Configure Data Access audit logs

This guide explains how to enable or disable some or all Data Access audit logs in your Cloud projects, billing accounts, folders, and organizations by using the Google Cloud console or the API.

Before you begin

Before you proceed with configuring Data Access audit logs, understand the following information:

  • Data Access audit logs—except for BigQuery—are disabled by default. If you want Data Access audit logs to be written for Google Cloud services other than BigQuery, you must explicitly enable them.

  • Data Access audit logs help Google Support troubleshoot issues with your account. Therefore, we recommend enabling Data Access audit logs when possible.

Configuration overview

You can enable and configure certain aspects of Data Access audit logs for your Google Cloud resources and services:

  • Organizations: You can enable and configure Data Access audit logs in an organization, which applies to all the existing and new Cloud projects and folders in the organization.

  • Folders: You can enable and configure Data Access audit logs in a folder, which applies to all the existing and new Cloud projects in the folder. You can't disable a Data Access audit log that was enabled in the project's parent organization.

  • Projects: You can configure Data Access audit logs for an individual Cloud project. You can't disable a Data Access audit log that was enabled in a parent organization or folder.

  • Billing accounts: To configure Data Access audit logs for billing accounts, use the Google Cloud CLI. For more information about using the gcloud CLI with Data Access audit logs and billing accounts, see the reference documentation for gcloud beta billing accounts set-iam-policy.

  • Default configurations: You can specify a default Data Access audit log configuration in an organization, folder, or Cloud project that applies to future Google Cloud services that begin to produce Data Access audit logs. For instructions, see Set the default configuration.

  • Services: You can specify the services whose audit logs you want to receive. For example, you might want audit logs from Compute Engine but not from Cloud SQL. For a list of the Google Cloud services that can generate audit logs, see Google services with audit logs.

  • Log types: You can configure which types of operations are recorded in your Data Access audit logs. There are three Data Access audit log types:

    • ADMIN_READ: Records operations that read metadata or configuration information.

    • DATA_READ: Records operations that read user-provided data.

    • DATA_WRITE: Records operations that write user-provided data.

    For example, Cloud DNS writes all three types of Data Access logs, but you could configure your Data Access audit logs to record only the DATA_WRITE operations.

  • Exempted principals: You can exempt specific principals from having their data accesses recorded. For example, you can exempt your internal testing accounts from having their Cloud Debugger operations recorded. For a list of valid principals, including users and groups, see the Binding type reference.

You can configure your Data Access audit logs through the IAM Audit Logs console or the API. These methods are explained in the sections below.

Service-specific configurations

If there is both a Google Cloud service-wide (allServices) configuration and a configuration for a specific Google Cloud service, then the resulting configuration for the service is the union of the two configurations. In other words:

  • You can enable Data Access audit logs for specific Google Cloud services, but you can't disable Data Access audit logs for Google Cloud services that are enabled in the broader configuration.

  • You can add additional kinds of information to a Google Cloud service's Data Access audit log, but you can't remove kinds of information that are specified in the broader configuration.

  • You can add principals to exemption lists, but you can't remove them from exemption lists in the broader configuration.

  • For BigQuery Data Transfer Service, Data Access audit log configuration is inherited from your default audit log configuration.

Google Cloud resource configurations

You can configure Data Access audit logs for Cloud projects, billing accounts, folders, and organizations. If there is a configuration for a Google Cloud service across the hierarchy, then the resulting configuration is the union of the configurations. In other words, at the Cloud project level:

  • You can enable logs for a Google Cloud service, but you can't disable logs for a Google Cloud service that is enabled in a parent organization or folder.

  • You can enable kinds of information, but you can't disable kinds of information that are enabled in a parent organization or folder.

  • You can add principals to exemption lists, but you can't remove them from exemption lists in a parent organization or folder.

  • At a parent organization or folder level, you can enable Data Access audit logs for a Cloud project within that organization or folder, even if Data Access audit logs haven't been configured in the Cloud project.

Access control

Identity and Access Management roles and permissions govern access to Logging data, including viewing and managing the IAM policies underlying Data Access audit logging configurations.

To view or set the policies associated with Data Access configuration, you need a role with permissions at the appropriate resource level. For instructions on granting these resource-level roles, see Manage access to Cloud projects, folders, and organizations.

  • To set IAM policies, you need a role with the resourcemanager.RESOURCE_TYPE.setIamPolicy permission.

  • To view IAM policies, you need a role with the resourcemanager.RESOURCE_TYPE.getIamPolicy permission.

For the list of the permissions and roles you need to view Data Access audit logs, see Access control with IAM.

Configure Data Access audit logs with the console

This section explains how to use the console to configure Data Access audit logs.

You can also use the API or the Google Cloud CLI to perform these tasks programmatically; see Configure Data Access audit logs with the API for details.

To access audit log configuration options in the console, follow these steps:

  1. From the console, select IAM & Admin > Audit Logs:

    Go to Audit Logs

  2. Select an existing Cloud project, folder, or organization.

Enable audit logs

To enable Data Access audit logs, do the following:

  1. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select one or more Google Cloud services from the Service column.

  2. In the Log Types tab, select the Data Access audit log types that you want to enable for your selected services.

  3. Click Save.

Where you have successfully enabled audit logs, the table includes a check mark .

In the following example, you see that, for the Access Approval service, the Data Read audit log type is enabled:

Audit Logs config

You can also enable audit logs for all Google Cloud services that produce Data Access audit logs. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select all Google Cloud services.

Note that this bulk configuration method applies only to the Google Cloud services that are currently available for your resource. If a new Google Cloud service is added, it inherits your default audit configuration.

Disable Data Access audit logs

To disable Data Access audit logs, do the following:

  1. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select one or more Google Cloud services.

  2. In the Log Types tab in the information panel, select the Data Access audit log types that you want to disable for your selected services.

  3. Click Save.

Where you've successfully disabled Data Access audit logs, the table indicates this with a dash. Any enabled Data Access audit logs are indicated with a check mark .

Set exemptions

You can set exemptions to let you control which principals generate Data Access audit logs for particular services. When you add an exempted principal, audit logs aren't created for them for the selected log types.

To set exemptions, do the following:

  1. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select a Google Cloud service from the Service column.

  2. Select the Exempted Principals tab in the information panel.

  3. In Add exempted principal, enter the principal that you want to exempt from generating Data Access audit logs for your selected service.

    You can add multiple principals by clicking the Add exempted principal button as many times as needed.

    For a list of valid principals, including users and groups, see the Binding type reference.

  4. In Disabled Log Types, select the Data Access audit log types that you want to disable.

  5. Click Save.

Where you have successfully added exempted principals to a service, the Data Access audit logs configuration table indicates this with a number under the Exempted principals column.

To remove a principal from your exemption list, do the following:

  1. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select a Google Cloud service from the Service column.

  2. Select the Exempted Principals tab in the information panel.

  3. Hover over a principal name and then select the delete icon that appears.

  4. After the principal's name is shown in strikethrough text, click Save.

To edit the information for an exempted principal, do the following:

  1. In the Data Access audit logs configuration table, select a Google Cloud service from the Service column.

  2. Select the Exempted Principals tab in the information panel.

  3. Expand the principal name.

  4. Select or deselect the Data Access audit log types as appropriate for the principal.

  5. Click Save.

Set the default configuration

You can set a configuration that all new and existing Google Cloud services in your Cloud project, folder, or organization inherit. Setting this default configuration applies if a new Google Cloud service becomes available and principals in your organization begin using it: the service inherits the audit logging policy that you have already set for other Google Cloud services, ensuring that Data Access audit logs are captured.

To set or edit the default configuration, do the following:

  1. Click Set Default Configuration.

  2. In the Log Types tab in the information panel, select the Data Access audit log types that you want to enable or disable.

  3. Click Save.

  4. Select the Exempted Principals tab in the information panel.

  5. In Add exempted principal, enter the principal that you want to exempt from generating Data Access audit logs for your selected service.

    You can add multiple principals by clicking the Add exempted principal button as many times as needed.

    For a list of valid principals, including users and groups, see the Binding type reference.

  6. In Disabled Log Types, select the Data Access audit log types that you want to disable.

  7. Click Save.

Configure Data Access audit logs with the API

This section explains how to use the API and the gcloud CLI to configure Data Access audit logs programmatically.

Many of these tasks can also be performed by using the console; for instructions, see Configure Data Access audit logs with the console on this page.

IAM policy objects

To configure Data Access audit logs using the API, you must edit the IAM policy associated with your Cloud project, folder, or organization. The audit log configuration is in the auditConfigs section of the policy:

"auditConfigs": [
  {
    object(AuditConfig)
  }
]

For details, see the IAM Policy type.

The following sections describe the AuditConfig object in more detail. For the API and gcloud CLI commands used to change the configuration, see getIamPolicy and setIamPolicy

AuditConfig objects

The audit log configuration consists of a list of AuditConfig objects. Each object configures the logs for one service, or it establishes a broader configuration for all services. Each object looks like the following:

{
  "service": SERVICE,
  "auditLogConfigs": [
    {
      "logType": "ADMIN_READ"
      "exemptedMembers": [ PRINCIPAL,]
    },
    {
      "logType": "DATA_READ"
      "exemptedMembers": [ PRINCIPAL,]
    },
    {
      "logType": "DATA_WRITE"
      "exemptedMembers": [ PRINCIPAL,]
    },
  ]
},

SERVICE is service name such as "appengine.googleapis.com", or it is the special value, "allServices". If a configuration doesn't mention a particular service, then the broader configuration is used for that service. If there is no configuration, then Data Access audit logs aren't enabled for that service. For a list of the service names, see Log services.

The auditLogConfigs section of the AuditConfig object is a list of 0 to 3 objects, each of which configures one kind of audit log information. If you omit one of the kinds from the list, then that kind of information isn't enabled for the service.

PRINCIPAL is a user for whom Data Access audit logs isn't collected. The Binding type describes different kinds of principals, including users and groups, but not all of those can be used to configure Data Access audit logs.

Following is an example of an audit configuration in both JSON and YAML formats. The YAML format is the default when using the Google Cloud CLI.

JSON

"auditConfigs": [
  {
    "auditLogConfigs": [
      {
        "logType": "ADMIN_READ"
      },
      {
        "logType": "DATA_WRITE"
      },
      {
        "logType": "DATA_READ"
      }
    ],
    "service": "allServices"
  },
  {
    "auditLogConfigs": [
      {
        "exemptedMembers": [
          "499862534253-compute@developer.gserviceaccount.com"
        ],
        "logType": "ADMIN_READ"
      }
    ],
    "service": "cloudsql.googleapis.com"
  }
],

YAML

auditConfigs:
- auditLogConfigs:
  - logType: ADMIN_READ
  - logType: DATA_WRITE
  - logType: DATA_READ
  service: allServices
- auditLogConfigs:
  - exemptedMembers:
    - 499862534253-compute@developer.gserviceaccount.com
    logType: ADMIN_READ
  service: cloudsql.googleapis.com

Common configurations

Following are some common audit log configurations for Cloud projects.

Enable all Data Access audit logs

The following auditConfigs section enables Data Access audit logs for all services and principals:

JSON

"auditConfigs": [
      {
        "service": "allServices",
        "auditLogConfigs": [
          { "logType": "ADMIN_READ" },
          { "logType": "DATA_READ"  },
          { "logType": "DATA_WRITE" },
        ]
      },
    ]

YAML

auditConfigs:
- auditLogConfigs:
  - logType: ADMIN_READ
  - logType: DATA_WRITE
  - logType: DATA_READ
  service: allServices

Enable one service and information kind

The following configuration enables DATA_WRITE Data Access audit logs for Cloud SQL:

JSON

"auditConfigs": [
  {
    "service": "cloudsql.googleapis.com",
    "auditLogConfigs": [
      { "logType": "DATA_WRITE" },
    ]
  },
]

YAML

auditConfigs:
- auditLogConfigs:
  - logType: DATA_WRITE
  service: cloudsql.googleapis.com

Disable all Data Access audit logs

To disable all Data Access audit logs (except BigQuery) in a Cloud project, include an empty auditConfigs: section in your new IAM policy:

JSON

"auditConfigs": [],

YAML

auditConfigs:

If you remove the auditConfigs section entirely from your new policy, then setIamPolicy doesn't change the existing Data Access audit logs configuration. For more information, see The setIamPolicy update mask.

BigQuery Data Access audit logs can't be disabled.

getIamPolicy and setIamPolicy

You use the Resource Manager API getIamPolicy and setIamPolicy methods to read and write your IAM policy. You have several choices for the specific methods to use:

  • The Resource Manager API has the following methods:

    projects.getIamPolicy
    projects.setIamPolicy
    organizations.getIamPolicy
    organizations.setIamPolicy
    
  • The Google Cloud CLI has the following Resource Manager commands:

    gcloud projects get-iam-policy
    gcloud projects set-iam-policy
    gcloud resource-manager folders get-iam-policy
    gcloud resource-manager folders set-iam-policy
    gcloud organizations get-iam-policy
    gcloud organizations set-iam-policy
    gcloud beta billing accounts get-iam-policy
    gcloud beta billing accounts set-iam-policy
    

Regardless of your choice, follow these three steps:

  1. Read the current policy using one of the getIamPolicy methods. Save the policy to a temporary file.
  2. Edit the policy in the temporary file. Change (or add) only the auditConfigs section.
  3. Write the edited policy in the temporary file, using one of the setIamPolicy methods.

setIamPolicy fails if Resource Manager detects that someone else changed the policy after you read it in the first step. If this happens, then repeat the three steps.

Examples

The following examples demonstrate how to configure your project's Data Access audit logs using the gcloud command and the Resource Manager API.

To configure organization Data Access audit logs, replace the "projects" version of the commands and API methods with the "organizations" version.

gcloud

To configure your Data Access audit logs using the gcloud projects command, do the following:

  1. Read your project's IAM policy and store it in a file:

    gcloud projects get-iam-policy PROJECT_ID > /tmp/policy.yaml
    

    The returned policy is shown below. This policy doesn't yet have an auditConfigs section:

    bindings:
    - members:
      - user:colleague@example.com
      role: roles/editor
    - members:
      - user:myself@example.com
      role: roles/owner
    etag: BwVM-FDzeYM=
    version: 1
    
  2. Edit your policy in /tmp/policy.yaml, adding or changing only the Data Access audit logs configuration.

    An example of your edited policy, which enables Cloud SQL data-write Data Access audit logs, is shown below. Four lines have been added to the beginning:

    auditConfigs:
    - auditLogConfigs:
      - logType: DATA_WRITE
      service: cloudsql.googleapis.com
    bindings:
    - members:
      - user:colleague@example.com
      role: roles/editor
    - members:
      - user:myself@example.com
      role: roles/owner
    etag: BwVM-FDzeYM=
    version: 1
    
  3. Write your new IAM policy:

    gcloud projects set-iam-policy PROJECT_ID /tmp/policy.yaml
    

    If the preceding command reports a conflict with another change, then repeat these steps, starting with the first step.

JSON

To work with your IAM policy in JSON format instead of YAML, substitute the following gcloud commands into the example:

gcloud projects get-iam-policy PROJECT_ID --format=json >/tmp/policy.json
gcloud projects set-iam-policy PROJECT_ID /tmp/policy.json

API

To configure your Data Access audit logs using the Resource Manager API, do the following:

  1. Read your project's IAM policy, specifying the following parameters to the getIamPolicy API method:

    • resource: projects/PROJECT_ID
    • Request body: empty

    The method returns the current policy object, shown below. This project's policy doesn't yet have an auditConfigs section:

    {
      "bindings": [
      {
        "members": [
          "user:colleague@example.com"
        ],
        "role": "roles/editor"
      },
      {
        "members": [
          "user:myself@example.com"
        ],
        "role": "roles/owner"
      }
    ],
    "etag": "BwUsv2gimRs=",
    "version": 1
    

    }

  2. Edit the current policy:

    • Change or add the auditConfigs section.

      To disable your Data Access audit logs, include an empty value for the section: auditConfigs:[].

    • Preserve the value of etag.

    You can also remove all other information from the new policy object, as long as you're careful to set updateMask in the next step. The edited policy, which enables Cloud SQL data-write audit logs, is shown below:

    {
      "auditConfigs": [
        {
          "auditLogConfigs": [
            {
              "logType": "DATA_WRITE"
            }
          ],
          "service": "cloudsql.googleapis.com"
        }
      ],
      "etag": "BwVM-FDzeYM="
    }
    
  3. Write the new policy using the setIamPolicy API method, specifying the following parameters:

    • resource: projects/PROJECT_ID
    • Request body:
      • updateMask: "auditConfigs,etag"
      • policy: your edited policy object

The setIamPolicy update mask

This section explains the importance of the updateMask parameter in the setIamPolicy method, and explains why you must be careful with the gcloud CLI set-iam-policy command so that you don't cause accidental harm to your Cloud project or organization.

The setIamPolicy API method uses an updateMask parameter to control which policy fields are updated. For example, if the mask does not contain bindings, then you can't accidentally change that policy section. On the other hand, if the mask does contain bindings, then that section is always updated. If you don't include an updated value for bindings, then that section is removed entirely from the policy.

The gcloud projects set-iam-policy command, which calls setIamPolicy, doesn't let you specify the updateMask parameter. Instead, the command computes a value for updateMask in the following way:

  • The updateMask always contains the fields bindings and etag.
  • If the policy object supplied in set-iam-policy contains any other top-level fields—such as auditConfigs—then those fields are added to updateMask.

As a consequence of these rules, the set-iam-policy command has the following behaviors:

  • If you omit the auditConfigs section in your new policy, then the previous value of auditConfigs section (if any) isn't changed, because that section isn't in the update mask. This is harmless but might be confusing.

  • If you omit bindings in your new policy object, then the bindings section is removed from your policy, since this section appears in the update mask. This is very harmful, and causes all principals to lose access to your Cloud project.

  • If you omit etag in your new policy object, this disables the checking for concurrent changes to your policy and might result in your changes accidentally overwriting someone else's changes.