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The good news is that the AS400 platform is extremely secure, making it an excellent solution for protecting essential business operations and corporate data assets. However, some iSeries system administrators believe it is inherently protected and does not require any additional security measures. If you are one such administrator and believe it too, then you could be slightly wrong.

 It is crucial to assess what is running in your system now and implement the necessary controls to ensure that all IBMi processes are completely secure. The security measures are, of course, there! All that you need to do is evaluate the common grounds of risk and implement the necessary updates to avoid infiltration and malicious behavior in the workplace. Let’s go through the top 10 security risks concerning an iSeries system administrator and learn how to tackle them effectively.

10 Security Risks for iSeries System Administrator and Ways to Avoid Them

Here’s a listicle of ten AS400/iSeries risks and how to thwart them:

Too Many AS400 Operator/Admin Users

Almost all iSeries systems have too many users with far more authority than they require. In fact, many organizations grant access to all database files and objects on the AS400 operator system to an overwhelming number of user profiles. This means that there is nothing to prevent employees from accessing and sharing unauthorized data or wiping the entire operating system. 

Solution: Make the effort to evaluate user profiles and their activities on a routine basis. Standardize role-based authorization, keep track of who has access, and keep an eye out for employees who gain access through unexpected means.

Allowing Default AS400/iSeries Passwords

Users frequently keep passwords that match their usernames, which is a big mistake. As you must know, hackers will always try to utilize login credentials where the username and password match or it is easier for them to guess. 

This aids them in testing if they can obtain access to the system, and they frequently succeed in doing so. This puts your entire iSeries system at risk of being exploited or having all important and confidential data wiped away. 

Solution: User authorization during hiring and training is mandatory to solve this. Ongoing compliance monitoring will also aid in the creation of reports to determine how many profile users have default passwords and to seek suitable password settings.

Ignoring Compliance Mandates

Some organizations might not even understand how to properly install security measures to meet their applicable mandates. In fact, they might fail to properly implement the tools or controls required to achieve the standards. 

Postponing the task entails risking penalties or hoping auditors would not detect any problems. It is highly possible that an auditor will not realize IBMi lacks virus protection since they do not grasp how the platform works, offering administrators an ‘escape.’ 

Solution: It is imperative to conduct research on the specific requirements that your organization must meet. At that time, you can use the appropriate software or other procedures to guarantee you are doing everything possible to comply fully with these guidelines and safeguard your data.

Running on an Unsupported Version of IBMi

As with any operating system, not running the most recent version can cause issues, especially if you are running on a version that the vendor company no longer supports.

Having an outdated version of the AS400/iSeries means you might not have the most recent upgrades for your security tools and could be vulnerable due to a lack of security patches. Furthermore, if your version is too old, you might not be able to get help from IBM. 

Relying on Menu Security

The green screen’s menu security provides each user with unique options based on their position. However, there is nothing in the system to control because these are the only places a user can access. Experienced users can easily go to areas beyond the menu options. These entry points allow a user to bypass the menu options that are initially displayed.


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