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Five Surefire Ways to Make Your Life as a Sysadmin Easier

It’s rough being a sysadmin – that’s really no secret. Not only do you have to keep oft-disparate systems playing nice with one another, you need to have a game plan for pretty much every failure that might occur. Factor in that you’ve probably got users constantly on your back, and that when something goes wrong you’re the one on the chopping block, and, well…


You can hardly be blamed for getting a bit stressed.


Breathe. We’re here to help. Today, we’re going to go over a few small tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your own workday. Hopefully, they make your life – and your career – easier, even if only slightly.


Enforce Strict Mobile Application Controls


Android can be a bit of a minefield for mobile security. That’s precisely why you need to be strict about which applications employees are allowed to run (and which they aren’t). And if you’re able to make use of Samsung KNOX or Android for Work, all the better – especially if your EMM solution is compatible with both.


And before you start talking about user freedom, consider – many people downloaded Pokemon GO early from a third-party site, and many of the APKs were illegitimate and contained code that allowed the creator to hijack phones.


Tweak Windows Settings


By and large, Windows 10 is relatively secure. That said, there are a few things you can do in order to make things a little safer for your users (and to reduce the headaches you have to deal with). In addition to not giving administrative rights to anyone who doesn’t need them, it’d also be good to set JavaScript files to load into Notepad, and to configure Windows to show full file extensions. Reason being, bogus files and JavaScript are two of the most common delivery vessels for malware.


Establish A Rapport


Traditionally, there’s a lot of polarization between sysadmins and their users, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Make an effort to reach out and establish a friendly working relationship with your users. Willingly educate them on technical and security matters. You might be surprised how their demeanor changes as a result.


Take Some Time To Read Up On Security


This one’s sort of self-explanatory, but it bears mentioning all the same. I’d advise you to regularly browse sites like Techmeme and serverfault, and pay attention to the stuff on there. Knowing about the latest security trends and emerging threats will go a long way towards preparing yourself – and your organization – to face them.


Start Posting On reddit


Last, but certainly not least, consider joining communities such as Tales from Tech Support and Sysadmin. Not only will this connect you with a ton of like-minded people you can turn to for technical assistance reading about nightmarish users (or ranting about them yourself) is incredibly cathartic. Just be careful you don’t say (or do) anything that could get you fired.


And that’s about it. A few technical (and not so technical) tips that’ll make things just a bit easier for you as a sysadmin. Before we go, I’d just like to add one more thing: take a look at this handy little flowchart. Memorize it. This is your decision making process now.


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