Factors to consider when building an IT network

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Creating an IT network is a way to interconnect your computers to each other. Security is paramount when creating a network because your private data is now exposed to attack by hackers. You will need to understand what your network goals are and infrastructure costs to be incurred.

When building your network, you will need to put into consideration that IT is fast-paced and equipment that was essential a year ago soon becomes obsolete.

In this article, we will take you through various factors that you need to consider when building the right IT network for your company.

Costs:

Costs

You will need routers, hubs, servers among other IT equipment when designing your ideal network. The costs of some of this equipment can be astronomical if you are dealing with a large organization. Besides, the costs of the equipment you will need to factor in the cost of labor. Network specialists do not come cheap. Remember IT equipment change frequently, and the costs of upgrades can be high.

Security:

SecurityMany companies opt for Wi-Fi connections instead of cabling. However, Wi-Fi is one of the least secure forms of connections. The equipment that you buy – routers – often come with some form of encryption software but remember experienced hackers can easily crack this. You can opt to include a VPN system in your network. Having a list of the 10 best VPN services helps management narrow down to a provider who understands the company’s needs. While you may consider an Ethernet network, it locks you out from the internet, but it also keeps hackers away from your network.

 

IT maintenance:

IT maintenance

Once you have set up your network system, you need to maintain it regularly. If you have a large company, the costs can be high, but for a startup, one person can handle the maintenance. You can consider outsourcing if the potential costs become beyond your budget. IT maintenance extends to constantly upgrading your existing infrastructure so that it is up to date.

Training:

Training

Once you have established your network, the next part is to develop company policies to support the network. Staff will need to be trained in how to mitigate cyber –attacks, how to open unsecured files and what to do in case of threats. If threats are not appropriately handled all the money you have spent on the network will go down the drain.

Scalability:

The IT sector constantly changes, and you need to be prepared for any upgrades. You should set aside some funds each year to upgrade existing infrastructure. You should also budget for company growth. The number of employees that you started with when you installed the network is bound to grow, and your infrastructure should match this growth.

Redundancy:

Part of setting up your IT network is to have back up servers. It is recommended that you have two servers which are connected through fail-safes. The benefit of this is that when one fails, you can use the other. Redundancy extends to having an extra laptop, wireless router, and switches. You should also ensure that you have back up power sources. One way to keep your data safe is through cloud computing. This will help you back up your data in various servers.

Disaster recovery:

All employees should be taught on data disaster management. Companies can organize a day when servers are assumed to have crashed. Disaster management should include keeping servers in a secure place that is free from fire and weather elements. Disaster management should consist of weekly and monthly procedures. Employees should be showed how to use back up files should the main server collapse.

Performance:

Performance

If you have a wireless network that is slow, then it will cause your business processes to suffer. Downtime causes a lot of resource wastage. To get a high-performance network, you will need to increase your budget on infrastructure. The network should be available at all hours. Some employees would want to be in the office early in the morning or late in the evening. They should find it easy to set up the wireless internet. Watch out for poor signals that can cause your business to stagnate.

Factor in applications:

You will need to factor in new devices and applications when you are setting up your network. Employees are increasingly working on their tablets and smartphones, and you will need to factor in the connectivity of these devices. Some of the applications been used by your employees are either recreational or businesslike. You need to know which ones to be permitted to access your network. Some applications may be susceptible to malware and viruses and should be avoided.

Use of strong passwords:

Once you have set up your network, you will need to allocate passwords to users. For some of your employees setting up passwords means writing their names with a few characters on a piece of paper and pasting it on their desks. For you to have a strong password to ensure that it is more than six characters, has lower and upper case, has numbers and symbols. There some rules that you can use to create strong passwords:

  • Avoid using your name, family members names or variations of your name. This is usually the easiest way for hackers to break into your network.
  • Avoid using common names found in the dictionary
  • Do not use passwords that someone can easily guess by looking at your mail or street addresses.

Once you have passwords in place change them every 60 days. You should also have a logout period after the wrong password has been entered. Your employees should also be trained on common methods that hackers use to gain entry into a network. VPN has encryption software that protects your private network from attacks.

Conclusion:

Building an IT network is crucial if you plan on being efficient in the workplace. However, setting up a network exposes your network to attacks. Setting a VPN system will help protect your network from outside attacks. Employees should also be taught how to set up strong passwords. You should evaluate your network every year for vulnerability and scalability.

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