Is Your Network Part of Your Spring Cleaning?
Traditionally, spring is the time that we commit to tidying up our environment and starting fresh. In your business, this should include your computer network. Here, we’ve compiled a few aspects of network maintenance that your spring cleaning needs to address.
Update for Efficiency
As your business’ operations rely on your computer network, you will want to ensure that your network is prepared to handle your business needs. This should include a few activities.
Hardware and Software Updates
Any computer network is only as efficient as the components that make it up, which means that you need to keep these up-to-date and maintained. Your IT company should automatically be updating your Windows Operating systems. However, you may need to keep tabs on other software that has reached its End-of-Life, or EOL. End-of-Life software should be updated, or replaced, to protect your network from possible breaches through outdated security features. Your hardware also needs to be evaluated to mitigate any potential malfunctions and the downtime these failures would cause. Work closely with your IT provider to plan upgrades and forecast the necessary budget expenditures to keep your network healthy.
You may also have altered your internal procedures, abandoning one software title for one that better suits your needs. You need to make sure that the old software is removed from your servers to prevent your network resources from being wasted. Notify your IT provider when you stop using software, so they can properly remove it from your systems.
Keeping Your Group Policy Up-to-Date
Your network’s Windows Group Policy settings control most of the resources that are present on your network. However, removing software without updating Group Policies could cause issues. It is important that your IT provider updates the Active Directory Group Policies when certain software updates take place.
Managing Data and Access
You will also want to ensure that the data on your network is properly protected, and that only those people who should currently have access, do. Regular Technical Business Reviews (TBR’s) with your IT provider are critical to providing proper security.
Keep Your Windows Active Directory Up to Date
An out-of-date Active Directory is a major security risk. It is important that entries are updated and deleted when system and staff changes occur. Old user accounts provide an attack vector for hackers or former employees. You also want to make sure that you aren’t going to exceed your server’s client access license agreement - basically, the number of licenses that were purchased to allow concurrent users to connect to the server. Disabling, and then removing, a former employee’s account will allow you to avoid the financial impacts of exceeding your purchased licenses.
Review Remote Access
On a related note, you need to keep an eye on which accounts can access your network remotely. Consider the potential repercussions of an employee leaving your company, but still being able to access your data from anywhere. It is critical to coordinate employee onboarding and terminations with your IT provider.
Want Assistance in Cleaning Your Business’ Network?
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can help. First, we can perform a network audit that will assess if you currently have any of the security flaws that we reviewed here. This will help you to identify where your biggest concerns are. Reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. today by calling (508) 622-5100 to request your [FREE] assessment!