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Blogs > Quocirca

Reducing the number of sys-admin errors
Bob Tarzey By: Bob Tarzey, Service Director, Quocirca
Published: 19th March 2012
Copyright Quocirca © 2012
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In recent Quocirca research, businesses report that, on average, their system administrators (sys-admins) make errors carrying out about 6% of tasks. This might not sound much, but actually it adds up to quite a big number.

If system administrators carry out an average of 10 tasks per day, or 50 per working week, that is 3 errors per week or, around 150 per year. And remember, these are errors under privilege. “Normal” users may accidentally delete a file or send an email to the wrong recipient. Privileged users may be reformatting a disk drive or writing new rules for a firewall. Here errors may lead to lost data, major security vulnerabilities or inconvenienced users who can no longer access systems they need to do their job.

The degree to which errors are made varies from one organisation to the next; the research shows industrial organisations to have the highest error rate and retail ones the lowest. This may be because industrial organisation deal with less regulated data, but they are still vulnerable to system outages caused by errors.

Making the task of identifying target devices requiring maintenance easier and getting system administrators to confirm the identity of devices and their intended actions before carrying them out can mitigate the problem and reduce overall error rates.

To see the full research behind this and get a free copy of Quocirca’s report – “Conquering the sys-admin challenge” – go to http://www.osirium.com/alpha-files/wp

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