In today's competitive business environment it is important to ensure that your critical IT systems are readily available to support core business functions. This requires knowledgeable and skilled professionals armed with the latest tools and information.
But what does a company do when employing an in-house IT staff is not practical? Should you just take your chances and neglect your network? What are the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective network monitoring options for you to consider? Could managed services and cloud-based networking services offer the best solution?
Negative Impacts of Neglecting Your Network
A neglected system is a breeding ground for potentially harmful software. Viruses, worms, and Trojan horse are all examples of malware or malicious software that can do damage to your computer. Viruses are most commonly spread as file attachments to email messages or the sharing of already infected files, for example, a word document. If your system becomes infected with a worm it can send out thousands of copies of itself to all of the contacts in your address book as well as, across your entire network. A Trojan horse, like its namesake from Greek mythology, is designed to fool you into opening it.
Many of these malware infections are made only to cause annoyances or disruptions, perhaps several hours of downtime. While others are designed to be far more destructive such as allowing others to access your computer files and all networked data, encrypting your data, denying access to your data, and with growing frequency, holding your data for ransom.
Spam filters which are a part of all email systems, catch a large percentage of messages containing malware. Some statistics say as much as 99.9%. However, criminals are nothing if not persistent. Agari Data, an experienced cyber-security firm has noticed a new trend among scammers. More spammers are using a kind of small-batch approach that has been successful in fooling most junk mail blocking software.
The problems resulting from malware can range from a mild nuisance, but far more often amount to data vulnerability, increased downtime, damage to your brand's reputation, and costly disaster recovery scenarios. The good news is that all of these things can be avoided with comprehensive network monitoring and management solutions that include enterprise-level spam control.
Network Monitoring And Management Options
Network monitoring is a subset of the network management tasks that system administrators perform on a daily basis. IT monitoring services track certain network activity that might indicate you have a problem. These may be immediate concerns of an indicator of a potential future issue. Monitoring is often performed on a dedicated system connected to your network using a GUI application of some sort or from the command line with tools that reveal a plethora of information. Some of the most common tools used by IT system administrators for small to medium businesses are:
- NETSTAT.exe a free utility to detect spyware and malware.
- Fport Command also used to detect malware including Trojans and inactive Trojans files.
- PSKILL - safely kill processes in use by Trojans.
These are just a few of the free and low-cost methods of managing and monitoring your network. System administrators and IT professionals all have their favorite network security monitoring services and tools they find most useful.
There are additional options, such as all-in-one software solutions that promise network management for those businesses that are unable to field an in-house IT department. These include so-called canary monitoring and heartbeat monitoring programs that notify you when there is a problem. However, often these programs offer too little, too late.
With a flat-fee pricing structure, far and away, the most cost-effective and comprehensive answer exists through cloud-based network monitoring, virtualization and administration solutions, sometimes called network monitoring as a service or NMaaS.
Will Cloud-Based Network Monitoring Work For You?
Cloud-based network monitoring helps prevent network outages and reduces server downtime, eliminating loss of revenue, a result from data and system inaccessibility. It also provides cost-effective and superior data protection and data recovery options.
Because the IT monitoring services are completely cloud-based, it is possible to keep your network patched with the latest security updates, without incurring downtime, which is the only way to ensure your system is not vulnerable to costly breaches.
Managed IT services solutions are ideal for the company transitioning from DIY software based monitoring or businesses scaling. Solutions can be designed with a company's unique needs in mind, no matter the size of your enterprise or its budget.
Spam & Antivirus Problems Solved with Managed IT Services
Data security is one of the greatest concerns most companies face. When using managed IT services that are cloud-based all data that's collected is first encrypted and then transmitted to secure servers using a transmit-only connection, eliminating the security risks sometimes associated with other network monitoring services. Best of all, cloud-based network monitoring with managed IT services requires no updating, patching, and configuration of spam control and antivirus software on your end. Your network is managed remotely, allowing you to leverage your time and resources elsewhere.
Managed IT Services Keep Your Network Secure & Costs Low
With the ever-increasing threat posed by criminals seeking to steal your valuable business data, you simply cannot afford to neglect critical network security. You can't even depend on previously reliable spam control measures.
Unfortunately, small to medium-sized companies that are on a bootstrapping budget or attempting to scale cannot always afford in-house IT management. Though other free and low-cost solutions exist, most require technical knowledge and programming abilities.
To avoid costly downtime and enjoy greater peace of mind, the best choice for a business of your size ;is often managed IT services and cloud-based networking monitoring and management solutions. Because of the unique pricing structure offered by TVG Consulting, you never need to worry about unexpected fees or costly emergencies. By controlling costs you can allocate resources toward scaling and growing, while providing your company with the best managed IT services available. Learn how to protect your IT systems and secure the data you store with our free download The Business Owner's Guide to Data Protection & Security.