view example auditing filters, see Example Auditing Filters. To learn more about 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.

To learn more about testing application resilience to replica set elections, see Test Primary Failover. To learn more about how Atlas provides high availability, see Atlas High Availability.

1
  1. If it's not already displayed, select the organization that contains your project from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

  2. If it's not already displayed, select your project from the Projects menu in the navigation bar.

  3. In the sidebar, click Advanced under the Security heading.

2
3
4
5

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

6

You can edit your filter at any time:

1
  1. If it's not already displayed, select the organization that contains your project from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

  2. If it's not already displayed, select your project from the Projects menu in the navigation bar.

  3. In the sidebar, click Advanced under the Security heading.

2
  1. Under Database Auditing Configure Your Auditing Filter, click Use Custom JSON Filter.

  2. Make the required changes.

  3. Click Save.

To return the auditing configuration for the specified project using the Atlas CLI, run the following command:

atlas auditing describe [options]

To learn more about the command syntax and parameters, see the Atlas CLI documentation for atlas auditing describe.

Tip

To view your custom auditing filter in the Atlas UI:

1
  1. If it's not already displayed, select the organization that contains your project from the Organizations menu in the navigation bar.

  2. If it's not already displayed, select your project from the Projects menu in the navigation bar.

  3. In the sidebar, click Advanced under the Security heading.

2

Your custom auditing filter displays under Database Auditing.

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-256"
}
}
{
"atype": "authCheck",
"param.command": {
"$in": [
"insert",
"update",
"delete"
]
}
}

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