Must Have DBA Resource: 5 Costly DBA Mistakes

by Oct 25, 2016

We've has published many popular white papers that have become the go-to guide on best practices and insider reports for database administrators (DBAs). In 2014, we published a whitepaper on the 5 DBA Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Job, and it quickly became the top download of the year. The whitepaper continues to be a tremendous help for DBAs across the country, and it might be helpful to you, if you haven’t seen it yet!

In the whitepaper, Robert L. Davis, senior database administrator and technical lead at Microsoft, walks us through the top 5 avoidable mistakes that DBAs make on the field. If you’ve ever worked with a database, you’ve probably heard cliché phrases like “data is power” and “information is king” that illustrate the importance of keeping good habits. These phrases also point to a higher meaning: data is valuable and leaving systems exposed for foul play or corruption can be detrimental to a business.

The truth is, everyone makes mistakes. Thanks to best practices and good habits, database administrators (DBAs) are often the first to find a mistake and fix it before anyone else can know about it. However, there are times when a DBA may slip on their responsibilities, resulting in risky behaviors that could ultimately cost you your job.

Failing to Use Best Practices

DBAs are skilled professionals who act as protectors and guardians of the data in the databases. The biggest priority of the DBA is to maintain high quality backups in case of a disaster. However, this is a precautionary task where DBAs work to maintain backups with the hope never using them. This type of mindset creates opportunities for DBAs to relax on their backups, leaving them vulnerable during a database emergency.

Loosening Permissions

Data security is essential in an SQL Server and is too often overlooked by SQL professionals. The role of the DBA is to protect the integrity of the data by managing accessibility. To properly manage data accessibility, DBAs use the Principle of Least Privilege to give the lowest level of permission required and justified for the task in question.

Ideally, the DBA will judge the appropriateness of granting permissions and ensure that the Principle of Least Privilege is being followed. Unfortunately, DBAs navigate through a complex net of communications and checks, making the default permissions tempting. Acting carelessly with permissions will not only leave the data vulnerable to foul play, it’s a direct breach of security policies that can get a DBA terminated.

Learn more about the 5 DBA Mistakes That Can Cost You Your Job and how to avoid them by downloading this helpful DBA resource.