10 Things to Do on Every NetworkPosted April 15, 2015 by Bobby Kneisel
Just like a home or a car, a computer network needs regular maintenance. The problem is, it’s hard for small businesses to find the time to do it, and unlike a home or a car, the things that need done to maintain a computer network aren’t as well known or as obvious. To help make it a bit easier, here are the top 10 things every small business should be making sure happens:
1. Regular scheduled updates for servers, workstations, and network devices: Every month there are a host of updates released for desktops, laptops, servers, and network devices. These are not just for Windows or Mac OSX, but for other applications like Office, Firefox, Chrome, Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader and many other applications that are used daily. These updates will fix bugs, performance issues, and most importantly, fix security holes. Updates should be reviewed and applied monthly, at minimum, using a well managed process to ensure that the updates are applied and there are no problems created.
2. Weekly anti-virus scans: Having anti-virus on every machine is a bare minimum, but each machine should be scanned every week in addition to the ongoing protection a good anti-virus provides. This helps make sure nothing has slipped by.
3. Using a paid, centrally managed anti-virus that updates regularly: Free anti-virus is great for your home, but a business should never be running it. Commercial anti-virus solutions do a much better job of preventing infections and managing updates, and having it centrally managed makes sure it gets deployed on every computer the business owns.
4. Daily On-site Backups: Backups are a critical function for every business. A good back-up protects the business and should be run at least once a day. Some businesses, such as law firms, title companies, insurance agencies, and medical practices, should be running a back up multiple times a day because of regulatory requirements and how often the data may change.
5. Daily Off-Site Backups: Having an on-site backup is great, but it needs to be protected with an off-site backup as well in case of disaster or failure of the on-site backup. Everyday, a backup should be sent off-site, preferably to a secure cloud with a great guaranteed uptime.
6. Daily review of all backup reports: It’s great to set up a backup, but if you’re not reviewing it to make sure it ran, it doesn’t do you any good. If once a day is simply too much, it should be reviewed no less than once a week.
7. Basic desktop maintenance: Regular maintenance tasks such as removing cookies, clearing temporary files, defragmenting the hard drive, or refreshing DNS, should be done on each machine once a week if possible, and once a month at the minimum. This cleans up old information that the computer no longer needs and helps give the user a better, more efficient, experience.
8. Basic server maintenance: Server maintenance tasks such as clearing logs, removing temp files, best practices scans, removing old updates and other tasks depending upon the server time, should be done monthly. This will also help with the efficiency of your server to keep it from getting cluttered with useless functions and files.
9. Web Content Filtering: Content filtering prevents access to sites employees shouldn’t be going to. This helps prevent malware infections by filtering out sites known for hosting malware, being hacked, or generally behaving badly. Additionally, it helps keep productivity up by preventing access to sites that aren’t work related.
10. Replacing hardware that is more than 4 years old: Once computer hardware reaches 4 years, the chances of failure go up exponentially. The best-practice is to replace hardware as it hits this age. This goes for desktops, laptops, servers, and networking equipment. A failure of even a single workstation can be very expensive due to lost productivity.
Those are the top 10 things that every business should be doing, but they are by no means a complete collection. It seems like a lot, but it takes a lot to make sure a network runs at peak potential. How does your network stack up? If some or all of these things aren’t being done, don’t worry, we can help. Just Contact-Us and we can do a free evaluation.