The IT infrastructure is a very important aspect of many businesses. However, the IT system is often forgotten about until a problem arises. By that point, the issue will likely be severe and could interrupt your business operations while putting the security of the IT infrastructure in jeopardy. It is important for businesses to find an immediate solution for situations like this. However, businesses can prevent major issues with their IT infrastructure by assessing their system and addressing vulnerabilities.
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Many businesses may not have a clear understanding of the overall state of their IT infrastructure or how they can improve their system to be more secure, efficient, and cost-effective. It is usually when a business expands or there is an issue with the system when they realize the importance of effectively monitoring and maintaining their IT infrastructure. Businesses can be proactive in preventing issues and identifying ways to improve their IT system by getting a network assessment from an IT professional.
Network assessments offered by IT companies are often brushed off as a sales pitch to businesses to sell them on IT services. But there is a lot of value to what an IT service provider may uncover with their network assessment. These types of assessments are common practice from IT companies before they begin providing services to assess the current condition of the IT infrastructure and identify opportunities for improvement. Whether you want IT services or not, having a network assessment done can greatly benefit your business and help you improve your IT infrastructure.
In this guide, we will discuss what network assessments are and how an assessment can ultimately benefit your business. If you want a network assessment done for your business, talk to a professional managed IT service provider like PSM Partners.
What is a Network Assessment?
A network assessment is an audit of an IT system using a code that scans the entire network. The code will collect information about how the system and devices are managed and look for vulnerabilities and anything not in compliance with managed service provider’s (MSP) standards. The assessment essentially creates a blueprint for the system that can be used to identify areas to improve the efficiency of the IT infrastructure as well as vulnerabilities that need to be secured.
Having a network assessment done will not interrupt your business activities in any way. The IT service provider will run the code through the system and the results will be provided to the business. The assessment report may include hundreds of metrics used to analyze the IT infrastructure. Below are the key metrics you should pay attention to in the report:
- Risk score: The risk score is a metric that rates the overall security of the entire system.
- Asset summaries: These summaries are assessments of each device connected to the network including details about their operating systems, applications, and security.
- Vulnerability scan: This scan looks for vulnerabilities from outside the network including malicious software and insecure ports open on firewalls.
- User access security: This is an assessment of the users within the network, including the number of users and the last time each user logged in. This can help identify unused accounts and weak passwords as well as unauthorized users.
- Domain name system (DNS) security: This is an assessment of the security of domain name services to identify leaks and rogue servers.
Why Should I Get a Network Assessment?
A network assessment will show you the overall security and efficiency of your IT infrastructure which allows you to enhance its performance and secure vulnerabilities. The following are the main benefits of IT network assessments:
- General assessment of IT infrastructure: The overall picture created by a network assessment will give you insight into how your IT system is performing which will give you insight on the maintenance and upgrades needed to improve efficiency. You can also identify and address weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
- Form IT strategies for improvement: The information provided by a network assessment will make it easier for you to create a plan to consolidate, automate, and simplify some aspects of your IT system and reduce bottlenecks hurting the performance of the system. You can also identify ways to make your IT system more cost-effective.
- Improve security: Uncovering vulnerabilities within your system will help you implement a strategy to improve security and better protect your network from threats like data breaches, unauthorized users, and malware.
- Reduce costs: A network assessment will show how much or how little certain assets within the system are used. This will help you save costs on assets that may not be necessary and make other changes that will improve the overall cost effectiveness of the IT system.
Network assessments provide peace of mind for businesses by presenting a clear picture of the performance and vulnerabilities of their IT infrastructure. IT professionals that provide network assessments help businesses understand the results with a non-technical explanation as well as the implications to their business. Businesses can then make informed decisions to improve their IT infrastructure, whether they implement the improvements in-house or choose to work with an IT service provider.
Network Assessments and Managed IT Services from PSM
Calling a professional for a network assessment is a great way for businesses to gain a better understanding of their IT infrastructure and form a strategy to improve the efficiency of the system, reduce costs, and secure vulnerabilities. If businesses do not have the resources or expertise to take the next steps after an assessment themselves, an IT professional like PSM can help.
PSM provides a range of technology services including managed IT services and IT consulting. Our experts can assess your IT infrastructure to develop and implement a plan that aligns your IT strategy with your business goals.