A Guide to Evaluating Your IT Network

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Evaluating an IT network can be a daunting task that many companies would simply prefer to
ignore due to its complexity, and possibly because they dread what such an assessment might
turn up. In today’s competitive business world however, this is an area that just has to be done, in
order to determine if the business is being adequately supported in its objectives by the computing
power of all the physical and virtual components comprising its local and wide-area networks.
When the time comes for such an evaluation, it should be formalized and more in-depth than
simply relying on feedback from the user community about response time, and it should not be
assumed that security is adequate because no one has reported virus attacks. There are criteria
for evaluation that should be used for evaluating the health and eectiveness of any network
which can provide a much clearer and much more accurate idea of how well it is congured to
meet the needs of the company.
It is well known that data is the lifeblood of any business, and without it daily
operations would come to a screeching halt. Imagine an online store losing its
database of products and inventory for sale, or losing its customer database to a
sudden massive crash of the system. A plan for data backup and recovery must be
formalized in terms of its time-of-recovery because time is money in business, and
also in terms of its recovery point, i.e. how far back in time was the last backup?
The concept of backup and recovery should be tied in with Disaster Recovery too,
and the plan for disaster recovery should be tested periodically to ensure its true
IT Network Evaluation Criteria
It is essential to have the most current anti-virus and anti-malware security in place
on the network, because not a day goes by without new malware being created.
This means that the network must be adequately insulated against attacks by its
rewall conguration and by internal anti-virus software. Evaluating eectiveness
entails gauging your security software’s ability to update, scan, and quarantine
suspect les immediately. A secondary aspect of security evaluation is ensuring
that all hardware and software patching is up to date with the latest versions.