Organizations depend on their network infrastructures to perform everyday operations seamlessly, and this is increasingly important today in our remote workplace environments. This requires IT administrators to be vigilant to ensure that network systems operate efficiently.
With networks expanding exponentially, the number of vulnerabilities and loopholes increases as well. A network outage, or even a minor glitch can result in loss of revenue and reputation of the company. There are several ways in which networks can become susceptible to cyberattacks, or breakdown on their own.
With network audits, IT admins can understand the status of their networks, and take appropriate actions to fix faults. Network auditing is a process of collating data of different network parameters, and analyzing it for meaningful insights. These insights can be used to understand the health and general status of the network when compared to existing benchmarks and industry compliance standards.
Activities like changing hardware, adding new devices, changing configurations, or installing or modifying firewalls, are all imperative for optimum network performance and security. Maintaining a record of all these operations is equally important. Whenever the network malfunctions, IT admins can use these records to identify and troubleshoot the issue quickly.
In our current remote work era, bring your own devices (BYODs) are increasingly being adopted by organizations. With this work culture shift comes increased bandwidth usage and security risks. In organizations where BYOD has been implemented, IT admins must be aware of the risks, and enforce policies to manage these devices and minimize risks.
Even when employees connect to the corporate network with company devices, the networks are undergoing continuous changes. It's important that network administrators monitor changes, and perform audits on a regular basis to ensure that the network security and performance aspects are faultless.
Although tools automate the network auditing and reporting process, IT admins can perform these actions manually as well. The touchpoints remain the same for both types of auditing. Some of them are:
It is crucial to audit your network device inventory at regular intervals. Devices have to be scanned to confirm if they're still receiving firmware and security updates from the vendors. If devices are not being updated regularly, your organization should determine if they are obsolete and should be replaced. The IT admins should be aware of the firmware versions and operating systems these devices are running on, and troubleshoot whenever necessary.
Avoiding bandwidth bottlenecks is crucial for providing a seamless end-user experience. To do that, IT admins should carefully analyze their network to identify trends in bandwidth usage. Detailed analysis will enable IT admins to understand which service or application in their network consumes more bandwidth, and make the appropriate changes.
The number of network users increase as the infrastructure grows in size; it's a good practice to implement a restricted access policy for all users. IT admins, while auditing changes in the network, can check if there were any unauthorized changes made to the network, and revert them promptly.
Network configuration changes are made regularly to improve the performance of the network. Firewall rules are also updated regularly to tighten network security. But both of these changes have to be documented and audited because even the slightest error can wreak havoc in the network.
A thorough audit of availability and health parameters can help IT admins learn which devices are troublesome, and what kind of changes regularly cause network outages. They can use this information to avoid issues, or to immediately troubleshoot them when they occur.
There are several automation tools options available. But when choosing a network auditing tool, IT admins should confirm that the tool will identify the issue, measure its impact, and give you assistance for resolving the issue.
ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager comes with intuitive reporting capabilities that help IT admins to easily analyze network changes, and correlate them with issues. The built-in reporting capabilities capture all data, and reduce the need for manual documentation. IT admins can easily schedule these reports to be generated at regular intervals, ensuring routine network audits are performed on time, every time.
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