Folder Activities Test

Folders provide administrators with an efficient way to group and manage content in a SharePoint Online document library - for eg., using folders you can group reports by fiscal year or department.

By auditing operations performed on folders, administrators can quickly capture folder operations that are unauthorized/suspect, and even identify the users who may have performed them. Monitoring folder operations is also essential for assessing the workload of SharePoint Online and the type of operations that are contributing to the load. Using the Folder Activities test, administrators can efficiently audit and analyze the workload generated by folder operations.

This test tracks the folder operations that users perform on SharePoint Online and reports the total count of operations of each type. The load imposed by folder operations and the type of operations contributing to this load can thus be determined. Additionally, the count of unique users who performed the various folder operations is reported, with detailed diagnostics pointing administrators to the precise users and the operations they performed. This helps administrators identify users who may have performed an unauthorized operation. The unique clients from which the users initiated the folder operations and the unique sites where the folders are stored are provided as part of detailed diagnostics, so as to enable administrators audit the operations efficiently.

Target of the test : Microsoft SharePoint Online

Agent deploying the test : A remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for the Office 365 tenant being monitored

Configurable parameters for the test

Parameters Description

Test period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The host for which the test is to be configured. By default, this is portal.office.com

O365 User Name, O365 Password, and Confirm Password

For execution, this test requires the privileges of an O365 user who has been assigned the Service support admin and SharePoint admin roles and is vested with the View-Only Audit Logs permission. Configure the credentials of such a user against O365 User Name and O365 Password text boxes. Confirm the password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

While you can use the credentials of any existing O365 user with the afore-said privileges, it is recommended that you create a special user for monitoring purposes using the Office 365 portal and use the credentials of that user here. To know how to create a new user using the Office 365 portal and assign the required privileges to that user, refer to Creating a New User in the Office 365 Portal.

Domain, Domain User Name, Domain Password, and Confirm Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, in the Domain text box, specify the name of the Windows domain to which the eG agent host belongs. In the Domain User Name text box, mention the name of a valid domain user with login rights to the eG agent host. Provide the password of that user in the Domain Password text box and confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of these parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

Proxy Host, Proxy Port, Proxy User Name, and Proxy Password

These parameters are applicable only if the eG agent needs to communicate with the Office 365 portal via a Proxy server.

In this case, provide the IP/host name and port number of the Proxy server that the eG agent should use in the Proxy Host and Proxy Port parameters, respectively.

If the Proxy server requires authentication, then specify the credentials of a valid Proxy user against the Proxy User Name and Proxy Password text boxes. Confirm that password by retyping it in the Confirm Password text box. If the Proxy server does not require authentication, then specify none against the Proxy User Name, Proxy Password, and Confirm Password text boxes.

On the other hand, if the eG agent is not behind a Proxy server, then you need not disturb the default setting of any of the Proxy-related parameters. By default, these parameters are set to none.

Report System Account Log Entries

By default, this flag is set to No. This means that, by default, the test ignores all operations performed by Windows System Accounts. A System Account in Windows is used by the operating system and by services that run under Windows. There are many services and processes within Windows that need the capability to log on internally (for example during a Windows installation). The system account was designed for that purpose; it is an internal account, does not show up in User Manager, cannot be added to any groups, and cannot have user rights assigned to it. On the other hand, the system account does show up on an NTFS volume in File Manager in the Permissions portion of the Security menu. By default, the system account is granted full control to all files on an NTFS volume. Here the system account has the same functional privileges as the administrator account..

If you want the test to monitor and report on operations performed by Windows System Accounts as well, set this flag to Yes.

Note:

By default, this test does not monitor the operations of the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM and SHAREPOINT\system accounts. This is governed by the System_Account_Names parameter in the [SPO_Audited_Activities] section of the eg_tests.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory). If required, you can exclude more Windows system accounts from monitoring. For that, do the following:

  1. Edit the eg_tests.ini file (in the <EG_INSTALL_DIR>\manager\config directory).
  2. Look for the System_Account_Names parameter in the [SPO_Audited_Activities] section of the file. You will find that this parameter is by default set as follows:

    System_Account_Names=NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM,SHAREPOINT\system

  1. To exclude more Windows system accounts from monitoring, you need to modify the System_Account_Names parameter by appending more system accounts to the comma-separated list.
  2. Finally, save the file.

DD Frequency

Refers to the frequency with which detailed diagnosis measures are to be generated for this test. The default is 2:1. This indicates that, by default, detailed measures will be generated every second time the test runs, and also every time the test detects a problem. You can modify this frequency, if you so desire. Also, if you intend to disable the detailed diagnosis capability for this test, you can do so by specifying none against DD Frequency.

Detailed Diagnosis

To make diagnosis more efficient and accurate, the eG Enterprise embeds an optional detailed diagnostic capability. With this capability, the eG agents can be configured to run detailed, more elaborate tests as and when specific problems are detected. To enable the detailed diagnosis capability of this test for a particular server, choose the On option. To disable the capability, click on the Off option. The option to selectively enabled/disable the detailed diagnosis capability will be available only if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • The eG manager license should allow the detailed diagnosis capability
  • Both the normal and abnormal frequencies configured for the detailed diagnosis measures should not be 0.
Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Total operations

Indicates the total number of folder operations that were performed by users of SharePoint Online.

Number

The value of this measure is the sum of the values of all measures reported under the section Folder Operations, in the Layers tab page of the eG monitoring console

The value of this measure is a good indicator of the workload imposed by folder operations on SharePoint Online.

Unique operations

Indicates the count of unique folder operations performed on SharePoint Online.

Number

To know which operations were performed, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

Unique users

Indicates the count of unique users who performed folder operations on SharePoint Online.

Number

To know which are the users who performed folder operations, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

Unique client IPs

Indicates the number of unique clients from which the users initiated the folder operations.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of this measure to determine the IP addresses of the clients from which users performed a folder operation.

Unique sites

Indicates the number of unique sites where the folders accessed, reside.

Number

Use the detailed diagnosis of the SharePoint Online sites that were accessed for performing a folder operation.

Affected item types

Indicates the number of types of items that were affected by the folder operations.

Number

To know what type of items were affected by the folder operations, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

Unique destinations

Indicates the destination URLs of the folder operations that were performed.

Number

To know the unique destination URLs, use the detailed diagnosis of this measure.

Unique user agents

Indicates the unique user agents of browsers used for performing folder operations.

Number

To know the unique user-agent strings of the browsers used in folder operations, use the detailed diagnosis of thi measure.

Folder copies

Indicates the number of times folders were copied.

Number

Folder creations

Indicates the number of folders created.

Number

 

Folder deletions

Indicates the number of times folder delete operations were performed.

Number

Folder deletions from I stage recycle bin

Indicates the number of folder deletions performed from the first-stage recycle bin.

Number

The Recycle Bin in SharePoint Online in Office 365 for business provides a safety net when an site content and site collections are deleted.

When you delete content from a SharePoint site, it’s sent to the site's Recycle Bin or first-stage Recycle Bin, where you can restore the deleted content if needed.

If the file/folder is deleted from the site Recycle Bin (i.e., from the first-stage Recycle Bin), it is sent to the Site Collection or Second-Stage Recycle Bin, where a site collection administrator can restore it or delete it permanently.

Folder deletions from II stage recycle bin

Indicates the number of folders deleted from the second-stage recycle bin.

Number

Folder modifications

Indicates the number of times folders on SharePoint Online have been modified.

Number

Folder moves

Indicates the number of times folders have been moved.

Number

Files/folders on SharePoint Online can be moved to a different destination in the current library, to OneDrive, or to another SharePoint site.

Folder renames

Indicates the number of times folders have been renamed.

Number

Folder restores

Indicates the number of times folders have been restored from the Recycle Bin to their original location.

Number

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique operations measure lists the unique folder operations that were performed, and the number of times each operation was performed. This way, administrators can quickly identify which operation was most common and imposed the maximum load on SharePoint Online.

Figure 8 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique operations measure reported by the Folder Activities test

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique users measure lists the users who performed file/page operations on SharePoint Online. For each user, the operations performed by that user, the number of times the operations were performed, and the client from which that user initiated the operations are revealed. This way, administrators can quickly figure out if any user has performed any unauthorized operation.

Figure 9 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique users measure reported by the Folder Activities test

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique client IPs measure reveals which user operations were performed from which clients. The number of times the operations were performed from each client is also reported.

Figure 10 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique client IPs measure reported by the Folder Activities test

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique sites measure reveals the GUID and URL of each of the SharePoint sites on which folder operations were performed. The type of operation that was performed and the number of times these operations were performed is also reported, so that administrators can accurately identify the site that experienced a high level of activity.

Figure 11 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique sites measure reported by the Folder Activities test

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique destinations measure lists the destination URLs of the folder operations. For each URL, the operations that resulted in the URL and the number of times the operations were performed are reported.

Figure 12 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique destinations measure reported by the Folder Activities test

The detailed diagnosis of the Unique user agents measure lists the user-agent strings of browsers used by users for performing the different folder operations. For each user-agent string, the detailed metrics further reveals the number of operations performed using that browser. This will help administrators to identify the browser that was used most often to perform folder operations.

Figure 13 : The detailed diagnosis of the Unique user agents measure reported by the Folder Activities test