February 28, 2022

Avoid these five network management mistakes

By Francis Wainaina, Senior Product Manager at SEACOM East Africa

Monitoring and managing a business network has become a complex task, but a vital one. The sheer number of connections and devices using the network makes it a difficult process to manage without the knowledge and expertise. To add to this, cyber attacks and data breaches are becoming increasingly common as hackers find new ways to gain entry to corporate networks.

Network management needs to be taken seriously. The latest cyber security software is needed to effectively protect the IT network and enable smooth operations. Negligence or taking shortcuts can have devastating consequences if confidential business documents or customer information gets leaked. In addition, the downtime caused by a compromised network can financially ruin a business.

The IT department plays a critical role in monitoring, managing and securing the business network. It allows the organisation to retain competitiveness and utilise digital transformation to secure its future. Here are five network management mistakes that must be avoided at all costs.

Failure to prepare for network growth

Companies of all sizes and in all industries are constantly evolving according to the changes around them. This means that data traffic will surely increase and new technologies will be used to complement business services. These all require a solid network infrastructure with enterprise-grade services - which, in turn, rely on excellent preparation before being implemented.

Be sure to invest in flexible networks that can handle increasing speed and capacity requirements. This will allow your business to grow and remain competitive. IT managers need to ensure that they plan carefully and anticipate this growth. Network scalability is a crucial factor in the success of a modern business.

Failure to monitor devices and applications

Proper monitoring of network devices and applications will allow the IT department to get a full picture of the company’s network performance. This will also allow them to optimise for efficiency. A software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) is the ideal future-proof solution for IT managers. SD-WAN not only runs WAN services effectively, securely and economically, but it also optimises application and device logs.

SD-WAN can be set up to prioritise business-critical applications and services, which reduces delays through packet loss or latency. Over time, this translates to improved network performance, better monitoring capabilities and increased productivity.

Failure to set access controls

While this may seem really obvious, it needs to be reiterated. Companies often store masses of confidential information and sensitive data on their networks. Controlling who can access this network is a core component of network security. Unauthorised users can sink a company if they gain access to certain records and leak them. To prevent data from falling into the wrong hands, set role-based access restrictions on your business network.

SD-WAN plays a role here, too. Its built-in security features improve cyber security and allow IT managers to track users on the network - seeing who and where they are in real-time. SD-WAN offers more than just basic firewalls and virtual private network (VPN) functionality. They come with extensive, integrated security features, such as encryption and sandbox capabilities.

Failure to see automation as a viable solution

As companies race to accelerate their digital transformation objectives, their networks tend to increase in complexity and scale. This requires more manhours to monitor and set up, which is obviously going to be more costly to the business. Automation is the ideal solution, here.

SD-WAN, once again, comes into play. The software automatically monitors and optimises the network traffic, which frees up the IT department and personnel. It removes the need for onsite staff to manage the infrastructure. By offloading non-essential applications and monitoring tasks, SD-WAN simplifies networking services and eases the network management burden.

Failure to be proactive

Being reactive, rather than proactive, is not a good approach to network management. Reacting to network performance and security issues as they arise will not benefit a business in any way. IT departments need to anticipate problems with the network by proactively searching for threats and inefficiencies.

Network downtime can be extremely costly, so having a proactive and hands-on network management approach is ideal. This kind of thinking, combined with regular network audits, will help to keep potential disasters at bay. For more information or to get a quote for our network management or SD-WAN solutions, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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