Monitor & Audit Logs for Secure File Transfer


Tracking and logging of file access and activities is critical to organizations as sensitive data continues to grow and be moved into the cloud. According to research by

By 2025, 200+ zettabytes of data will be in cloud storage around the globe.
And, by 2022, 70% of the globe’s GDP will have undergone digitization.

In this post, we will first cover audit logging basics. Next, we’ll explain how a managed file transfer (MFT) solution can help your business monitor and keep track of all activity on the files and provide the ability to run reports on any internal and external activities taking place on corporate data.

What Is an Audit Log?

An audit log, or audit trail, is simply tracking and recording the activities that are performed on a file while in the application. Information logged on the files may include

  • When: Dates and times of events on files.
  • Who: Username, IP address, location and other identifying information.
  • What: Actions performed such as upload, download, modifications, sharing and deletion.
  • How: Connecting application, browser, interface, etc.

Audit logs capture data to record events that help organization to monitor and identify

  • Unauthorized users
  • Fraud and misuse
  • Errors and responsible party
  • Missed and achieved dates or terms according to contracts
  • Quantify access or usage of files
  • Revenue recognition

Top Benefits of Audit Logging

Identifying all events occurring to a file and logging them in an audit trail provides multiple benefits to the organization, such as

  • Alerting and allowing the company to address the issue, whether in real-time or at a later date.
  • Confirming contract obligations or breaches.
  • Achieving timely revenue recognition.
  • Enabling greater insight into the company’s file data usage.
  • Providing proof of compliance to government and industry regulations or corporate policies.

Challenges of Audit Logging on File Transfers

There are two types of file transactions that typically take place in companies: Automated (machine-to-machine) and ad-hoc (manual, person-to-person).

Tracking Automated File Transfer Transactions

Automated transactions are activities executed on company data by applications and systems and not by humans—for example, a script between two different SFTP systems that constantly pushes and pulls information autonomously based on set rules, events and schedules. These types of transactions are particularly difficult to track because of the various transfer protocols being used and most systems do not have logging capabilities to audit this information.

Tracking Ad Hoc File Sharing Transactions

Ad hoc transactions include activities that users are performing manually to files to collaborate and share information such as transferring files to a customer, uploading a new document version to the cloud or downloading files to their desktop or mobile devices. It is challenging to track these transactions because users may be using email in addition to several different business and personal applications so no single system is tracking each transaction simultaneously.

Audit Logging Tools for Secure File Transfer

The best tool for audit logging and tracking of file activities resides in enterprise managed file transfer software. Thru is a leading cloud-native secure file transfer solution that provides comprehensive audit logging in both its automated file transfer and file sharing services.

Tracking Automated File Transfer Transactions

Thru allows automation of file transfers between storage repositories (e.g., FTPS, SFTP, Amazon S3) and keeps an audit of all transactions. The audit logs can also be compiled into different reports and filtered by users, groups, application used, date and time and more.

The Activity view within Thru’s automated file transfer portal displays the file transfer activity for every Flow, Organization and Endpoint in your instance of Thru. In this view, you can

  • Search for specific file transfers by flow, organization, or endpoint.
  • Select one or all three to get a more granular view of your file transfers.

Thru's audit logging table viewable in Activity page

Click on the linked organizations and endpoints to quickly troubleshoot and make changes to their configurations. Filter by Transfer Status to see a snapshot of a specific file transfer.
Thru's audit logging viewable in transfer status details window

Audit File Sharing Activities

Easily track and monitor all file transactions on a single platform in the cloud via the powerful Thru Audit feature. Thru’s out-of-the-box integrations with your existing email and business applications, such as Outlook and Salesforce, enable users to send files of any size and all activities are recorded in Thru Audit. Thru Audit allows you to search and sort on a granular level for reporting.

Within Thru’s file sharing administrator interface, audit all file transactions such as access, uploads, downloads, messages and storage usage. Refer to snippets of screenshots below to see what the Thru Audit feature looks like for keeping track of transaction history and usage stats:

Thru's audit logging view table with user activity time stamps
Thru's audit logging view of file count summary in pie chart

Thru's audit logging view showing secure message count in a bar graph with linear trend line

Audit Logging Tools for Secure File Transfer

To find the best solution to monitor and audit log file activities and transactions, please contact Thru to discuss the particular needs of your use case and organization.



Have questions about managed file transfer?

Get answers, not a sales pitch. Our experts have analyzed, discussed and solved difficult file transfer challenges since 2002. We are here to help you.

Scroll to Top