Don’t wait for something in your IT infrastructure to stop working before conducting a network assessment. A proactive IT assessment can prevent downtime and enhances the overall performance of your network. Keep reading to learn all about network assessments and how they work to your benefit.
What Is an IT Assessment?
A network assessment is a thorough analysis of your entire IT environment. It looks into everything in your infrastructure from management and security to processes and overall performance. The purpose of a network assessment is to provide valuable insights and identify areas for improvement so you can develop strategies for optimization.
There are many issues that an IT assessment uncovers, but arguably the most important tend to focus on areas such as cybersecurity and improving efficiency. For instance:
- Possible gaps in security efforts
- How resources are being used
- Any bottlenecks in your operations
A network assessment may seem daunting at first, but it’s one of the best ways to make sure your company is properly protected against potential threats and is operating at optimal efficiency.
What Should a Network Infrastructure Checklist Include?
Before beginning your assessment, it’s important to have an understanding of how to evaluate network infrastructure. Making sure you’re equipped with the proper network assessment tools is important as well.
To have a successful network assessment, it’s a good idea to prepare a network infrastructure checklist, or a list of areas that require attention in the assessment process. Here are some common components of a well-built network infrastructure checklist:
Identify and Inventory All the Resources in Your Network
As companies grow or go remote, it gets harder to keep track of who has access to what, how old a certain device or system is, and just general performance. For step one of your network assessment, take inventory of all of your resources for clarity on what needs updating or possible areas of vulnerability.
Review Existing IT Policies and Procedures
Examine your policies to make sure they are accomplishing the intended goal and that you’re staying compliant. Policies like the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), for example, are vital to keeping your network running as it should. Make sure your network assessment includes a thorough review of your policies. You might need to add new policies or eliminate existing ones.
Assess Cybersecurity Efforts and Possible Weaknesses
Cybersecurity is a must for every business, and it’s arguably the most important item on your checklist, as hackers and ransomware attacks only continue to evolve with technology. In fact, there are entire IT assessments solely focused on security and risk.
Audit Your Data Storage and Security
Separate from your cybersecurity precautions, it’s important to look into your data, how it’s being stored, and who has access to it. Keeping your data (and any customer or client data) secure is not optional.
Create a Report and a Strategy
This step is the last on almost every network infrastructure checklist. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information from your network assessment, you can start using these insights to create a strategy to enhance performance across the board.
What a Network Assessment Can Do for Your Company
There are several reasons why an IT assessment is a good idea for any company that has some sort of IT infrastructure. While it can be a reactive solution for an underperforming network, conducting a network assessment can also be one of the best ways to improve the overall operations and performance within your business. When you have total visibility of any bottlenecks or gaps in security, you can confidently build and roll out a strategy that bolsters your network.
On top of improving operational performance, a thorough IT assessment is really a sure-fire way to ensure your cybersecurity processes are keeping you protected. As technology continues to evolve, unfortunately, so does cybercrime. Between hackers and ransomware, it’s almost hard to not be at risk for a potential attack.
In just the first quarter of 2021, we saw 3 times the amount of ransomware attacks as there were in all of 2019, and this number is only expected to grow in 2022. That’s why it’s imperative to have a solid cybersecurity strategy in place—and it all starts with a network assessment.
Some Key Takeaways
There’s a lot that goes into a network assessment, so let’s break down some of the most important aspects of how to evaluate network infrastructure:
- Create a network infrastructure checklist of key components that must be reviewed to use as a guide throughout the assessment process.
- Find a network assessment tool (Network Detective, for example) to help with the project.
- Use insights to make improvements, upgrades, and strengthen any vulnerabilities.
As technology continues to grow and evolve, so do processes and practices. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your network’s performance.
Enhance Your Company’s Overall Performance With a Network Assessment
Are you experiencing complications in your network? Are you unsure of where they’re occurring? Get a comprehensive view of your network infrastructure with a network assessment performed by Net3 IT. With years of experience in the industry and access to versatile network assessment tools, we help you enhance your network’s performance by showing you opportunities for improvement.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic or the other services we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Since 2012, Net3 IT has offered enterprise-level IT experience and industry knowledge to help Knoxville businesses make the right decisions. We are committed to our customers’ success by providing cost-effective, high-value IT services, VOIP phone services, and strategic consulting.