by: Derek Rogers
The benefits of completing a network audit on your computer network are numerous. Not only does it help keep your computer network at optimal condition through analyzing power consumption, needed equipment upgrades or security issues, but can help establish an asset base and future cash flow needs for equipment and office space planning.
Typically, the benefits of completing a network audit can keep you informed of versions of software and licenses to help detect shortages or plan mass upgrades. Network audits can locate hard drives, network adapters, CPU details, motherboard specifications and peripherals and detect security issues, such as where antivirus or firewalls need to be installed.
Typically, one of the benefits of completing a network audit is to give you a comprehensive, no-hassle network inventory database that is extremely helpful in determining future needs when it comes to hardware and software. Another benefit of a network audit, is analyzing security needs, which is especially important to keep from costly downtime, or complete data loss, especially on large and scattered out networks.
Since many networks are built over a period of time by adding additional offices, computers and software, it can become difficult to determine whether upgrades will be easy and affordable or costly and lengthy, if you don’t have a network audit. Sometimes, cost is a factor when thinking about upgrades, keeping up with new technology and a network audit can give a full picture of future needs in keeping your network efficient.
Certain businesses have government regulations in place that require them to protect secured and private information, such as credit card numbers, or whether your emails should be encrypted, for example. Depending on your business, a security breach could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if a hacker gets hold of confidential information that was entrusted to you for a transaction from a customer.
Through a network audit, any possible areas where breaches could occur can be uncovered and dealt with. In a time where so much business is transacted over the Internet, security is of utmost importance, and the benefits of a network audit can help ensure that you are in compliance with protecting information, especially if you transmit financial transactions electronically.
Network audit can analyze physical networks, such as routers, telecom equipment, network switches and ports, as well as audit capacity management, configurations and network database populations, in the case of remote users. A network audit should be performed by an expert in the field that have in-depth telecom knowledge and comprehensive network audit experience.
This is not a field for amateurs, although there are some programs on the market that are do-it-yourself network audit software packages, which might be fine for a small office or home network audit.
If you have a number of computers or locations, a more comprehensive network audit would be needed to get sound advice on assets, upgrades, future needs and technological advancement options, in addition to security needs.
The benefits of completing a network audit are many, but they are necessary to assess future expenses and security breach weaknesses for businesses that handle sensitive information electronically.