Networks have evolved dramatically. Gone are the days of a few devices, all in one building, connected via a series of wires and cords. Today’s networks are very complex, designed to accommodate numerous devices, operating from differing platforms and geographic locations, demanding high speed and dependable access in every moment.
One thing remains consistent when we talk about business computer networks – the need for monitoring. Consistent and ongoing monitoring allows network managers to know what is going on in the network in any given minute, the state of any of the various devices and access points, and ensure that everyone’s access and data are secure.
What exactly is a network?
A network is a collection of devices that are connected to, and communicate with, one another. This communication may refer to the sharing of data and/or equipment. The design, both physically and digitally, of a network differs greatly based on the needs of the user. Further, the different components such as PC’s, printers and servers, mobile devices and remote access requirements, as well as software applications, differ considerably from business to business.
Networks need constant monitoring to stay on top of troubleshooting and security.
Knowledge about the essentials of networking and the elements that make up a computer network helps with better network management and monitoring. Basically, network monitoring involves:
Network Monitoring includes:
- Internet and Intranet Access
- Security/Antivirus Software & Firewalls
- Operating Systems in Use
- Server Performance
- Equipment – Age, Speed & Memory Capacity
- Software Applications – Updates & Security Patches
- Identifying Potential Issues
Network monitoring is the use of a system of procedures and protocols that constantly monitors a computer network for slow or failing components, and that notifies the network administrator in case of outages or other trouble. Network monitoring is an essential part of network management. Fundamentally, the goal of network monitoring is to keep tabs on the health of all the components comprising the network, and prevent unpleasant surprises whenever possible. A network manager wants to provide a trouble-free experience for the end-user, and ensure the best security is in place during the transmission of data.
Luckily, when you keep a close eye on your network, many of these issues do not pop up as surprises, allowing for fixes to occur at convenient times such as overnight or on weekends. Crashes and breaches become much less common, and disasters can be avoided.
The specific needs of a network may vary considerably, but what remains consistent is that all networks require monitoring, maintenance and a solid security protocol to be dependable.
A green light on a computer doesn’t mean that everything is in good operating order. Through monitoring, periodically network components require updates, fixes and replacement. A well-managed network has alerts set up to notify of impending problems, schedules routine updates, keeps up with new security patches, and plans for equipment replacement and upgrades.
Mistakes happen and breaks do occur, of course. An employee unwittingly clicks on an email scam, memory becomes corrupt or full, equipment fails. When breaches and fails do occur, troubleshooting and fixes can be far more timely on a managed network.
Network Maintenance includes:
- Reviewing Server Logs
- Updating Device Components & Software
- Installing Security Patches
- Maintaining strong firewalls
- Commercial-grade antivirus
- Consistent System & Data Backup
Security is Essential to Your Network
Everything related to and accessible from a network needs security! Your Firewall is the locked door to public internet, and must be kept up to date, reviewed to ensure correct reports firmware is installed, and watched for intruders. Hackers operate by finding holes in Firewall firmware, and then take advantage of this vulnerability. With consistent security monitoring and ongoing backup practices, a network can be made much more protected and safe from attackers.
The most common problem in networks is people clicking on something they shouldn’t.
Most common issue causing HUGE problems in networks and devices is when people click on something they shouldn’t have and invite a perpetrator in. Hackers are depending on human error, basically, so don’t give them that opportunity. Always, always, always be VERY careful what you click on!
If you are concerned that your network might be at risk – please give us a call! We offer a free consultation to new clients to see how we might help you. We also offer ongoing support to clients through our Managed IT Services . Learn how we can start making your business run smoothly – 207.653.4143