Well, THAT was unexpected. My first post on LinkedIn and my phone starts buzzing and my inbox fills up. Several people contacted me and asked for more specifics on what business owners need to be sure they have from their IT company, so, here’s a list of critical information you need to be sure you have on hand as a business owner. You also need to ensure you are updated when this information changes. Oh, one more thing: Someone asked about storing these important creds. You need a good password vault shared and controlled by permissions. At On-Site we use OneNote and we password protect the notebook and only share it with selected staff who work for our clients. Some other good password vaults are ManageEngine, Keeper and Delinea. Now, here is what you need to be sure you have:
Firewall/Router: This is the edge device, or the device that stands between the internet on the outside and your private network on the inside. Sometimes the firewall and routing tasks are split between multiple devices, and you need the admin username, password and access method for this device(s).
Domain administrator: You should have a username/password combo for your domain that has administrative privileges on your domain. In the old days, we called this the “god” password, but today it is more complex than a single password. Be sure this username/password has schema and enterprise admin rights. IT companies will give you what you ask for, so if you forget to ask for a username/password that has schema and enterprise access, you will find you may not be able to do all you need to do when growing your domain.
Public DNS username/password: You should know where your public DNS is hosted and you should have a username/password that will allow you admin access to this site. DNS, at least the public DNS, is how the internet finds you and your resources you need to function. You need to have access to it. You may never actually log in and manage your own DNS, but you should have credentials for it.
Web Host: You should know who hosts your web site and you should have access to that portal with a username/password that gives you global or “god” rights to that web site.
Email: You should know where your email is hosted and you need admin credentials for that access.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it contains some of the most crucial info you should have as a business owner. It is likely that as an owner, you will never need to use these credentials, but you should have them nonetheless.
Remember, your IT is OWNED by YOU. Your IT company should not be holding information hostage because they think you aren’t “smart enough” to have it.