IT Management or Systems Administrator Gotcha List

I like a good gotcha list.

Gotcha’s – those things on your network or in your IT department that you easily forget to check, which turn around and bite you on the bum and make you look incompetent.

I think a gotcha list is particularly important when you’re starting a new job and you’re an IT manager or Sys admin and you’re now responsible if something goes horribly wrong. But you’ve got no history, perhaps little documentation and 1001 things that may have been poorly managed in the past, just waiting to break on your watch.

I reckon between us we could put together a gotcha list of about 100 things that should be checked the moment you start a new role as a Sys admin or IT Manager. I’ll start…

  1. Backups – air gapped, everything backed up that needs to be, test restores done
  2. SSL certificate expiry dates
  3. Domain registration details up to date, list of domains and expiry dates
  4. Support packs valid for all critical hardware devices or working cold spares available
  5. Proper after hours coverage for support if required by the business (unless you like 3am phone calls)
  6. Security updates loaded across all servers and devices
  7. Administrator access redundancy – ensuring more than one person has admin level access
  8. Bitlocker keys – access and management in place
  9. Syncing/backup of users local desktop and documents folders
  10. Quick review of network admin level privileges
  11. Review privileges of staff with access to C-level or management level mailboxes.
  12. Making sure key documentation is up to date for servers, network and line of business applications
  13. Domain DNS record check including DKIM, DMARC, blacklists etc
  14. Internet connection vendor contract SLA review
  15. Internet redundant connection check.

I’m keen to get your input.. or even a gotcha horror story! I know they exist. Once I feel the list is fleshed out a bit, I’ll release it as a downloadable document on our website. Do let me know if you want a copy when it’s done.

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