Device log events

Review activities on your organization’s devices
As your organization's administrator, you can run searches and take action on security issues related to Device log events. You can view a record of actions on computers, mobile devices, and smart home devices that are used to access your organization's data. For example, you can see when a user added their account to a device or if a device’s password doesn’t follow your password policy. You can also set an alert to be notified when an activity occurs.

Before you begin

  • To see all audit events for mobile devices, the devices need to be managed using advanced device management
  • To see changes to applications on Android devices, you must turn on application auditing.
  • You can’t see activities for devices that sync corporate data using Google Sync.
  • If you downgrade to an edition that doesn't support the audit log, the audit log stops collecting data for new events. However, old data is still available to admins.

Your access to log events

  • Your ability to run a search depends on your Google edition, your administrative privileges, and the data source. You can run a search on all users, regardless of their Google Workspace edition.
  • Your Workspace subscription provides access to the log events using either the Audit & investigation tool or the Security center. 
    • Premium Google Workspace editions (Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Standard, or Education Plus) provide access to the Security Center and the more advanced features of the security investigation tool. The investigation tool enables super admins to identify, triage, and take action on security and privacy issues. For details, see About the security investigation tool.
    • All other Google Workspace editions can access the logs using the Audit and Investigation tool. For details, see About the audit and investigation page.

Forward log event data to Google Cloud

You can opt in to share the log event data with Google Cloud. If you turn on sharing, data is forwarded to Cloud Logging where you can query and view your logs and control how you route and store your logs.

Run a search for log events

Audit and investigation tool

To run a search for log events, first choose a data source. Then choose one or more filters for your search.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. On the left, click Reportingand thenAudit and investigationand thenDevice log events.
  3. Click Add a filter, and then select an attribute.
  4. In the pop-up window, select an operatorand thenselect a valueand thenclick Apply.
    (Optional) To create multiple filters for your search:
    1. Click Add a filter and repeat step 3.
    2. (Optional) To add a search operator, above Add a filter, select AND or OR.
    • (Optional) To create multiple filters for your search, repeat this step.
    • (Optional) To add a search operator, above Add a filter, select AND or OR
  5. Click Search.
  6. Note: Using the Filter tab, you can include simple parameter and value pairs to filter the search results. You can also use the Condition builder tab, where the filters are represented as conditions with AND/OR operators.

Security investigation tool

Requires a premium Google Workspace edition (Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, or Education Plus)

To run a search in the investigation tool, first choose a data source. Then choose one or more conditions for your 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 @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Securityand thenSecurity centerand thenInvestigation tool.
  3. Click Data source and select Device log events.
  4. Click Add Condition.
    Tip: You can include one or more conditions in your search or customize your search with nested queries. For details, go to Customize your search with nested queries.
  5. Click Attributeand thenselect an option.
    For a complete list of attributes, go to the Attribute descriptions section (later on this page).
  6. Click Containsand thenselect an operator.
  7. Enter a value or select a value from the list.
  8. (Optional) To add more search conditions, repeat steps 4–7.
  9. Click Search.
    You can review the search results from the investigation tool in a table at the bottom of the page.
  10. (Optional) To save your investigation, click Saveand thenenter a title and descriptionand thenclick Save.

Notes

  • In 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 OldName@example.com to NewName@example.com, you will not see results for events related to OldName@example.com.

Attribute descriptions

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

Attribute Description
Account state Whether the account is registered or unregistered
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 ID Identifier for the application
Application SHA-256 hash For app-related events, the SHA-256 hash of the application package (Android only)
Application state Whether the application is installed, uninstalled, or updated
Date Date and time of the event (displayed in your browser's default time zone)
Device compliance state

Whether the device complies with your organization’s policies

A device is marked not compliant if it:

Example: User's Nexus 6P is not compliant with set policies because device is not adhering to password policy.

Device compromised state

Whether the device is compromised. Devices can become compromised if they’re rooted or jailbroken—processes that remove restrictions on a device. Compromised devices can be a potential security threat.

The system records an entry each time a user’s device is compromised or no longer compromised. 

Example: User's Nexus 5 is compromised.

Device ID Identifier for the device that the event happened on
Device model The model of the device
Device owner The owner of the device
Device ownership

Whether the ownership of the device changed

For example, a personal device was changed to company owned after its details were imported into the Admin console. 

This audit occurs immediately after a company owned device is added to the Admin console. If a company-owned device is deleted from the Admin console, the audit occurs at the next sync (after it’s reenrolled for management).

Example: Ownership of user’s Nexus 5 has changed to company owned, with new device ID abcd1234.

Device property Information about the device, such as Device model, Serial number, or WiFi MAC address
Device setting

The device user changed the developer options, unknown sources, USB debugging, or verify apps setting on their device.  

This event is recorded the next time the device syncs. 

Example: Verify Apps changed from off to on by user on Nexus 6P.

Device type Type of device that the event happened on, for example, Android or Apple iOS
Domain* The domain where the action occurred
Event The logged event action, such as Device OS update or Device sync event
Failed password attempts*

The number of failed attempts by a user to unlock a device

An event is generated only if there are more than 5 failed attempts to unlock a user's device. 

Example: Five failed attempts to unlock user's Nexus 7

iOS vendor ID Identifier for the iOS vendor
New device ID Identifier for the new device
OS property Information about the OS, such as Build number, OS version, or Security patch
Register privilege The role of the user for a device, such as Device owner or Device administrator
Resource ID Unique identifier for the device
Serial number

The serial number of the device

To display the serial number for computers: 

User email Email address of the device user
* You cannot create reporting rules with these filters. Learn more about reporting rules versus activity rules.

Note: 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 OldName@example.com to NewName@example.com, you will not see results for events related to OldName@example.com.

Manage log event data

Manage search results column data

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 .
  3. (Optional) To add columns, next to Add new column, click the Down arrow  and select the data column.
    Repeat as needed.
  4. (Optional) To change the order of the columns, drag the data column names.
  5. Click Save.

Export search result data

You can export search results in the investigation tool to Google Sheets or to a CSV file.

  1. At the top of the search results table, click Export all.
  2. Enter a name and then click Export.
    The export displays below the search results table under Export action results.
  3. To view the data, click the name of your export.
    The export opens in Google Sheets.

Export limits vary depending on your Google Workspace edition:

  • Premium edition (Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Standard, or Education Plus)The total results of the export are limited to 30 million rows (except for Gmail message searches, which are limited to 10,000 rows).
  • All other Google Workspace editions—The total results of the export are limited to 100,000 rows (except for Gmail message searches, which are limited to 10,000 rows).

For more information, see Export search results.

When and how long is data available?

Take action based on search results

Create activity rules & set up alerts

Rules and alert features vary depending on your Google Workspace edition:

Premium editions (Enterprise Plus, Enterprise Standard, or Education Plus)—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, see Create and manage activity rules.

All other Google Workspace editions—You can set up alerts based on log event data using reporting rules. For instructions, see Create and manage reporting rules.

Take action based on search results

 Requires a premium Google Workspace edition (Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, or Education Plus)

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.

Manage your investigations

 Requires a premium Google Workspace edition (Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, or Education Plus)

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.

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.

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