Prevent Network Downtime to Prevent Costly Outages

 In Infrastructure Assessment, IT Planning, Network

Your network is probably the least visible piece of your infrastructure, but network outages can cause highly visible problems for your business. In one study, 90 percent of businesses had at least one network outage during the past year, with many experiencing two or more.

The costs of those outages are high. It’s hard to pin them down exactly, but some estimates have them running over $9,000 every minute the systems are down. With more than half of outages lasting over an hour, that’s a significant cost. And the cost of the outage can linger even after systems are back up, due to overtime needed to catch up on the work delayed during the outage, the need to pay for expedited shipping to fulfill orders, damage to your company’s reputation, and loss of customer trust and future business.

Address the Causes of Downtime

Most of that downtime is due to equipment failures, followed by human errors. Reducing downtime and its associated costs requires addressing both the technical and people issues.

The equipment failures can be addressed by building in redundancy to your network. Having spare equipment on hand is highly effective in preventing and minimizing downtime, particularly if you have automated scripts to bring backups on line and failover as needed when problems are detected. Although cyberattacks cause only a small portion of outages, you should implement the appropriate software tools (firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems) to guard against them.

The human failures can largely be addressed by training. Estimates claim that 60 to 80 percent of unplanned outages come from incorrect configuration changes, so making sure your staff is fully trained in your equipment and software is very important. While manual review isn’t foolproof, you should have a process that requires a second person to approve sensitive changes to network and device settings. More generally, staff should also be trained to recognize phishing attempts and unauthorized attempts to access the network.

It’s also key to have adequate network monitoring. While monitoring won’t prevent failures, it lets the IT team start addressing issues before end users become aware of them and before they impact business operations. A formal disaster recovery plan helps you think through the recovery process before it’s needed and ensures you know what you have to do rather than figuring it out under the pressure of an outage.

Assess Your Infrastructure to Identify Vulnerabilities

An infrastructure assessment from Prescient Solutions can help you to identify your network vulnerabilities and develop a strategy for mitigating your most important risks. Once you’ve developed your plan, our network management services ensure your network is built out with the capacity and security needed for your employees to be productive and your data to be protected. Contact us to learn more about how proactive network management and monitoring can protect your business from costly outages.

Additional Network Resources

Is Your Network Ready for the Hybrid Cloud?

Protecting Your Network Begins With Controlling the Devices that Connect to It

How to Approach Your Network (Re)Design Project

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