Most people have no idea how valuable sysadmins are until they are gone. Security related incidents would be impossible to prevent or work through without a system administrator present and his complete knowledge of your network. Security may not be the speciality of a sysadmin, but I can assure you it represents a large portion of his workload on any given day.
Networks Don’t Run Themselves
System administrators are misunderstood and undervalued by company employees and executive management, and get little to no attention until something goes wrong. There’s often a notion that systems, networks, servers and applications run themselves. So rarely is the complex work of a system administrator considered.
System Administrators are a key component to a safe infrastructure, Whether actively working to prevent threats, doing a trend analysis, implementing policies or dealing with Software as a Service (SaaS) vendors, the system administrator helps protect the environment’s integrity by ensuring close collaboration with all security teams.
Day-to-day system administrator tasks involving security include:
- Reviewing network infrastructure and application logs
- Patching operating systems and third-party software
- Monitoring antivirus software
- Analyzing network bandwidth
- Ensuring data backup integrity
- Responding to potential and confirmed network security threats
- Deal with visitors, guests and vendors
System Administrators can Sing and Dance too
Systems administrators are like police, firefighters and EMTs all in one. They wear multiple hats and are required to answer difficult questions that non technical people need answered. They are considered to be experts on everything with electricity running through it and are often required to be available 24/7.
Whether you work in IT or not, be sure to recognize the value of the system administrator’s role in your company. You may not see what goes on behind the scenes, but you’ll certainly feel it the day their are gone.