Many businesses take their IT for granted. After all, if everything appears to be working and your employees can access and use the resources they need without a hitch, there’s little reason to worry. That is, until something goes wrong. It’s often difficult to know what’s going on behind the scenes, and few businesses are truly aware of how secure their network really is.
Ignoring important details such as regulatory compliance and the inner workings of cybersecurity can leave your entire infrastructure vulnerable. Everything may appear to be working just fine one minute, but if something goes wrong, business can quickly come to a grinding halt. That’s why every business needs professional network security assessments.
#1. Identify Performance Bottlenecks
Professional network assessments don’t just consider cybersecurity. They also help you identify hardware, software, and connections that are slowing down your whole system. Furthermore, they identify other culprits that may be causing performance problems.
Different types of connections (such as copper wire and fiber optic), and configuration issues with network devices (such as routers and WiFi signal boosters) can also significantly impact network performance. A professional audit will not only help identify gaps in network security – it will also expose problems that need to be fixed to reduce bandwidth consumption and improve performance.
#2. Expose Security Vulnerabilities
It’s an unfortunate truth that most companies discover security flaws in their IT only after a hacker has already gained access. Many security solutions are reactive rather than proactive, and while having this last line of defense is critical, your primary approach should always be to prepare for the worst well in advance. A network security assessment does exactly that.
Network security audits are carried out by white-hat hackers who, putting themselves in the shoes of cybercriminals, attempt to uncover vulnerabilities and fix them before a less friendly hacker exploits them. The process involves taking a holistic view of your network infrastructure before providing suggestions that improve your current cybersecurity strategy and lock down your network.
#3. Audit Hardware Lifecycle Stages
Most of us know that outdated hardware and software tends to be more vulnerable. After all, once a product is no longer supported by the original developer or even a third party, there won’t be any more patches or updates for it to address current security concerns and other issues. A prime example is Windows XP which, being no longer supported by Microsoft, is extremely vulnerable to malware attacks.
A network security audit involves building a complete inventory of every component that makes up your network. This process helps identify any equipment that’s near or past the end of its lifecycle and, consequently, may be causing performance bottlenecks or creating security gaps. The assessment will also identify firmware and other software that needs to be updated.
#4. Adhere to Industry Regulations
Many businesses are subject to strict government-mandated regulations governing the storage and transmission of sensitive data. For example, companies that accepts credit card payments need to be compliant with the PCI-DSS requirements, while companies that handle patient health information (PHI) need to be HIPAA-compliant, even if they’re not directly involved in healthcare themselves.
Even if you’re confident that your network is secure, meeting the stringent requirements laid out by industry regulations can be extremely complicated. That’s why you need an assessment conducted by someone who understands the intricacies of the rules affecting your industry. In fact, a professional network security assessment is a mandatory requirement of many compliance standards.
Are you concerned about what could happen to your business if it fell victim to a cyberattack or an extended period of unexpected downtime? If so, you’re probably ready for our seven-layer approach to network security, starting with a detailed assessment of your network. Call us today to find out more.