Since the internet is the lifeline of organizations, you cannot manage to work when the network is down. Outages can be crippling for businesses because it can hamper employee productivity and make you unavailable for prospective customers as well. Even a temporary outage is risky because it can translate into a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Though unfortunate, outages are something that no business can avoid despite the best measures to prevent them.
Hence, it is really important to have a plan in place for coping with the negative consequences of network downtime when it does happen. Fortunately, the most common threats that cause outages are preventable. Just implementing some simple strategies for preventing them can keep your business protected. Here are the ones you should have in place.
Examine your system for external and internal vulnerabilities
If your business experiences outages more frequently than it should, you need to identify the point where the problem originated. Closing them at the source is the best preventive measure. The problem could be something as simple as a power breakdown or as major as a hacking attack. Your IT team needs to make a comprehensive assessment of the system to detect both external and internal vulnerabilities. Once you are able to detect them, it becomes easy to strengthen your network against all kinds of attacks and ensure that the system is always up and running. Detection of exact issues is always an advantage in the financial sense because you can save up by spending only to resolve problems that are actually there.
Opt for an enterprise-grade network infrastructure
Some organizations try to cut on costs by implementing lower-grade hardware but this is the worst mistake you can make. Though you may save a few hundred dollars today, you will end up spending thousands more subsequently. Investing in enterprise-level infrastructure is a smart move because it is reliable and assures minimal risk of downtime. At the same time, your employees will not lose their productivity due to a slow connection with high-grade systems in place. Even if you have to spend a little extra, it will be minimal when compared to the loss your business may face if the network fails.
Have a support team you can rely on
Despite all the good measures in place, it is difficult to completely sideline the possibility of network downtime. Moreover, you cannot predict when it may happen. Having a support team is essential so that you know whom to call for immediate resolution. Compared to having an in-house support team, collaborating with managed service providers with quick response times is a more cost-effective strategy. Rather than recruiting experts in-house, it is best to outsource the service on a subscription basis. Just make sure that you find a partner you can completely rely on for their expertise and availability.
Prioritize continuous vigilance
Another step that you must absolutely take to prevent outages is continuous vigilance on the entire infrastructure, network, and systems. Monitor firewalls and all the key systems in your network for timely detection of abnormal events such as high connection counts and excessive bandwidth utilization. Any suspicious incident and activity on the network is detected with continuous tracking and your support team can approach it proactively to prevent an issue even before it happens. Educate the entire workforce about the best practices to be followed and ensure that everyone in the organization adheres to them stringently.
Develop and refine your disaster recovery plan
While you can take all the precautions to prevent downtime, having a disaster recovery plan is still of utmost importance. Though you may think that disaster is just about natural calamities like floods or earthquakes, its scope is much broader. Even a long outage can be a disaster for a business and such disasters are usually avoidable. If you are working with a managed IT services provider, do ask them about their disaster recovery plan. A good one will give you confidence that your data and business will not be lost even if the worse happens. Convey your feedback and ask them to refine the plan if you think that it can be improved.
With these strategies in place, you can breathe easy about preventing outages in the first place. Even if they happen, you will be well prepared to deal with them effectively. A proactive approach is definitely a smart approach and you should not think twice about embracing it. The most feasible way to start is by collaborating with a managed service provider that is experienced and reliable to the core.