Dec 19 2011

Don’t Forget the Spare Keys to Your IT — Quick Take

Leaving the keys to the IT kingdom with one person is a mistake that could leave your business extremely vulnerable.

Human beings get comfortable quickly. If something works for a while, we expect that it will always work that way — forever.

Many small business owners who may have only one person (or a few people) running their IT department make the mistake of handing over the keys to that person or team without bothering to make a copy for themselves. But what happens if the IT admin leaves or gets fired?

Mitch Garvis, an IT consultant, talks about his experiences with SMBs whose IT admin was laid off, quit or, in one case, died. Garvis advises that all SMBs make sure they have their own spare keys set aside just in case.

I do not think the solution is giving anyone in the company Admin/Root credentials… nobody should ever have higher credentials than they need to do their job.

What I would recommend, however, is that a second Admin/Root account be created with a long and super-complex password. Those credentials should be stored separately and securely in sealed envelopes that hopefully will never need to be used.

However, just like having a spare set of keys, it is a safety net against the sudden souring of the relationship between the SMB and the IT provider, whether that provider be an employee or contractor.

Read more about the IT backup plan in Garvis’ post on The World According to Mitch.

For more great stories from around the web, visit our list of 50 Must-Read IT blogs.