Network management has become incredibly complex in recent years. It is becoming even more complicated due to evolving compliance standards, which all organizations are required to adhere to.
The Global Data Protection Requirement is one of the most significant changes that has impacted network administrators in recent years. However, other policy changes are on the horizon. The Washington Privacy Act failed to pass the state legislature, but it is gaining traction and might be implemented next year. The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 is another sweeping regulatory change.
As a network administrator, abiding by compliance standards is more important than ever. Network managers must implement the right protocols to make sure the network is secure and efficiently managed.
Here are some guidelines that all network managers should follow.
Use an SD-WAN system
You can use a network management system to improve the processes on your network. One of them is SD-WAN.
This is a network management system that allows networks to use different WAN resources. They can usually use them more securely and affordably.
Create a critical infrastructure inventory list
You are going to need to properly document all of the important applications that are running on your network. You can’t possibly ensure those applications will operate reliably if you don’t keep track of them.
There are a number of potential consequences for neglecting to keep a list of important systems. One issue is that some software applications have bugs that can create security risks. Your system might also crash if lots of unnecessary, unused applications are clogging up your resources.
It is best to add every new application to your critical infrastructure list as soon as it is installed. If you have not done so before, then you’ll want to carefully review your servers and compile a list of these applications.
Come up with a nomenclature system for your devices and data sets
You are going to have to come up with names for the resources on your network. The exact naming system that you use isn’t especially important. What really matters is whether or not you use it consistently.
Here are some things that you have to ensure when you are coming up with a standard for naming your resources:
- You need to make sure that you specify the type of a device that is embedded in your network.
- You need to mention where your devices or resources are being physically stored.
- You need to provide some details about the type of network you are managing, such as whether it is a corporate or DMZ network.
Making sure every resource is properly named can be annoying at first. However, it is going to save you tremendous headaches down the road. You avoid problems when resources are missing and can make sure things are adequately maintained. It is the equivalent of taking a few extra minutes to file your business receipts, so you don’t have to spend hours looking for them during tax time.
Ensure that your change control process is customized to the nuances of your network
There is no getting around the reality that changes are going to have to take place within your network from time to time. There is absolutely no way to successfully implement these changes without a change control process in place.
The trick is coming up with a change control process that is actually going to make sense and align with the objectives of your network. Too many network administrators use change control processes from other organizations as templates for their own network. This is a faulty approach, because it neglects to consider the countless differences between your network and networks with other entities.
Setup backup automation
The configurations of your network need to be regularly backed up. You never know when a cyberattack, server outage or natural disaster might threaten the data on your network. Even a few hours’ worth of lost data can be catastrophic for many companies.
Of course, conducting manual backups can be very tedious and frustrating. A better approach is to automate your backups instead. There are a lot of tools that can automate this process, which will alleviate many of your headaches. It is a good idea to make sure data is both backed up on the cloud and your internal servers.
Make a logical map of your network dependencies
A network would be a lot easier to manage if all of the systems could operate independently. Unfortunately, that is not how modern networks work. Certain systems are dependent on each other.
You need to map out your different systems and show how they are connected with each other. You need to be aware of the problems that will occur if one system goes down and another system is depending on it. This will help you know how to prioritize resources and foresee potential pitfalls if certain systems are intentionally discontinued.