System Administrators, the Protectors of Networks

If you’ve kept up with our last few blogs on security, you know there are multiple ways your system can be compromised. You will also know that as technology improves, so do hackers’ abilities. New software, hardware, and best practices are coming out all of the time to thwart attacks. It’s a large amount of information to keep up with. This is where system admins come in.


The Protector

System Administrators, or Sysadmins, manage the network system. They are like a protective, omnipotent being. They know everything and keep the realm secure. It is their job to keep an eye on traffic for suspicious activity. They must stay updated on new threats and the tools to counteract them. If the network does go down, they are the ones getting notified and working to get it back up.


Stay Updated

Software is well known for its continual improvement and needing to be updated periodically. Every time a change is made in the system, there is the possibility for negative disruption. System admininstartors must be aware of their system’s architecture, strengths, weaknesses, and have a good idea of the risks and benefits in introducing something new. One of the tasks for a sysadmin is to leverage knowledge and tools to minimize, or even prevent, downtime during updates.


Know Your People

Admins need to know their users. Having an idea of the number of users, their network usage, times of high activity, etc help admins provide the best support for them. If updates require the network to be unusable, it is done during the time of least disruption to the users, often on weekends and early in the morning. If 50 new users will overload the system, an admin should recognize and remedy this, ideally before the users are ever added.


May I?

Controlling the system means managing permissions to use the network. It can be a delicate balance. System Administrators must architect the permission structure in a way that allows the correct people access to the data they need without just allowing everyone full access. This also keeps one person’s mistake from infecting the entire system.


Emergency Recovery

An effective administrator will have a backup and recovery plan in place. It is critical to have a backup copy of your most valuable data in case the system is hacked or otherwise fails. If something does happen, the system can then be restored to a previous, stable version.

Having a trustworthy and knowledgeable person to manage your system is imperative to keeping it protected. They know the ins and outs of the network and have the power and knowledge to make the changes that will benefit your company. A system administrator keeps things running securely at top speed by carefully managing its software and users.


Jennifer Pike
Jennifer Pike