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Context-Aware Access log events

Security investigation tool
Supported editions for this feature: Enterprise Plus, Education Plus

As your organization's administrator, you can use the security investigation tool to run searches related to Context-Aware Access log events, and take action based on the results. From the investigation tool, you can view a record of actions to troubleshoot when a user is denied access to an app. Entries usually appear within an hour of when the user’s access is denied.

For more information, go to Context-Aware Access overview.

Your access to the security investigation tool

  • Supported editions for the security investigation tool include Enterprise Plus, Education Standard, Education Plus, and Enterprise Essentials Plus.
  • Admins with Cloud Identity Premium, Frontline Standard, Enterprise Standard, and Education Standard can also use the investigation tool for a subset of data sources.
  • Your ability to run a search in the investigation tool depends on your Google edition, your administrative privileges, and the data source. If you're unable to run a search in the investigation tool for a specific data source, you can use the audit and investigation page instead. For more information, go to Improved audit and investigation experience.
  • You can run a search in the investigation tool on all users, regardless of the Google edition they have.

Run a search for Context-Aware Access log events

To run a search in the investigation tool, first choose the data source. Then, choose one or more conditions for the search. For each condition, choose an attribute, an operator, and a value

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

    Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. On the left of the Admin console Home page, click Securityand thenSecurity centerand thenInvestigation tool.
  3. Click Data sourceand thenselect Context-Aware Access log events.
  4. Click Add Condition.
    Note: You can include one or more conditions in your search. You also can customize your search with nested queries—searches with 2 or 3 levels of conditions (for details, see Customize your search with nested queries).
  5. Click Attributeand thenselect an attribute—for example, Actor or Date. For a complete list of attributes that are available for Context-Aware Access log events, go to Attribute descriptions below.
    Note: If you narrow the date range for your search, your results will appear in the investigation tool sooner. For example, if you narrow the search to events that happened in the last week, the query returns faster than if you search without restricting the query to a shorter period of time.
  6. Select an operator—for example, Is, Is not, Contains, or Does not contain.
  7. Choose or enter a value for the attribute. For some attributes, you select from a list and for others, you enter a value.
  8. (Optional) To include multiple search conditions, repeat steps 4–7.
  9. Click Search.
    Search results in the investigation tool are displayed in a table at the bottom of the page.
  10. (Optional) To save your search results, on the right, click Save and thenenter a Title and Descriptionand thenclick Save.


  • Using the Condition builder tab, filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators. You can also use the Filter tab to include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results.
  • If you gave a user a new name, you will not see query results with the user's old name. For example, if you rename to, you will not see results for events related to

Attribute descriptions

For this data source, you can use the following attributes when searching log event data:

Attribute Description
Actor Email address of the user who performed the action
Actor group name

Group name of the actor. For more information, go to Filtering results by Google Group.

To add a group to your filtering groups allowlist:

  1. Select Actor group name.
  2. Click Filtering groups.
    The Filtering groups page displays.
  3. Click Add Groups.
  4. Search for a group by entering the first few characters of its name or email address. When you see the group you want, select it.
  5. (Optional) To add another group, search for and select the group.
  6. When you finish selecting groups, click Add.
  7. (Optional) To remove a group, click Remove group .
  8. Click Save.
Actor organizational unit Organizational unit of the actor
Application Can be either:
  • The application the user was denied access to
  • (For API access) The calling application which attempted to access a blocked API.
Blocked API access The API of the application the user was denied access to. For API access, the API that the calling application was blocked from accessing.
Date Date and time of the event (displayed in your browser's default time zone)
Device ID The device's ID, as shown in Admin console Home pageand thenDevices 
Device state State of the device used to perform this access—for example, Normal, Out of sync (stale or old), or Cross organization (device doesn't belong to your organization)
Event The logged event action:
  • Access Denied—Access was denied to the listed user (Actor) for the listed application.
  • Access Denied (Monitor mode)—Indicates when access would be denied, if the access level were in Active mode. See Deploy Context-Aware Access.
  • Access Denied Internal Error—Policy enforcement failed (access was denied) due to an issue with the enforcement server.
IP address IP address of the actor

Take action based on search results

After you run a search in the investigation tool, you can act on your search results. For example, you can run a search based on Gmail log events, and then use the investigation tool to delete specific messages, send messages to quarantine, or send messages to users' inboxes. For more details about actions in the investigation tool, go to Take action based on search results.

Create activity rules & set up alerts

To help prevent, detect, and remediate security issues efficiently, you can automate actions in the investigation tool and set up alerts by creating activity rules. To set up a rule, set up conditions for the rule, and then specify what actions to perform when the conditions are met. For details and instructions, go to Create and manage activity rules.

Manage your investigations

Expand all  |  Collapse all & go to top

View your list of investigations

To view a list of the investigations that you own and that were shared with you, click View investigations. The investigation list includes the names, descriptions, and owners of the investigations, and the date last modified. 

From this list, you can take action on any investigations that you own—for example, to delete an investigation. Check the box for an investigation, and then click Actions.

Note: Directly above your list of investigations, under Quick access, you can view recently saved investigations.

Configure settings for your investigations

As a super administrator, click Settings to :

  • Change the time zone for your investigations. The time zone applies to search conditions and results.
  • Turn on or off Require reviewer. For more details, go to Require reviewers for bulk actions.
  • Turn on or off View content. This setting allows admins with the appropriate privileges to view content.
  • Turn on or off Enable action justification.

For instructions and details, go to Configure settings for your investigations.

Manage columns in your search results

You can control which data columns appear in your search results. 

  1. At the top-right of the search results table, click Manage columns.
  2. (Optional) To remove current columns, click Remove item.
  3. (Optional) To add columns, next to Add new column, click the Down arrowand select the data column.
    Repeat as needed.
  4. (Optional) To change the order of the columns, drag the column name.
  5. Click Save.
Export data from search results

You can export search results in the investigation tool to Google Sheets or to a CSV file. For instructions, see Export search results.

Share, delete, and duplicate investigations

To save your search criteria or share it with others, you can create and save an investigation, and then share, duplicate, or delete it.

For details, go to Save, share, delete, and duplicate investigations.

When and how long is data available?

For more information about data sources, go to Data retention and lag times.

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