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Enable and manage OpenSearch® Audit logs

Aiven for OpenSearch® enables audit logging functionality via the OpenSearch Security dashboard, which allows OpenSearch Security administrators to track system events, security-related events, and user activity. These audit logs contain information about user actions, such as login attempts, API calls, index operations, and other security-related events.

This article details the steps required to enable, configure, and visualize OpenSearch audit logs through the OpenSearch Security dashboard.


After enabling audit logs in the service's advanced configuration, proceed to enable them in the OpenSearch® Security dashboard.

Enabling audit logs in Aiven for OpenSearch

By default, audit logs are disabled in Aiven for OpenSearch. To enable them:

  1. Access your Aiven for OpenSearch service in the Aiven Console.
  2. From the left sidebar, click Service settings
  3. Scroll to the Advanced configuration and click Configure.
  4. In the Advanced configuration dialog, click Add configuration to options.
  5. Use the search function to locate the enable_security_audit configuration and switch it to the Enabled position.
  6. Click Save configuration to save your changes and enable audit logging.

After enabling audit logs in the service's advanced configuration, proceed to enable them in the OpenSearch® Security dashboard.

Enable audit logs in OpenSearch® Security dashboard

To enable audit logs in OpenSearch® Security dashboard, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the OpenSearch® Dashboard using OpenSearch® Security admin credentials.
  2. Select Security from the left-side menu.
  3. Select Audit logs.
  4. Toggle the switch next to Enable audit logging to the on position.

The storage location for audit logs on your Aiven for OpenSearch service is configured to be stored on the cluster's storage and cannot be changed.

Audit log event types

OpenSearch® enables audit logging for HTTP requests(REST) and the transport layer, capturing various events related to user authentication, privileges, security, and more.

The following are the types of audit events recorded by OpenSearch:

  • FAILED_LOGIN: User authentication failure.
  • AUTHENTICATED: User authentication success.
  • MISSING_PRIVILEGES: User does not have request privileges.
  • GRANTED_PRIVILEGES: User's privileges successfully granted.
  • SSL_EXCEPTION: Invalid SSL/TLS certificate in request.
  • opensearch_SECURITY_INDEX_ATTEMPT: Unauthorized security plugin modification attempt.
  • BAD_HEADERS: Attempted request spoofing with internal security headers.

Configure audit logging

Customize the audit logging settings in OpenSearch® Security to align with your organization's specific requirements. The configuration process involves two primary sections: General and Compliance settings, each offering distinct options:

  • General settings: Adjust logging for REST and Transport layers, tailor log data for each event, and set preferences to selectively exclude specific users or requests, ensuring log relevance and operational efficiency.
  • Compliance settings: Enable compliance mode to meet regulatory standards and activate tamper-evident logging. You can also enable logging for internal and external configuration changes as well as metadata logging options for a robust security posture.
  • You cannot modify the name of the audit log index for your Aiven for OpenSearch service as it is set to the default name auditlog-YYYY.MM.dd.
  • You cannot change the size of the thread pool using OpenSearch.yml.

Optimize audit log configuration

Optimize audit log configuration in OpenSearch Security to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

  • Exclude irrelevant event categories.
  • Consider disabling logging for Rest and Transport layers.
  • Disable request body logging for sensitive information.
  • Regularly review and maintain audit log configuration.

Visualize audit log

Visualizing audit logs is an effective way to understand the extensive data generated by these logs. Visualization can help identify patterns or anomalies that may indicate security risks or system issues by presenting the information in user-friendly graphical formats.

To access and visualize audit logs in OpenSearch, follow the steps below:

  1. Create an index pattern: In the Stack Management section, establish an index pattern to organize your log data.
  2. Create a visualization: Go to the Visualize section, where you can design and tailor visualizations to suit your analysis needs.
  3. Save and modify visualization: Once you've created a visualization, save it for future reference. You can always return to modify and update it as your requirements evolve