Like other assets in your organization, network infrastructure requires continuous monitoring—more so during this era where cyberattacks are frequent. Thus, a robust network management system is essential. Your internal information technology (IT) team can develop and implement network management procedures.
Additionally, you can get assistance from managed service providers (MSPs) to improve your network monitoring. While your in-house IT team can ensure a customized network management system, an MSP can help provide you with the latest technology to make this possible. With a good blend of the two, you can ensure network infrastructure receives constant monitoring.
You can get an MSP from other geographical locations. However, it’s vital to get one near you for ease of coordination with your IT team. For example, if you’re in Australia, you can search for MSP Australia and select a provider closest to you that fits your operations.
While it helps to have the aid of an MSP, you should have in-house policies and procedures for effective network management. The tips below can help you achieve this:
- Set Up An Alert System
Your network works on a 24-hour basis. Additionally, cyber threats are an ever-present risk that can strike at any moment. However, you might not have an IT team to be on station throughout. Therefore, you can set up an alert system where critical issues on the system can get prompt attendance from relevant IT personnel.
The alert should work all the time, even when the IT staff are on duty. This would help quickly direct the team to where there’s unusual activity. Instances for alert setups are firewall breach, workstation activity, access point activity, and router workload.
- Develop An Inventory Checklist For Your System Components
To efficiently carry out network management, you’ll need to know what’s in your possession. Additionally, you need to know what actions to perform at different times. The network infrastructure can have several components, and you might skip or forget others. Thus, having an inventory checklist can help attend to every detail.
You can separate your inventory list into primary and secondary network components. For example, you can have the core switch as an item on the primary list. From this, you can develop a secondary list with everything that connects to the switch. Therefore, your secondary list can include distribution switches, servers, routers, and workstations.
Your list should also include the various software running in your system, including antivirus software and firewalls. From the list, you can easily separate tasks that need daily routine and those that require weekly or monthly checks. This can help your in-house IT team keep tabs on network activity and identify any anomalies.
- Take Note Of Compliance Standards
To facilitate good network infrastructure management, you need to put in place various systems. However, you should check whether you’re compliant with privacy and operational regulations while doing so. For example, you can ensure your existing system and the one you install is compliant with health insurance portability and accountability (HIPAA) privacy and security rules. Additionally, as you may need to safeguard external users’ data, compliance with payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS) is critical.
In most cases, you can maintain separate systems for compliance monitoring and one for troubleshooting network issues. Overall, you should be aware of regulation standards, what to monitor, and how long you need to monitor.
- Develop And Implement A Tracking System
Even though you may have firewalls and antivirus software in place, it’s still essential to monitor the activity and location of every device and user in your network. Therefore, you should set up a system that enables you to track locations and activities in your network.
Admin credentials can help check who’s logged into the system and from where. This ensures that you can track users’ locations and monitor their activity and how it affects the network’s stability.
Additionally, you should ensure that you have addresses for all devices accessing your network. By having both media access control (MAC) and internet protocol (IP) addresses, you can keep tabs on your network’s various devices. This ensures the physical safety of the devices and the network’s cybersecurity.
Combining tracking and alert systems improves your ability to detect unusual activity in your network. You can also establish a network perimeter as part of the tracking system. This would help you monitor the online traffic in and out of your network. In addition, it acts as a detector for network intrusion. Furthermore, it can help alert you when a device is out of range or not in an authorized location.
Sometimes, your team members may report a network problem in your organization. However, your IT team may take time before locating the issue. This can result in a loss of revenue and time. With the above tips, you can ensure that you proactively and effectively manage your network’s infrastructure, thus avoiding unnecessary downtime.