Information Technology Services IT Security Office

A systems administrator (sysadmin) is an individual responsible for maintaining a multi-user computing system. Typical duties include: setting up user accounts; installing software (sometimes available system wide); allocating storage space to user accounts; and patching software. The following information sources have been compiled to assist Systems Administrators at Mason with their security duties.

Setting up a server on the Mason network

Before Connecting

  1. Join Mason's Systems Administrators Leadership Team (SALT) listserv and attend meetings.
  2. Understand your job responsibilities by reviewing the Responsible Use of Computing Policy.
  3. Register your computer if you need a Public Internet Address.
  4. Before connecting your server to the Internet, make sure you have installed the latest patches. Verify that all ports and services that are not needed are disabled or closed.
  5. Before connecting to the network, remediate against the Top Cyber Security Risks.
  6. Create strong, hard to break passwords, for administrative account and user accounts.
  7. Do not use the same password for multiple devices.
  8. Configure system to create logfiles.
  9. Physically secure your computer(s).

After Registering and Connecting

  • Monitor your log files at least daily.
  • Backup important data.
  • Ensure that only authorized individuals have access to your systems.
  • Limit your use of admin privileges; only use when necessary.
  • Know what steps to take if you suspect a security incident.
  • Follow the trends and stay current with latest threats and updates.
  • Configure system settings to close unused ports and unused system accounts. Deny access to known bad sites.
  • Develop a recovery plan in the event you are on vacation and the hardware fails, your system gets hacked, or something 'just happens.'
  • Maintain professional development: develop a plan with your supervisor. Attend classes, seminars, conferences, and workshops; use Mason's license with SkillPort to take online courses - anytime, anywhere.

Guidelines, Tips, and Checklists

Discussion Groups / Other Resources

Wireless and Wired Networks


Mason Software


Operating System Security Sites