Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 87: Information Security

Audit and Accountability

BPPM 87.50

For more information contact:
   Information Technology Services


Auditing and logging are necessary for detecting significant auditable events and those that are relevant to the security of information systems, institutional data, and the environment in which they operate.

See BPPM 87.01 for definitions related to this section. See also the Audit and Accountability Standard.


Auditing and logging controls are required for compliance with state, federal, and industry information security and privacy policies, regulations, and standards.


This policy (BPPM 87.50) applies to all institutional business units, workforce members, and institutional information systems that collect, store, process, share, or transmit institutional data.


Information owners are accountable for developing appropriate procedures for the implementation of this policy.

Important! Information owners are to develop procedures to implement this policy (BPPM 87.50) in a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 12 months after this policy goes into effect.

Event Identification

Information system owners must identity the events each information system is capable of logging and auditing, related to the information systems for which they are responsible.

Based on the information system environment and the security controls to be implemented, information system owners must determine:

  • An appropriate list of events that are to be logged and audited within the information system; and
  • The frequency the events are to be audited.

Audit Logs

Information systems must generate audit records for the events that have been determined to be audited, that contain information that is relevant to the recorded event.

Retention Requirement

Information system owners must transfer and/or store audit logs in a different system(s) from those generating the logs.

Coordinating Functions

Information system owners are to coordinate their logging and auditing functions with central Information Technology Services (ITS), other University business units, and third parties who provide and/or require audit information, to support auditing and compliance needs.

NOTE: The central information technology departments are WSU ITS in Pullman, and ITS in Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett, collectively referred to as central ITS.

Audit Storage Capacity

Information systems must allocate the required audit record storage capacity in accordance with the appropriate institutional, state, federal, and industry policies, standards, laws, and regulations for retention.

Audit Processing Failure

In the event of an audit processing failure, a notification should be sent to the information system owner and other appropriate business unit personnel according to their roles. The action to take in case of an audit failure is to be identified based on:

  • Risk associated with losing audit records;
  • Severity of the system processing failure;
  • Classification of the system and data;
  • Regulatory requirements; and/or
  • Other appropriate factors.

Audit Review

Business units must review and analyze information system audit records on a regular basis for unintended disclosure, unusual and/or malicious activity. Audit reviews are to be reported to the information system owner and other appropriate business unit personnel according to their roles.

Audit Records

Information system owners must provide the capability to process, sort, and search audit records, as well as generate reports in support of investigative, regulatory, and/or legal requirements.

Logging systems must generate audit records with time stamps that are synchronized with an approved accurate time source.


Information systems must be configured to protect audit information and audit logging tools from unauthorized access, modification, and deletion.


The Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible and has the authority for enforcing compliance with this policy.


Persons determined to have violated this policy are subject to sanctions imposed using the procedures set forth in applicable University or state policies and handbooks (e.g., the WSU Faculty Manual, the Administrative Professional Handbook, WAC 357-40 (civil service employees), applicable collective bargaining agreements, or WAC 504-26: WSU Standards of Conduct for Students).


Exceptions to this policy are managed and maintained by the Office of the CIO, under the guidance of the University Chief Information Security Officer (CSIO).

The Office of the CIO must document and maintain all policy exceptions in writing for the life of the exception. Approvals for policy exceptions are effective for a specified period of time and must be reviewed by the Office of the CIO on a periodic basis.


The Office of the CIO is to review this policy every three years or on an as-needed basis due to changes to technology environments, business operations, standards, or regulatory requirements.

Revisions:  July 2020 – new policy (Rev. 552)