Security Command Center audit logging information

This page describes the audit logs created by Security Command Center as part of Cloud Audit Logs.


Google Cloud services write audit logs to help you answer the questions, "Who did what, where, and when?" Your Cloud projects each contain only the audit logs for resources that are directly within the project. Other entities, such as folders, organizations, and billing accounts, each contain the audit logs for the entity itself.

For a general overview of Cloud Audit Logs, go to Cloud Audit Logs. For a deeper understanding of Cloud Audit Logs, review Understanding audit logs.

Cloud Audit Logs maintains three audit logs for each Google Cloud project, folder, and organization:

  • Admin Activity audit logs
  • Data Access audit logs
  • System Event audit logs

Security Command Center writes Admin Activity audit logs. Admin Activity audit logs record operations that modify the configuration or metadata of Security Command Center internal resources: Security Command Center organization settings and Security Command Center IAM settings. You can't disable Admin Activity audit logs.

Only if explicitly enabled, Security Command Center writes Data Access audit logs. Data Access audit logs contain API calls that read the configuration or metadata of resources, as well as user-driven API calls that create, modify, or read user-provided resource data. Data Access audit logs do not record the data-access operations on resources that are publicly shared (available to All Users or All Authenticated Users) or that can be accessed without logging into Google Cloud.

Security Command Center doesn't write System Event audit logs.

Audited operations

The following summarizes which API operations correspond to each audit log type in Security Command Center:

Audit logs category Security Command Center operations
Admin Activity audit logs
  • organizations.updateOrganizationSettings
  • organizations.sources.setIamPolicy
  • projects.threatdetection.sourceSettings.update
  • projects.threatdetection.sourceSettings.clear
  • organizations.containerThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • folders.containerThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • projects.containerThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • projects.locations.clusters.containerThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • organizations.eventThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • folders.eventThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • projects.eventThreatDetectionSettings.update
  • organizations.securityCenterSettings.update
  • organizations.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.update
  • folders.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.update
  • projects.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.update
  • organizations.webSecurityScannerSettings.update
  • folders.webSecurityScannerSettings.update
  • projects.webSecurityScannerSettings.update
  • projects.webSecurityScannerSettings.get
Data Access audit logs
  • Organizations
    • organizations.getOrganizationSettings
  • Assets
    • organizations.assets.list
    • organizations.assets.runDiscovery
    • organizations.assets.updateSecurityMarks
  • Findings
    • organizations.sources.findings.create
    • organizations.sources.findings.list
    • organizations.sources.findings.patch
    • organizations.sources.findings.setState
    • organizations.sources.findings.updateSecurityMarks
  • Notifications
    • organizations.notificationConfigs.create
    • organizations.notificationConfigs.delete
    • organizations.notificationConfigs.get
    • organizations.notificationConfigs.list
    • organizations.notificationConfigs.patch
  • Settings
    • organizations.containerThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • organizations.containerThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • folders.containerThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • folders.containerThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • projects.containerThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • projects.containerThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • projects.locations.clusters.containerThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • projects.locations.clusters.containerThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • organizations.eventThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • organizations.eventThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • folders.eventThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • folders.eventThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • projects.eventThreatDetectionSettings.calculate
    • projects.eventThreatDetectionSettings.get
    • organizations.securityCenterSettings.get
    • organizations.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.calculate
    • organizations.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.get
    • folders.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.calculate
    • folders.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.get
    • projects.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.calculate
    • projects.securityHealthAnalyticsSettings.get
    • organizations.securitycenter.subscription.get
    • organizations.webSecurityScannerSettings.calculate
    • organizations.webSecurityScannerSettings.get
    • folders.webSecurityScannerSettings.calculate
    • folders.webSecurityScannerSettings.get
    • projects.webSecurityScannerSettings.calculate
    • projects.webSecurityScannerSettings.get
  • Sources
    • organizations.sources.create
    • organizations.sources.get
    • organizations.sources.getIamPolicy
    • organizations.sources.list
    • organizations.sources.patch
    • projects.threatdetection.sourceSettings.get
System Event audit logs n/a

Audit log format

Audit log entries—which can be viewed in Cloud Logging using the Logs Viewer, the Cloud Logging API, or the Google Cloud CLI—include the following objects:

  • The log entry itself, which is an object of type LogEntry. Useful fields include the following:

    • logName contains the project identification and audit log type
    • resource contains the target of the audited operation
    • timeStamp contains the time of the audited operation
    • protoPayload contains the audited information
  • The audit logging data, which is an AuditLog object held in the protoPayload field of the log entry.

  • Optional service-specific audit information, which is a service-specific object held in the serviceData field of the AuditLog object. For details, go to Service-specific audit data.

For other fields in these objects, plus how to interpret them, review Understanding audit logs.

Log name

Cloud Audit Logs resource names indicate the project or other entity that owns the audit logs, and whether the log contains Admin Activity, Data Access, or System Event audit logging data. For example, the following shows log names for a project's Admin Activity audit logs and an organization's Data Access audit logs:


Service name

Security Command Center audit logs use the service name

For more details on logging services, go to Mapping services to resources.

Resource types

Security Command Center audit logs use the resource type audited_resource for all audit logs.

For a full list, go to Monitored resource types.

Enabling audit logging

Admin Activity audit logs are always enabled; you can't disable them.

Data Access audit logs are disabled by default and aren't written unless explicitly enabled (the exception is Data Access audit logs for BigQuery, which cannot be disabled).

For instructions on enabling some or all of your Data Access audit logs, go to Configuring Data Access logs.

The Data Access audit logs that you configure can affect your logs pricing in Cloud Logging. Review the Pricing section on this page.

Audit log permissions

Identity and Access Management permissions and roles determine which audit logs you can view or export. Logs reside in projects and in some other entities including organizations, folders, and billing accounts. For more information, go to Understanding roles.

To view Admin Activity audit logs, you must have one of the following IAM roles in the project that contains your audit logs:

  • Project Owner, Project Editor, or Project Viewer.
  • Logging's Logs Viewer role.
  • A custom IAM role with the logging.logEntries.list IAM permission.

To view Data Access audit logs, you must have one of the following roles in the project that contains your audit logs:

If you are using audit logs from a non-project entity, such as an organization, then change the Project roles to suitable organization roles.

Viewing logs

To query for audit logs, you need to know the audit log name, which includes the resource identifier of the Cloud project, folder, billing account, or organization for which you want to view audit logging information. In your query, you can further specify other indexed LogEntry fields, such as resource.type. For more information on querying, see Build queries in the Logs Explorer.

You can view audit logs in Cloud Logging by using the Cloud console, the Google Cloud CLI, or the Logging API.


In the Cloud console, you can use the Logs Explorer to retrieve your audit log entries for your Cloud project, folder, or organization:

  1. In the Cloud console, go to the Logging> Logs Explorer page.

    Go to Logs Explorer

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

  3. In the Query builder pane, do the following:

    • In Resource type, select the Google Cloud resource whose audit logs you want to see.

    • In Log name, select the audit log type that you want to see:

      • For Admin Activity audit logs, select activity.
      • For Data Access audit logs, select data_access.
      • For System Event audit logs, select system_event.
      • For Policy Denied audit logs, select policy.

    If you don't see these options, then there aren't any audit logs of that type available in the Cloud project, folder, or organization.

    If you're experiencing issues when trying to view logs in the Logs Explorer, see the troubleshooting information.

    For more information about querying by using the Logs Explorer, see Build queries in the Logs Explorer.


The Google Cloud CLI provides a command-line interface to the Logging API. Supply a valid resource identifier in each of the log names. For example, if your query includes a PROJECT_ID, then the project identifier you supply must refer to the currently selected Cloud project.

To read your Cloud project-level audit log entries, run the following command:

gcloud logging read "logName : projects/PROJECT_ID/logs/" \

To read your folder-level audit log entries, run the following command:

gcloud logging read "logName : folders/FOLDER_ID/logs/" \

To read your organization-level audit log entries, run the following command:

gcloud logging read "logName : organizations/ORGANIZATION_ID/logs/" \

To read your Cloud Billing account-level audit log entries, run the following command:

gcloud logging read "logName : billingAccounts/BILLING_ACCOUNT_ID/logs/" \

Add the --freshness flag to your command to read logs that are more than 1 day old.

For more information about using the gcloud CLI, see gcloud logging read.


When building your queries, supply a valid resource identifier in each of the log names. For example, if your query includes a PROJECT_ID, then the project identifier you supply must refer to the currently selected Cloud project.

For example, to use the Logging API to view your project-level audit log entries, do the following:

  1. Go to the Try this API section in the documentation for the entries.list method.

  2. Put the following into the Request body part of the Try this API form. Clicking this prepopulated form automatically fills the request body, but you need to supply a valid PROJECT_ID in each of the log names.

      "resourceNames": [
      "pageSize": 5,
      "filter": "logName : projects/PROJECT_ID/logs/"
  3. Click Execute.

Exporting audit logs

You can export audit logs in the same way you export other kinds of logs. For details about how to export your logs, go to Exporting logs. Here are some applications of exporting audit logs:

  • To keep audit logs for a longer period of time or to use more powerful search capabilities, you can export copies of your audit logs to Cloud Storage, BigQuery, or Pub/Sub. Using Pub/Sub, you can export to other applications, other repositories, and to third parties.

  • To manage your audit logs across an entire organization, you can create aggregated sinks that can export logs from any or all projects in the organization.

  • If your enabled Data Access audit logs are pushing your projects over their logs allotments, you can export and exclude the Data Access audit logs from Logging. For details, go to Excluding logs.


Cloud Logging does not charge you for audit logs that cannot be disabled, including all Admin Activity audit logs. Cloud Logging charges you for Data Access audit logs that you explicitly request.

For more information on audit logs pricing, review Google Cloud's operations suite pricing.