spring clean network

With winter behind us, it’s time to think about doing some spring cleaning. Not in a traditional sense, but in your business network. Spring is a great time to evaluate your equipment, boost security protocols and enhance the protection of your sensitive company data.

Follow these simple steps to keep your business network running at peak performance.

Test Your Backups

You’re off to a great start if you already have a data backup system in place, but are you confident your backup is functioning properly? In other words, are you sure your backups are complete? Are you confident you can fully restore your data?

Without a solid, functional backup system in place, a single keystroke could put your entire business at risk. Even if you have been diligent about backing up data, without consistent testing, you backup might be incomplete.

Whether you’re backing up data to the cloud, using network attached storage and removable hard drives or taking a hybrid approach, regular data backup testing can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered in the event of a disaster or cyber-attack.

Start testing by selecting a few files to restore. Be sure to open those files, read through them and compare file sizes to the originals. If your backed-up data is incomplete, it’s time to revamp your entire backup strategy.

Evaluate User Accounts

New user accounts are a key part of the onboarding process. As employees come and go, it’s common for user accounts to become obsolete, which presents a security risk. Take a few moments as your next spring cleaning task to review all user accounts and remove any old accounts as necessary.

Remember, regardless of role, employees should be given the least amount of access necessary to do their jobs. Providing staff with too much access can be a big security risk, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Remove Dirt and Debris from Equipment

Not all network spring cleaning is digital. In order to protect your equipment, some physical cleaning is necessary as well. Over time, dust and dirt build up, especially around the fans that cool your equipment. If you don’t take the time to remove this debris, it can block the fans, causing your equipment to overheat and eventually break down.

All you need to remove this buildup is a can of compressed air and a little patience. Be sure to check all the electronic equipment in your office and don’t hesitate to remove a wall panel or two to ensure you’re not just blowing debris deeper into the equipment.

Schedule a Security Assessment

When it comes to network security, spring is the perfect time to schedule a security assessment to identify weak spots in your network.

It’s difficult to truly know how secure your network is without actual testing. When you schedule your security assessment, Ontech Systems will carefully evaluate each part of your security process, from user creation and data access to software updates.

Implement Layered Security

Data security is not just one step – it is a multilayered process. If you want to protect your data, a layered security process is necessary so that if one layer of security is penetrated, another layer is there to prevent the vulnerability from infiltrating your network.

Review Firewall Rules

Even with a robust firewall in place, without the right rules, your network may not be fully protected. Spring cleaning your network should include a review of your firewall security rules – from determining which ports are active to evaluating which exceptions are acceptable.

Check Equipment Warranty Support Expiration Dates

Computer equipment can increase the efficiency of your business, but when the support window ends, it presents a security risk. Your spring cleaning protocol should include a thorough review of support expiration dates, along with an analysis of extension options.

In addition, be sure to conduct a software review since support for several popular operating systems like Windows XP has already come to an end.

Create/Update IT Security Training for Staff

Your employees are your first line of defense, and many security experts agree – they’re also your biggest security risk. Take the time to ensure your staff is fully trained and updated on the latest in cyber security by creating and/or updating a robust IT security training program.

Replace Outdated Equipment and Software

If your warranty expiration review reveals outdated equipment and software, now is the time to replace it. Running outdated software puts your business at risk, and with today’s sophisticated cyber-attacks, it’s not a matter of if, but when your network will be attacked by cyber criminals.

Save Space by Moving to the Cloud

If your hard drives and servers are bursting at the seams, moving to the cloud can solve your storage problems. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to free up physical and digital space (and IT budget) by moving to the cloud.

If you need assistance with any of these spring cleaning steps, just contact our sales department today to discuss your needs and see how we can help.

Ontech Systems can assist with everything from security assessments, to system testing, licensing upgrades and beyond. We will do everything we can to ensure these steps are as simple and straightforward as possible.

Just give us a call at (262) 522-8560 or email us to begin your security assessment or Free Network Discovery today.

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