My System Administration Ethics book has been published

Updated: November 8, 2019

Dear readers, I am truly happy to announce the publication of my latest technical book. It comes with a lengthy but important title - System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World. A colleague and I have been writing this book over the past year and a bit, and we've jotted down what we believe are the most critical dos and don'ts of information technology.

Ethics has never been more important - just look around, and you'll see the Wild Wild West of the digital world, breach here, breach there, data this, data that. Amidst this chaos, you will find techies, afloat, lost, confused, angry, and wondering how their work and passion has become the spearpoint of social dissent and mistrust. I hope this book can provide the right pointers.

System Administration Ethics book

The Ten Commandments

So what is this book all about then? It is designed to serve as a go-to guide for any system administrator, data center technician, programmer, and their managers in how to cope with the seemingly innocent problems and challenges of everyday work on the IT scene. You might be wondering, how does a badly written script relate to ethics? Is it okay to take an old, past-warranty hard disk home? How do you protect intellectual property or manage software testing? What about data privacy?

In more detail:

The System Administration Ethics book will help you successfully navigate through the ever-changing world of technology and ethics and reconcile system administration principles for separation of duty, account segmentation, administrative groups and data protection.

As security breaches become more common, businesses need to protect themselves when facing ethical dilemmas in today’s digital landscape. This book serves as a equitable guideline in helping system administrators, engineers - as well as their managers - on coping with the ethical challenges of technology and security in the modern data center by providing real-life stories, scenarios, and use cases from companies both large and small.

You'll examine the problems and challenges that people working with customer data, security and system administration may face in the cyber world and review the boundaries and tools for remaining ethical in an environment where it is so easy to step over a line - intentionally or accidentally. You'll also see how to correctly deal with multiple ethical situations, problems that arise, and their potential consequences, with examples from both classic and DevOps-based environments.

Using the appropriate rules of engagement, best policies and practices, and proactive "building/strengthening" behaviors, System Administration Ethics provides the necessary tools to securely run an ethically correct environment.

What you will learn:

Who This Book Is For?

This book's primary audience includes system administrators and information security specialists engaged with the creation, process and administration of security policies and systems. A secondary audience includes company leaders seeking to improve the security, privacy, and behavioral practices.

Get the book!

There are many ways you can buy this book. For convenience, I've listed the electronic version from Apress and the Kindle edition from Amazon. The System Administration Ethics e-book is DRM-free and should work on all reader devices.

Publisher: Apress, 1st edition (October 31, 2019)

Language: English

Trim size: 6.1" x 9.2" (15.5 x 23.4 cm)

Color: Black & White on White paper

Paperback: 290 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1-4842-4988-8

Availability: Now

Call for reviews

If you're a journalist, prominent tech blogger or even a hardcore, passionate techie, then please contact me to receive a signed physical copy. The deal is simple: you get a book for free, but you do promise to read it and review it honestly (good or bad) on Amazon, and if you can, also on Goodreads, as well as your individual media channels.

Please send me an email with the title: System Administration Book review request, and I'll see what I can do. Either way, I'd be very happy to see what other people think about this work, and whether it can help them in the course of their work.


Writing technical books is easy - if you know what you want to say. This book was born in a spur of a moment. My colleague (Tom Litterer, the co-author) and I were having a stroll in a park one day, chatting, and we talked about the idea of writing a book together. In the past, I have been wary of cooperating on books with other people, because many just can't commit to the strict rigor and schedule of getting a book done. But Tom and I worked together in the past, and we accomplished a lot of great things. It made sense that the two of us endeavor a new experiment. We only needed a topic.

And just like that, the idea was born - ethics. Something we've faced daily in the course of our work. Not as gatekeepers of higher morality, but as active participants. We had to deal with difficult questions, hard problems, and confusing, gray areas that don't have simple answers. Outright malice is easy. Making honest mistakes that lead to major issues is even easier. Ethics is one of those things that techies don't think about, don't like, and don't associate with their work. And yet, it's at the heart of what we do. Tom and I didn't have anyone to help us make the right decisions. Somehow, luckily, we made it. Now, we want to make sure other people don't have to face the same dilemmas that we did.

Our solution is the System Administration Ethics book.

Happy reading!


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