networking_mistakes

5 Top Networking Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“To err is human” and as we know, everyone makes mistakes. Some can be harmless or slightly embarrassing, but there are mistakes that can topple an entire organization. Oftentimes, we assume the bigger the mistake, the faster we will respond in order to fix it but it is important to understand that even the slightest error can have immense consequences. 

IT teams have the all-important responsibility of ensuring that the corporate network is working smoothly and securely according to the organization’s policies. It’s their job to configure and update the network to the latest best practices for networking. Whether fixing security patches or adopting the latest technology on the network and its infrastructures they have to be aware of the possible mistakes that can occur in their position.

If your IT team is inattentive or doesn’t sufficiently prepare and strategize for possible changes in the network, it can result in massive mistakes that can put the network and even the organization at risk. 

The first step to solving mistakes in IT is understanding and acknowledging that errors and mishaps can and will occur. The next step IT managers need to take is understanding what action they need to implement to fix the mistake that occurred under their watch. Instead of overthinking how these networking errors happened and what could have been done ahead of time to avoid these mistakes, it’s best to do some research on best practices that will help avoid future networking mistakes to occur. 

To help avoid possible networking mistakes, here is our list of popular mistakes that IT teams tend to make with networking and how to fix them:

Forgetting To Set Access Controls 

Most organizations are storing sensitive data and resources inside their system whether in the cloud or on-premises. To gain access to these critical resources, users need to connect to the network where the resources are located. If access controls policies and regulations are not set properly then it will allow unauthorized users to easily gain access to the critical resources. 

To prevent any unauthorized access to your network environment and resources, IT teams need to implement the right amount of access control regulations. By implementing the proper access regulations it will prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your organization’s network and resources. By enforcing access controls inside your organization, users will be only able to access the network and resources that they need to do their job. 

Ignoring Communication 

Communication is key, especially when it comes to working in networking. Despite IT managers working in a field where data is being communicated between devices and networks, many networking professionals are lacking proper communication in their day-to-day job.   

Neglecting proper communication occurs across all the different management levels of networking. When new features need to be applied to network infrastructure, or if a network security solution is being integrated, there must be open communication between the IT team and the rest of the organization. Without any communication, it could create massive mistakes which can increase security risks or internal setbacks. 

Overlooking Network Device Logs 

When possible, it’s best to have complete visibility of the network. Luckily, networking device logs can provide IT managers with better visibility into their users’ network activity. Network professionals at all organizations should be continuously checking their user’s network device logs. Each user device generates different logs that provide network visibility information that can help IT managers gain a better picture of the network. 

If the network team overlooks logging and ignores to collect the information in the logs of the network devices, then they are making the mistake of gaining valuable network insights in their organization’s network. To fight off these mistakes, it’s best to use networking solutions that come with an event logging feature (SIEM) integrated within the solution. IT managers will have a better understanding of the user’s history, network event logs, security events, and a more complete network visibility.

Not Expecting Any Updates to a Network

Organizations are more agile than ever before. Launching new features, applications and updates weekly. With every new launch, another situation is created where the organization is relying on the network to operate normally. This creates the situation for IT managers to be ready for any changes that are thrown their way. The IT team needs to anticipate every kind of change or integration to be added to the network before it occurs.

By strategizing ahead of time for different changes on the network, IT managers can account for network scalability and network space needed for future changes inside the network.  By planning ahead, IT managers will be ready for any kind of update on the network no matter the situation. 

Neglecting to Update Network Device Passwords

Passwords are seen as one of the most common forms of security, and they can be highly effective when used properly to protect the privacy of data stored on networks. When installing a new device on a network, the first thing that IT managers need to do is to update the password on the device from the default password that came with it. While this task might seem negligible, too often security teams forget to update the password, putting the organization’s network security at risk. 

No matter the level of the device, each password should be unique and be updated every few weeks. Implementing a stronger password-protection company-wide policy with periodic expiration of the password and multi-factor authentication can provide an additional layer of security against hackers.

While these five networking mistakes happen more often than any IT manager would like to suggest, with proper strategy and understanding of possible networking mistakes will allow IT teams to work more productively without worrying if they are in the wrong.

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