Terminating a systems administrator

Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 5:07 AM EST

Perhaps one of the most challenging situations in an IT organisation is to let a systems administrator go. This individual has the proverbial keys to the kingdom as a trusted member of your corporate team. If the time comes to part ways, it's imperative to do a thorough job of removing the employee's physical and logical access to your network and facilities.

The first step is to consult with the appropriate legal, human resources and management personnel to ensure a proper basis for the termination or to work out the severance specifics for the layoff. Next you can zero in on the technical and security issues that need to be addressed. The goal is to complete the process with little or no disruption of business processes and to do it in a professional and complete manner.

You need to eliminate the employee's access to corporate sites and assets, networks, systems and applications to prevent him from damaging company property and data. Accomplishing this requires inventory, planning, execution and monitoring. What follows are some guidelines for completing the four-step process.

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