HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security > Chapter 6 Managing the System and Its Data

Role of a Security Administrator

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Your role as security adminstrator is to implement and maintain the organization's security policy. Some organizations include security administrators in the development of the security policy; other organizations charter security administrators to implement and maintain an established policy. For an example of a company security policy, see “Site Security Policies”.

As security administrator (or officer), your job is to see that the security policy is implemented and maintained. Regularly monitoring the system for possible security violations and vulnerabilities is absolutely necessary. Whenever you detect problems, you should see that they are corrected.

Many times organizations divide the duties of computer administrators. The security administrator monitors the system and reports problems, and the system manager implements policy and manages the system. In this management structure, the security administrator works in tandem with the system manager. Some system managers choose to employ an accounts clerk to set up user accounts and process the required paperwork justifying the need for an account. This is always a highly trusted individual who essentially acts as a co-system manager. With a division of labor, it is critical for the system manager and security administrator to communicate regularly. The security administrator should report security problems to users or, if necessary, to system managers or the accounts clerk so problems are corrected.

Another division of duties, common to many OpenVMS installations, combines the roles of security administrator and system manager. One person implements the security policy and maintains the system to meet its requirements.

Secure system management, however it is organized, involves training users, setting up accounts and passwords, protecting sensitive system files and resources, and auditing and analyzing security-relevant events. Learning how systems are used and recognizing “normal” system activity are critical to secure management.