Use of Generic System Accounts for IT Support Staff

Relevant Standard(s): 1.20
Application: All sectors


Standard 1.20 requires all system accounts be uniquely assigned to an individual; however, generic accounts are often used by system administrators, database administrators, server administrators, application support and other IT support personnel to provide required services. System and applications often imposes limitations, and it is not always practical to create unique accounts for each IT support staff for each system in operation. From the current wording, it appears that having generic accounts for IT support purposes is not in compliance with the standard. We would like to seek clarification on the intended coverage of “an individual”. Should this standard be applied to all users (including IT supporting roles as indicated above), or all business users in terms of owning unique accounts?


All system accounts for business users shall be uniquely assigned to an individual. Where systems do not allow for unique accounts for IT support staff, generic accounts may be used, provided that there are mitigating controls in place to ensure that access is monitored, logged, and traceable to a specific individual.

The AGCO intends to revise the Standard in a future iteration of the Registrar’s Standards to reflect this interpretation.

Relevant Standard Excerpt(s):

1.20 All system accounts shall be uniquely assigned to an individual.

This interpretation is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The interpretation relates to a specific set of circumstances and the standards, laws and regulations in force at the time the interpretation was issued; however, it is not an exhaustive or definitive interpretation of the standard(s) referenced herein.

The AGCO has established the Standards Interpretation Protocol, which acts as a single point of contact for inquiries from the gaming industry related to the interpretation of the Standards. For more information, please contact the AGCO’s Customer Service Department at 416 326-8700 (in the GTA) or 1 800 522-2876 (toll free in Ontario).


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