Plus what?  What are the questions you should be asking about your network?

Is it secure?  Is it dependable?  Is it flexible?  Are you protected against threats?  Who has access to your information?  Who has physical access to your equipment?  How difficult is it really for someone off the street to get into your server room or a workstation 24 hours of every day?  Is your network protected by a firewall?  What kind of firewall?  Are the ports known to provide access, locked down on your firewall?  Is your Internet connection monitored against Denial of Service Attacks?  Do all the computers in your office have the most important security patches installed?  Even your server?  How about the patches on your routers or other equipment involved in your network?  If your network is attacked physically or by program how will you recover?  Can your employees install spyware on their computer and share corporate data with others?  Do your users have administrative access to all your information?  Can anybody outside of your company connect to your network and therefore get on your servers?  Do you use strong passwords which use letters, numbers and symbols?  If you have remote workers what steps do you take to secure your internal network against the insecure networks (particularly wireless) they may be working on?

Is your equipment, and therefore your data, protected against natural disasters?  What happens if your building catches fire?  Or what if it’s flooded?  If the power goes out for a week, can you operate from another location?  Is your equipment under the care of a single individual, or is there a verification process involving additional people as you are often required to do of your accounting system?  Do your workstations utilize power saving measures individually or as part of the GPO (Group Policy Object)?  Do you use GPO?  Are your workstations joined to the Domain so they can be centrally managed?  Do remote users have to authenticate to the Domain?

Are your backups done offsite?  Do you regularly verify or test your backups?  Can you do file by file recovery of your backup?  Are your backup logs reviewed regularly?  Do you have a retention policy for your backups?  What happens to your data during a power outage?  Do you do a regular scan or threat assessment of your network?  Is that performed by someone other than the person who setup the network?  Are your Internet connections encrypted to protect against snooping tools?

Do you use any email filtering tools to protect your users?  What happens if a user comes across malware while browsing the Internet?  Does everyone on your network have access to network shares or have you turned off those features?  Have your permissions structures been properly tested?

If physical equipment fails how long will it take to replace and be operational?

With everything you are doing… are there any holes?  What’s missing?

And these are only some of the questions you may consider.  Doesn’t matter the size of your network the answers to these questions can be the difference between staying in business or not.  Because of new technologies, utilizing “The Cloud” and Virtualized Servers and Workstations you can have a lot more confidence in your corporate network.  Most companies can solve all these questions by changing from the normal way of doing small company networks and moving to the way large businesses have been handling these issues for decades.  This is how we all would have done it if we could afford it.  Now it is affordable.  Generally, all these concerns can be handled professionally for $145 per user/per month.

These are a lot of questions.  You may have your own questions.  If you want to know more or talk about improving your corporate network get in touch.  We may be able to provide some answers.  Contact us at advantage@ashmar.com.