Appointing System Administrators

The System Administrator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of a computer system. This usually entails ensuring that the computer system is available and appropriately configured to perform required tasks, rather than 'hands-on' production. System administration necessarily involves a substantial amount of security-related work. In larger organisations this function can be undertaken by a separate Security Administrator, who is part of the Security Officer's team.

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  • A System Administrator who lacks the relevant knowledge, experience, and training may make errors which cost the organisation dearly.

  • Ensure that the person you appoint has demonstrable evidence of knowledge, experience, and training for your networks and hardware platforms. If you are unsure, seek guidance from a reputable IT recruitment agency, who can help prepare the requirements and review applicants.
  • The high degree of discretion inherent in the System Administrator's job in itself poses a security threat.

  • Set up a separate System Administrator Operator account for day-to-day functions.
  • Use root or Administrator User ID access only when necessary. All such usage should be logged, printed automatically (in another area), and reviewed by the Security Officer.
  • If the System Administrator also has a non-systems role, a separate user account / ID should be set-up, with privileges delineated appropriately.
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