Today, any company, from a local business to a multinational corporation, relies heavily upon business networks. Networks evolve, shrink, and grow on a daily basis and it has become impossible for network administrators to control every aspect of these entities. New devices, hardware, and software can be added to your company network every day without your knowledge, and have a serious impact on your network security. This is why it is crucial to conduct network audits on a regular basis.
Network auditing is perhaps most important for ensuring your company’s network compliance. By conducting an audit that will assess your networks, software, hardware, activity, and accessibility you can be sure that all of your network systems are in compliance with internal policies, including specific software licenses.
Network auditing includes the mapping of your network in terms of its hardware and software. This helps you to attain an up-to-date inventory of all of your company’s hardware and software. With current knowledge of how and where all of the hardware and software in your network is running, you will be able to determine which systems need to be replaced or updated to keep up with the operation of your evolving network. Hardware and software inventories will also help you to discover unauthorized devices that have been installed in your network and could pose a potential threat to your online security.
Audits are also used to determine the location of your company’s sensitive information within the network and how that information is being accessed. A network audit can help you to determine several threats to the security of your information and efficient operation of your company network. An audit will reveal all open ports, file and folder accessibility, unidentified user accounts, any unnecessary running services, and startup applications. Some of these elements may be necessary in your network; however, they can all be penetrated by online threats. A network audit will help you to be aware of all of the elements in your network that could be vulnerable, so that you can determine if something needs to be removed. Extraneous threats, such as weak passwords, unapproved services, open shares, unauthorized users, and more may be present in your network and threatening the safety of your company’s critical data every day. Identifying these types of vulnerabilities will begin the process of eliminating them.
Network security audits can never be entirely conclusive, because networks are dynamic and ever-changing spaces. This is why is it is important to run network audits on a regular basis. For most businesses, annual network audits are the minimum that is necessary. However, the nature of the business itself, the industry it is operating within, and its network will truly determine the appropriate frequency of auditing.
Sentry Global Technologies offer the network auditing, reporting, and hardening services to ensure the security of your company’s data. If you have questions or concerns about your network security, contact Sentry Global Technologies today and let us preserve the safety of your online business operation.