Neglecting to monitor your network infrastructure is a fundamental mistake that significantly increases the chances of a successful cyber attack and impairs your network’s performance.
As discussed in a recent article from Beta News, companies need to acknowledge that they’ll not only face cyber attacks, but that some of these attacks will likely get past their initial defenses. While it’s important to use anti-malware programs and other first-line defenses that can initially repel many cyber attacks, you need to realize that you’re never guaranteed 100% protection from unauthorized intrusions.
As such, it’s important to maintain layered defenses and actively monitor your network for suspicious activities that could indicate a successful intrusion. Proactive monitoring of network infrastructure is a critical strategy that can help you prevent or detect various problems before they develop into crisis situations.
Keep in mind that while IT disasters can result from an external cyber attack, there are also other sources of IT emergencies, including equipment and connection failures. So not only is network monitoring a critical part of your cyber defenses; it’s also essential for preserving the general health of your IT infrastructure. Network monitoring enables you to respond to a problem in a prompt, effective way without waiting to first hear about it from frustrated or panicking employees who find that they suddenly can’t get their work done.
Ask your Managed Service Provider (MSP) about monitoring services
When you hire an MSP to manage and advise you about your company’s IT activities, make sure to ask them about the kinds of monitoring services they provide for your network infrastructure. The following are five important questions to ask:
- Will they provide proactive monitoring of your company’s network? Sometimes, IT personnel take a purely reactive approach to IT problems. They swoop in to try and fix an issue only after employees have started noticing it or business operations have slowed down or come to a halt. Make sure that the MSP you work with offers proactive monitoring.
- How frequently will they monitor your network? Ideally, proactive monitoring will take place round-the-clock, every day of the year. It’s not enough to only sometimes scan your network or devices for problems, or limit the monitoring to business hours. Your MSP should offer you a 24 x 7 x 365 service.
- How will they respond to problems? Let’s say there are signs of trouble in your network, suspicious activities, or an outright emergency. How will your MSP respond? Who is actually responsible, and what will they do? Are there limits to what their monitoring service can detect? While you don’t need to know all of the technical details, you should get a clear sense of how they will use network monitoring to act effectively and swiftly.
- Will they let you know what’s going on? It’s important to establish clear communication between you and your MSP, including protocols for when they notify you about problems. Even when there aren’t any problems, they should give you regular reports about the state of your IT health, along with recommendations for changes to improve the security, productivity, and cost-effectiveness of your IT set-up.
- What kind of information will they give you? Ideally, your MSP will use the information they glean from network monitoring to give you a strong picture of your IT infrastructure, its strengths, and its potential weaknesses. They should provide you with advice for how to strengthen your network’s performance and security. Instead of just doing the bare minimum to keep your network going, they should actively contribute to its strength and development, with an eye towards supporting your business goals and activities.
Please contact us for further information about our round-the-clock proactive network monitoring. We’re dedicated to improving and maintaining the health of your IT infrastructure.