How to Perform a Health Check on Your Enterprise Network

To ensure your enterprise network achieves peak performance, enterprises must execute regular health checks on their IT infrastructure. Use this checklist to learn how to perform a health check on your enterprise network.

It would be nice if the signs and symptoms of network vulnerabilities were obvious. But the reality is that network health is a lot like human health: some ailments have clear warning signs, like a rash or a cough, while others are impossible to detect until the problem is too advanced to treat. So just like with any human patient, network problems need to be detected through regular “checkups” so they can be proactively treated before something catastrophic happens, like a complete system crash or a significant security breach.

But knowing how to generate a network health check report for your enterprise isn’t obvious by any means. Most people need a template or example of some kind that tells them what signs of degradation or inefficiency they should be looking for. To that end, here’s our checklist for a network health check that will help you pick up any signs of problems that could negatively impact your network operations in the future.

Check Network Infrastructure

Any good checkup should start at the foundation of your network. Look for issues that may exist with your physical network infrastructure, including wiring and cabling, the firewall, switches, access points, and VPNs. While you’re assessing the physical condition of your hardware, check to make sure any related firmware is up to date. Perform all the hardware and software maintenance that might be overdue, including physically cleaning clogged vents and fans. Change batteries that need replacing, clean up your network closets and server racks, and conduct other regular checks and services.

This is also a great time to update your hardware asset management system. Remember to take note of any equipment that’s outdated or not functioning properly so it can be slated for immediate replacement.

Check Network Management

Examine your network switches to make sure those are functioning properly. This can be done through a control test that measures response time and throughput from point to point across your network. You should also be periodically assessing your network traffic and looking for signs of potential issues in metrics like traffic vs. bandwidth, process throughput, and TCP requests. Be sure to also check the performance of workstations to determine if improvements need to be made.

Audit Internet Security

Over time, malware attacks can chip away at the armor of your antimalware software, firewalls, and other safeguards. Be sure to regularly update these technologies and stay up-to-date on major vulnerabilities that may require you to download a patch — KRACK attacks are a good example of the kind of threat network operators need to be vigilant against. Always remember to ensure all your firewall protections are active, as these commonly get turned off during troubleshooting sessions and forgotten afterward.

Assess the Wireless Network

Don’t forget the wireless components of your network during a network assessment! Check for wireless devices on the network, including low-powered devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops, any desktops accessing the network wirelessly, VoIP handsets, wireless headsets, printers, scanners, and other peripherals and components. Ping your network to find hidden wireless subnets, and check for non-802.11 sources of wireless interference, including microwaves, Bluetooth devices, and cordless telephones.

At the end of a thorough network assessment, you should have a solid-performing network, or at least have identified any issues that need resolution. This is a time-consuming task, and often takes your networking and IT teams away from other critical work. Figuring out what to include in your network assessment checklist is hard enough, let alone asking an overworked IT team to handle the implementation.

Luckily, your IT team doesn’t have to handle all the work of network diagnostics on their own. The professionals at Turn-key Technologies (TTI) have over 25 years of experience working with organizations from a variety of different industries to optimize network health — from education, to petrochem, to healthcare. We can perform a network assessment that will detect any issues in your WiFi network, your wireless infrastructure, and security posture, as well as recommend steps you can take to keep your operations healthy well into the future. Request a quote from Turn-key Technologies today.

By Craig Badrick


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