When you hear people talking about network assessment, what comes into your mind? You might say that it refers to IT people taking inventory of their company’s computer equipment. One would also say that it is checking the performance of a network. These are all true and that is why network assessment is important.
A network assessment is like a company’s annual physical examination. You let yourself undergo a series of medical tests. You undergo a blood test, an x-ray, and urinalysis. The medical results will reveal your current health condition.
A network assessment is like that. Your network undergoes a series of tests or evaluation to know its current condition. Someone from the IT department does this. Hiring someone outside your business like an ethical hacker is also possible. A network assessment checklist also helps in this situation.
You will know more about network assessment in the next section. You will also understand network assessment is important and necessary.
What Is Network Assessment?
A network is a group of computers that share information with each other. That is the traditional setup of a network. But today this setup has changed already. A network now consists of endpoint devices as well. This includes laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
An assessment is the same as the meaning of evaluation. It measures the current state or condition of something.
A network assessment measures or evaluates the current condition of a network. A network assessment also has two stages: preparation and implementation. Preparation stage involves the steps needed before implementing a network assessment. This includes asking permission from different departments before conducting the actual network assessment. The implementation stage is where the actual network assessment happens.
You now know what a network assessment is. The next section covers why network assessment is important.
Why Network Assessment Is Important
Undergoing an evaluation reveals your network’s weaknesses or vulnerabilities. That is one reason why network assessments are important. These vulnerabilities are security holes that an attacker could exploit. They will use these as their entry point to your network.
Here are other reasons why network assessments are important:
- A network assessment reveals the equipment in your network that needs immediate attention. This could either be a hardware repair, maintenance, or a replacement. Imagine the consequences of having faulty equipment around. This could lead to loss of revenue especially if the equipment is a POS machine or something equal. This is one of the reasons why network assessment is important. You can identify in advance the potential problems in your network.
- A network assessment reveals which part of your network that needs software patches. A patch contains program fixes and upgrades. This is an important thing to do. Keeping your software up to date will fix some vulnerabilities. Doing this also prevents a cybercriminal from doing the same attack twice. This will prevent future threats from happening. Again, this is one of the reasons why network assessment is important.
- A network assessment also reveals the physical security risks in your business. A physical security risk occurs when someone gains unauthorized access to data. An example of this is when someone is able to insert a USB device on a computer in your network. This could be a new employee or an attacker posing as a visitor. This unknown USB device has a great chance of containing malware inside it. A physical security solution here is to install CCTV cameras everywhere. This lessens the chance of an attacker visiting your company premises in person. This is one of the reasons why network assessment is important.
- A network assessment reveals which security policies that people do not follow. You can track the number of times a certain employee used a weak password. This is a violation of the password security policy. It states that passwords should be strong. Passwords should contain alphanumeric and special characters. It should also contain at least eight characters and so forth. This is one of the reasons why network assessment is important.
Doing network assessments reveal the weaknesses in your network. Scanning your applications, system, and network for vulnerabilities is a good practice. A cybercriminal can take advantage of a security hole or weakness in your system.
Using a vulnerability scanning program is efficient and cost-effective. There are a lot ofnetwork assessment tools out there. Choose the right one that meets your security needs.
You no know what is a network assessment. You are also now aware of why network assessments are important. For more information on why network assessments are important, please visit ITarian.com