Databases are now being used across multiple industries and environments and there is the need to look not only at the ethics of the data contained within the databases but at the group of people who administer and are the guardians of the database. There is ethical concern over the information contained within the database how it is stored, accessed, secured and gathered however regardless of this the administrators need to ensure that they follow some ethical principals or guidelines. The guidelines should cover not only the overarching ethics but the core aspects which need to be covered whilst administering the database.
Ethic 1 - The DBA role consists of
• Being a champion of the database
• Numerous stated and unstated responsibilities
• Explaining the DBA role and recommendations to the public
• The DBA hero is one who avoids any problems rather than a firefighter of issues
Ethic 2 - The Company’s data is the most precious asset it has. A DBA must protect it.
Ethic 3 - A DBA is responsible for making data available to authorized users and ensuring data inaccessible to the unauthorized user. Also Identification of sensitive data, managing it securely and auditing access is a key responsibility.
Ethic 4 - A DBA should have a patching philosophy for when
• Security issues arise
• When software bugs and enhancements arise
Ethic 5 - A DBA should monitor the system to ensure it is always available when it is needed
Ethic 6 - A DBA should ensure backups are taken regularly and verify the quality of the said backup.
Ethic 7- Ensuring every database has a documented disaster recovery point specified
• What is the time to recover?
• What is the recovery point interval?
Ethic 8 - A DBA should monitor changes to the system
• Following Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practice for IT Service Management.
• Having multi tier environments to validate changes
• Ensure rollback can occur for failed changes
• Ensure development scripts are written and version controlled to change the environments
• Identify the consequences of this change
Ethic 9 - A DBA should ensure appropriate documentation is written or obtained
• A summary of essential information such as configuration
• A process for keeping it up-to-date is the crucial aspect.
• Try to create Self-documenting systems where possible
Ethic 10 - A DBA should ensure good Data Modelling is applied so the data is useable across the systems
Ethic 11- Have an interactive process for problem management
Ethic 12- Ensure there is a capacity management process in place
Ethic 13 - A DBA should ensure there are regular database Audits which
• Periodically audit each database
• Have a Checklist for problems
• Have a sheet describing the purpose of each check
Ethic 14 - A DBA should design and follow best practice for design, development and administration
Ethic 15 - When you’ve made a mistake admit it, quickly so corrective action can be taken immediately.