Business Network 101: How to Properly Manage Your Company’s Network

Most modern businesses rely on their internal network to handle all critical information and conduct core operations on a daily basis. Since almost all company data is stored in this shared digital environment, it’s important to ensure network efficiency and security at all times.

There are hundreds of different ways for network managers to improve on their infrastructure, but many of them boil down to a few key points. Keeping these points in mind when designing and operating a business network can reduce downtime, minimize damage and increase overall productivity.

Create Policies and Plans

One of the biggest mistakes business make when handling digital infrastructure is lack of planning. Every medium or large company should have official policies regarding use of company computers, servers and devices. This includes everything from software management to employee conduct while in the workplace. Official policies allow workers to know exactly what is expect of them and ensures everyone is on the same page.

The physical and virtual design of the network should also be a result of planning and calculation. Companies that plan to expand their staff in the near future should build their network with this in mind. Network managers should also have plans established for emergencies or crisis situations, including procedures for regular data backup and loss management in case of a digital incursion.

Collect Logs and Network Data

It’s impossible to properly manage a company network without detailed and accurate information regarding its operations. Network supervisors should set the system to keep logs of all activities, so they have resources to fall back on to diagnose problems that emerge. Since logs can take up a lot of space, it may be necessary to routinely transfer the information to another server to conserve space on specific devices or computers.

General Security and SSH Management

Firewalls and virus protection software won’t protect a network from everything, but they are a solid general security measure that every business should use. It’s also essential to keep these utilities, as well as operating systems and internet browsers, completely up to date.

Out of date software may be vulnerable to hackers or malicious software, which exposes the company to unnecessary risk. Administrators should ensure all devices and computers are kept updated rather than relying on individual employees to do so.

Businesses also need take steps to keep their secure shell (SSH) protocols secure, especially if employees frequently connect to the network remotely. Keys can be compromised and used to breach network security if they aren’t monitored and vetted consistently. Companies can partner with cyber security experts specializing in SSH assets for advice and advanced secure shell solutions.

Employee Education and Access

One of the best ways to increase network security is to limit access to critical systems to only those who need it. It maybe easier to give everyone access to most or all of the company’s systems, but this can create problems as the organization grows.

The established network policies should include guidelines for handling high-level access privileges to those with oversight responsibilities. Access to off-site backups should be highly restricted to minimize the risk of accidental or intentional damage to critical data.

Managing a network is a complicated task that requires attention to detail, foresight and flexible problem solving skills. Small and mid-sized companies may benefit from working with outside consultants or managed service providers if they don’t have dedicated IT staff.

Companies that do have their own staff to administer networking needs should consider investing in on-going education and employee improvement programs to keep their team current on new developments in the industry.


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