With technology ever changing and progressing, more is demanded from your network than ever before. Cloud computing, along with multiple applications and huge amounts of data, demand a strong and healthy network. Read on to learn more about how to monitor your network and maximize its flexibility, efficiency and security.
Network Monitoring—The What and the Why
Network monitoring is a proactive part of a managed services plan, alerting a business to hazards both within the network and attacks from outside. First, network monitoring can show where there are poorly functioning circuits leading to disconnections, or bottlenecks in the system. Network outages due to these causes, along with natural disasters and power outages, can cost a business in terms of loss of revenue, downtime, and loss of reputation from data leaks. Second, network monitoring can identify external threats such as denial of service attack and potential ransomware intrusion attempts.
The Where and How of Network Monitoring
If a hazard or intrusion is identified quickly, it can be dealt with quickly, keeping a problem from escalating. For example, it can find potential holes where data can be leaked or lost. Also, excessive bandwidth consumption can be identified, so that computing resources can be directed toward mission-critical applications. Unauthorized users can be detected, to protect the network from those who should access it. Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) is a system in which multiple carriers are used, affording the business additional flexibility; if one part of the network is down, another part can pick up the traffic, allowing for uninterrupted service. Remote network monitoring can save time and money by eliminating the need for an IT professional to come to the office to diagnose a problem. The monitoring is done 24/7 and can be based on a fixed-price service agreement.
It’s never too soon to develop a plan to keep your network healthy and secure. Contact your trusted technology advisor today to get started.
We hear in the news every day about natural disasters such as fires, floods, storms and even earthquakes, and know the damage they cause. But what about the potential consequences for your business? What if your business stays closed for a period of time, and loses revenue because your information systems are unavailable? Or if a cyberattack occurs that results in a data breach that compromises your business’s reputation? Read on to learn more about how to make a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.
The Importance of Having a Plan
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity consists of processes used to prepare for disruptive events, whether natural or man-made. Having a plan will help you know what to do and how to do it in events that can result in downtime for your business. Your plan can prevent loss of revenue, as well as loss of reputation. It can even help keep your business in business.
Assessing Your Risks
Think first of your mission-critical applications–your phone system, email system and maybe even processing orders. Consider how much downtime you can risk, having these systems out of commission. Tabulate potential overhead, loss of employee wages and revenue over the course of hours, days or weeks. Systems needing to take priority are the ones that keep your business running smoothly, keeping revenue flowing and employees productive. Other applications, including shared files, can be backed up and retrieved. Along with mitigating financial risk, a plan can guard against potential damage to your business’s reputation resulting from a data breach, or being unavailable in the event of a natural disaster.
Implement, Test and Monitor Your Plan
Once you know your risks, you can find a plan with solutions in line with your goals. One issue in implementation is making sure you have alternate systems of backup in case one system fails. Make sure to have this redundancy built into your plan. Before your plan even “goes live,” test it for restoration and recovery processes. Monitor your backup on an ongoing basis, to find and correct problems as they occur. Don’t forget the human element, and educate your employees on how to respond in a disaster scenario.
Having a plan in place can make all the difference for your business. Contact your technology advisor today to help evaluate your risks and get prepared.
Your network is under continuous pressure to keep up with the growth of your business. Broadband networks providing instant connectivity are a core requirement for most businesses. Your network needs to provide fast access to Cloud Services including Email, Online Backup, Unified Communications, Call Center and other applications. Business systems will be expected to be constantly accessible by customers and employees alike, and your network needs to be ready for this demand. Not only does your network need to be efficient and flexible, it needs to be secure.
Consider SD-WAN for Efficiency and Flexibility
Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) technology, which has been a recently emerging technology, is expected to become common in the next few years. Research firm IDC expects this technology to grow by 69% by 2021. Revenue from this technology is expected to reach $2.3 billion in 2018 alone. Companies pursuing SD-WAN can mix and match networking solutions to get the most efficient and effective wide area connectivity. Customers and employees have constant access to the Internet. With this access, however, monitoring and network security are vital.
The Role of Network Monitoring and Security
To have your network ready for business, it needs to be safe and secure. Not only does the network need constant monitoring, industry standards require rigorous compliance. For instance, online retailers need to keep their customers’ credit card information secure. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are required to comply with HIPAA. Even if your business is headquartered in the United States, you may need to comply with General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR). Endpoint security concerns include keeping anti-virus and anti-malware protections up-to-date.
Employees are the Front Line of Defense for Network Security
And don’t forget the human element. Train your employees to identify scam emails and phishing schemes, and not to click on unfamiliar links. Emphasize the importance of reporting malware, so you can keep your system secure.
If you are uncertain about whether your network is ready for business, contact your trusted technology advisor today for a network assessment.
Your business relies more and more on healthy network infrastructure. Migration to Cloud, Compliance and IT Security all fuel the case to proactively monitor your network health. By proactively scanning your network, you can identify bottlenecks and other irregularities that could impact your network performance and network security. Identifying network compromise in advance will save your business time and money in the long run.
Here are some considerations of what to proactively monitor on your network and why:
Monitor Your Network Performance
Network performance monitoring may identify a number of issues impacting your employee productivity. In some cases it may be a hardware failure (network switch or router) that is causing intermittent outage. Data-intensive applications (e.g. remote backup, call center or VoIP) may need optimization to improve overall network performance. Regular proactive network monitoring will identify these issues that can easily be remediated to avoid any unnecessary downtime, loss of employee productivity, or other failures such as dropped calls and failed backups.
Monitor Your Network Access
A periodic scan of devices attached to your network will identify any unauthorized access to your network. You may identify devices including desktop, laptop and mobile access from terminated employees, unauthorized access on your wireless network, and other potential compromises to your network. A regular scan of your network helps you stay in compliance and avoid any security compromise.
Monitor Your Network Utilization
By monitoring your network utilization, you may identify usage patterns impacting your overall network performance. Social media and streaming technologies can chew up your company bandwidth. By monitoring your utilization you may need to implement internal policies on use of streaming and digital media to free up bandwidth for mission-critical services.
Monitor Your Network Security
Your network is as strong as its weakest link. Periodically monitor your network endpoints to ensure Operating System patch, Antivirus and Malware definitions are all up to date. One device out of compliance could be infected and compromise your entire network.
Proactive Network Monitoring is a healthy best practice that saves you money and time while reducing business risk. If you are unsure of your network health or need to know more about network monitoring contact your network specialist today.