Poor business practice leaves System Administrators guessing device identities

Published: 29 February 2012

Osirium (www.osirium.com) a leader in Privileged User & Infrastructure Management has today released research findings that should encourage organisations to increase awareness of potential operational risks within the business, relating to poor security administration practices.

According to the research, busy schedules become increasingly difficult to manage and as resources remain limited many system administrators have admitted that they feel under pressure to get their jobs done.  Often working against the backdrop of some new crisis, hastily try and locate devices by entering details from memory or, in extreme circumstances, to even guess.  Another mistake commonly cited is when IP addresses are entered by hand as typos are common place and the details entered are rarely double-checked.

“Administering the wrong device is just one source of system administrator error, but it’s also an easy one to eliminate,” said David Guyatt, CEO of Osirium.  “If access to devices is controlled via administration tools that store the details of each device, including its location and IP address, then such errors can be significantly reduced..  In fact the research suggests that by introducing such a tool for SysAdmins to use, results in error rates could be halved.”

The research, conducted for Osirium by Quocirca, found that system administrator error rates rise to around 7.5% when ad-hoc device management methods - such as guessing names or address locations - are used. Conversely, those organisations using a more systematic approach such as tools which simplify device identification, can expect to reduce error rates down to about 4%. 

“This problem is further exacerbated when issues affecting infrastructure compliance and task automation are considered,” continued Guyatt.  “The automation of sys-admin tasks in meeting, and maintaining, compliance also plays a critical role in delivering a consistent compliance position.”

Release Date: 
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Article Type: 
Press Release