IT pros wield a certain amount of power over their users—and sometimes they use that power in inappropriate ways. Here are five of the most common misbehaviors and how IT managers can rein them in.
From the ebook:
Practical jokes using computers are probably the most popular IT shenanigans in the office. The internet is rife with tips on how to fool coworkers whose systems you hold power over. From changing their desktop wallpaper to something confusing or inappropriate, playing rude sounds on their speakers, or otherwise sabotaging devices or systems, practical jokes can be a major impediment for the target employee, particularly if the group they need to go to for help is the one causing the problem.
Common jokes are enacted using administrative credentials on the part of the offender to access the destination system. To curtail this sort of activity, you need policies and monitoring in place. TechRepublic’s premium sister site, Tech Pro Research, has an acceptable usage policy that will help you define what systems are to be used for and make it clear that inappropriate access for non-business purposes is an action subject to discipline.
Of course, you also need a way to find out about this sort of activity, so a centralized logging and alerting solution like Splunk can help achieve that. Often, when another user accesses a Windows system, there is a corresponding event in the local logs that can then be linked to an alert that notifies the appropriate personnel. The alert can be tailored so that it goes out only if the user logs into a system other than their own.
What if the “appropriate personnel” receiving the alerts are the same people pulling off the joke? If you’re the boss, make sure the alert includes you (and/or security) and follow up on each alert to determine the reason behind it. Sometimes just knowing an alert exists will deter negative behavior.