System Administrator Job Profile

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What is a System Administrator?

The System Administrator responsible for setting up and maintaining a system or specific components of a system (e.g. for example, installing, configuring, and updating hardware and software; establishing and managing user accounts; overseeing or conducting backup and recovery tasks; implementing operational and technical security controls; and adhering to organizational security policies and procedures).

Professional Certification

Key Knowledge of a System Administrator

  • computer networking concepts and protocols, and network security methodologies.
  • risk management processes (e.g., methods for assessing and mitigating risk).
  • laws, regulations, policies, and ethics as they relate to cybersecurity and privacy.
  • cybersecurity and privacy principles.
  • cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
  • specific operational impacts of cybersecurity lapses.
  • information technology (IT) security principles and methods (e.g., firewalls, demilitarized zones, encryption).
  • local area and wide area networking principles and concepts including bandwidth management.
  • measures or indicators of system performance and availability.
  • performance tuning tools and techniques.
  • server and client operating systems.
  • systems administration concepts.
  • the enterprise information technology (IT) architecture.
  • the type and frequency of routine hardware maintenance.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) security.
  • file system implementations (e.g., New Technology File System [NTFS], File Allocation Table [FAT], File Extension [EXT]).
  • virtualization technologies and virtual machine development and maintenance.
  • organizational information technology (IT) user security policies (e.g., account creation, password rules, access control).
  • system administration, network, and operating system hardening techniques.
  • network security architecture concepts including topology, protocols, components, and principles (e.g., application of defense-in-depth).
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII) data security standards.
  • Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards.
  • Personal Health Information (PHI) data security standards.
  • transmission records (e.g., Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Infrared Networking (IR), Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi). paging, cellular, satellite dishes, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)), and jamming techniques that enable transmission of undesirable information, or prevent installed systems from operating correctly.
  • systems engineering theories, concepts, and methods.
  • system/server diagnostic tools and fault identification techniques.
  • operating system command-line tools.
  • network protocols such as TCP/IP, Dynamic Host
  • Configuration, Domain Name System (DNS), and directory services.
  • principles and methods for integrating system components.

key skills of the System Administrator include:

  • configuring and optimizing software.
  • diagnosing connectivity problems.
  • maintaining directory services. (e.g., Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, etc.).
  • using virtual machines. (e.g., Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare vSphere, Citrix XenDesktop/Server, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, etc.).
  • configuring and utilizing software-based computer protection tools (e.g., software firewalls, antivirus software, anti-spyware).
  • interfacing with customers.
  • conducting system/server planning, management, and maintenance.
  • correcting physical and technical problems that impact system/server performance.
  • troubleshooting failed system components (i.e., servers)
  • identifying and anticipating system/server performance, availability, capacity, or configuration problems.
  • installing system and component upgrades. (i.e., servers, appliances, network devices).
  • monitoring and optimizing system/server performance.
  • recovering failed systems/servers. (e.g., recovery software, failover clusters, replication, etc.).
  • operating system administration. (e.g., account maintenance, data backups, maintain system performance, install and configure new hardware/software).

System Administrator must be able to:

  • accurately define incidents, problems, and events in the trouble ticketing system.
  • apply an organization’s goals and objectives to develop and maintain architecture.
  • develop, update, and/or maintain standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • operate common network tools (e.g., ping, traceroute, nslookup).
  • monitor measures or indicators of system performance and availability.
  • collaborate effectively with others.
  • function effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • apply cybersecurity and privacy principles to organizational requirements (relevant to confidentiality, integrity, availability, authentication, non-repudiation).
  • establish and maintain automated security control assessment

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