Archive for January 18, 2009

DBA Integrity

Posted: January 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

My posts last week got me thinking, the more I thought about it I realized that Stephen Wynkoop sort of touched on it in a newsletter on SSWUG.ORG not to long ago. One thing that I am really happy about, and to be honest proud about is the comments that I had on my blog last week. See it was not but a couple weeks ago that in Stephens Newsletter someone had made the comment that if you were going to be fired, would you cause damage to someone’s database. Really in a time like right now where we hear of people being laid off all the time, you must think about such things if you are management.

Anyway I think this is the way that it went down, Stephen will sometimes ask questions in his newsletter, now seeing how I know Stephen I know that he gets a ton of feedback from these, but there was one e-mail that caught his eye. It was some study that said almost half of the DBA’s would consider stealing data, not just stealing data but also use that data somehow to their benefit. So back to why I am proud…

I did not see a single comment that said that I should try to take the former clients database down. I am not sure where that study got their numbers but it must not be from people that read this blog. But really I could have, and I choose not to, see when you have the permissions that we do on systems that companies rely on you could actually put a company out of business. Many companies don’t understand they need backups, many of these companies believe that the RAID 5 that some sales person sold them would be the end all for disaster recovery. Point is that as DBA’s we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, being good is not good enough. Making a mistake in our line of work is bad, but doing the same actions on purpose is criminal, and just right immoral. So I thought I would follow up with a list of activities that I did the second that the client notified me that they would not be using my services any longer.

  1. The first thing I did was take them off the clock. (With this client I am not sure I would have got paid anyway)
  2. I notified the client that they had software on their system that was not licensed to the, it was licensed to SQL on Call and I was going to have to remove it. I gave them the option of leaving the software on the system with a 15 day trial, just like you would get from the company. Or I could remove it all together.
    1. This software sent me e-mails in case of any issues with the server, so I also let them know I had to remove my name and e-mail from the system.
    2. The client wanted me to leave the software so I removed my key and got a new one from the vendor.
  3. I left any work that I had done, like scripts and such that they had paid me for.
  4. They made a request that I clear some backup space for them and I did that as well. This was off of their request.
  5. As soon as I was done I removed the VPN software client that I had installed for them, deleted the passwords in my password file and removed all the RDP settings.
  6. Then I sent a note to the company that hosts the former client’s servers and let them know that I would no longer be servicing that client. I requested that my permissions be removed completely and that they validate that I did not have a way into the system.

I think I did the right thing, the honorable thing.