You Should Probably Get Your IT Network Assessed
Why your company might be overdue for a network tune-up.
Businesses in all industries rely on networks to communicate and share information. These networks are vulnerable to threats from cyber criminals, viruses, and malware that can cause them to become slow to load and sluggish to retrieve data. Without proper information technology infrastructure, your ability to communicate effectively, keep your documents safe, and maintain productivity can become compromised. Problems may occur on your network as well, as technology quickly becomes outdated.
To combat this, small businesses should have an IT professional look at their network and conduct a computing assessment. They will make sure your system (1) is doing what it's supposed to be doing, (2) has the most efficient set-up possible, and (3) isn't missing any important components. An assessment will find areas where your network has security flaws and will identify concrete ways to make your network and data safer.
A free information technology assessment can identify the causes of current problems.
If you find that your network tends to be slow, there could be one or several underlying problems. A computing assessment can help you find out what is creating the interference in your network, needlessly using bandwidth, or causing congestion.
When we do an assessment, we take into account the type of internet connection you use, your hardware, equipment, software, routers, applications, and storage. We scan for hidden apps, viruses, malware, and other issues that could be causing your problems. We look at your security. We find ways for you to increase system and employee productivity. We identify everything IT related under the sun so that you can take steps to alleviate problems.
We use many different tools when running a network assessment - all of them look at individual or specific characteristics:
• Network performance issues
• User-related vs network-related issues
• Network security and hardware security
• Capacity and storage issues
• Number of networks or servers used throughout multiple locations
Schwalm Technologies Real World Network Assessment Results
Many of the network risk assessment results we've seen stress the importance of an assessment. Here are a few common issues we run into:
Issue: Computers were found using an operating system that wasn’t supported - which means they were no longer receiving necessary security patches. This is a no-go and presents an inherent risk.
Recommendation: Upgrade/update the operating system or replace the computers. (A few of them were OOOOLLLLLDDDDD and needed to be replaced.)
Issue: Anti-spyware software was not detected on some computers. Without adequate anti-virus and anti-spyware protection on all workstations and servers, the risk of running into an issue is high.
Recommendation: To prevent both security and productivity issues, we strongly recommended installing the anti-spyware software.
Just a story, for fun: As an aside, just a few months before this, we were contacted by a company to help them get rid of the ransomware on their devices. Unfortunately, the ransomware had already encrypted their files, and they did not have a back-up. It was an absolute mess, and they ended up having the pay the ransomware. They were not our client at the time of their frantic phone call, but they are now. I think it's sometimes hard to understand how important IT is until you have something like that happen.
Issue: User accounts with passwords that were set to never expire which presented a risk of use by unauthorized users. These passwords are more easily compromised than passwords that are routinely changed.
Recommendation: Investigate all accounts with passwords set to never expire and reconfigure them to expire regularly. Also, we taught them about password complexity and why it's important.
If you think you need an IT assessment (you probably do), reach out to us or to any trusted professional in the IT industry.