And why do I need one?
Simply put, network assessments reduce risk. The wired network is like oxygen for the IT stack in any company: pervasive and vital to everything, but often receiving little consideration as to its health, resilience or supportability. Many organisations are not big enough to employ network specialists, focussing recruitment instead on application, server and cloud skills. However, all these things depend on a healthy wired network.
Networks grow over time in often unplanned ways, staff changes happen, documentation updates are forgotten – all these things are commonplace in any organisation. As a result, ‘technical debt’ accrues. Like financial debt, technical debt can impose a significant burden on making changes. Changes become high-risk or highly complex or are approached in a ‘fingers crossed’ fashion with no roll-back plan. This is never a comfortable place to be.
A good, wired LAN and WAN should be:
Many networks started their lives ticking all the boxes but have drifted over the years. A Nomios network assessment is your key to taking back control and getting confidence back that the foundation stone of your IT stack is fully fit for purpose.
Resiliently designed, coping automatically with failures
Easy to manage
Secure from unauthorised access
Supported from a hardware and software perspective
Customers may have specific requirements from this process, so a Nomios consultant will always conduct a kick-off meeting to understand the expectations before beginning. During this meeting:
- Network diagrams and details of security equipment and services are supplied by the customer
- If required, the customer provides remote access in order to perform the assessment
- Any areas of concern or focus for the customer are included in the assessment’s remit
Following the kick-off meeting, the work can begin and could typically include:
- Retrieval and analysis of configuration files from switches and routers, sometimes by script or manually
- Routing tables and other dynamic values are checked
- Investigation of live network telemetry for things like:
- Device health
- Interface errors
- Protocol stability
- Concerning errors in log files
- Assessment of network architecture and resilience
- Verification of device and operating system ‘End of Life’ dates
- Updating of out-of-date diagrams and other documentation
- Checks for compliance against standards such as Cyber Essentials
- Audit trail
- Centralised logging
- Device hardening
At the end of what is usually a 5-day assessment, the Nomios consultant presents their findings. Documentation is produced with each issue documented, along with its severity and a recommendation for change. This means that rectifying issues can be approached in a methodical manner by the customer, or if desired, as an extra task by Nomios. Suggestions for change might be along the lines of:
Implementation of extra links to avoid ‘single points of failure’
Hardening of devices to comply with Cyber essentials
Creation of a backup strategy for device configurations
Tidy-up of legacy and unused configuration elements
Software update recommendations
Architectural recommendations to improve efficiency
Highlighting of bandwidth bottlenecks
Ensure your business growth and success
Our goal at Nomios is to help implement best practices and supportable networks to ensure your business growth and success. A Nomios network assessment will give you the confidence to evolve your IT infrastructure, safe in the knowledge that the architecture can cope with the demands made of it.