It could happen at any moment. Your database administrator (DBA) — possibly the only person who knows what’s going on in your database environment — disappears. Whether it is because of an accident, an illness, a resignation, or a termination; whether it is short-term or for good — your business is in trouble without a DBA at the helm of your database environment. If your database goes down, the applications your organization uses to conduct business can grind to a halt.
Given the risk to your business, it is prudent to have a plan in place ahead of time to deal with the unexpected loss of a DBA.
Step 1: Don’t Panic
In the face of a departing DBA, business owners and managers can grow nervous and make snap decisions that may not be right for the business. Rest assured there are resources available to help you take control of your database environment and ensure the safe continuity of your databases and applications.
At Ntirety, a division of HOSTING, we have teams of US-based database administrators who are equipped to deal with this or any other emergency you face with your Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or MySQL databases. At any hour, our team members are ready to help you.
Step 2: Assess Security
It is well worth your while to have full knowledge of the passwords to the database accounts that impact your business. As a business owner or manager, you must have a contingency plan in place in case your DBA disappears. It can be as simple as putting the passwords in a sealed envelope in a safe once a month. This is a simple step that can prevent what can become a very costly mistake.
Change the Passwords
When a DBA leaves, it is important that you change the passwords. This is a clear, unambiguous industry best practice that helps protect your company and the DBA who is leaving. When creating new passwords, it is extremely important that you follow best practices. The passwords must be at least 8 characters long and include numbers, letters, and special characters. Make sure you don’t use the same password for all accounts. These are the keys to your castle, so you must ensure that your organization is as secure as possible.
Identify Hard-coded Passwords
You also may have databases and/or applications with hard-coded passwords that you need to manage. Find out by asking the DBA if changing the passwords will break anything that is running. Many times, the answer is yes and if so, you will need to rectify this. Remediation may require reviewing and updating database or application code — processes that need to be carefully and thoroughly completed! You may want some expert help with this effort. You can also consider engaging a third party to fully assess your database security.
Download the rest of the white paper to find out the remaining four essential preparations steps in case your DBA jumps ship. If you need DBA options, HOSTING can help. Our remote DBAs can provide you with the expertise you need without breaking your budget. Contact us directly to discuss your specific needs.