Knowing the right questions to ask
WE ALL MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
Whilst making assumptions maybe part of a budgeting process, allowing assumptions to go untested into the design and implementation is highly dangerous (carries risk) and something IT4A recommend is avoided.
A TIME FOR EVIDENCE
IT4A offer a wide range of technical consulting services to engineer risk out of design.
Good automation network design understands threat and considers risk; whether it is risk to the applications that use the network or the threats to optimal availability caused by attack or misuse. Identifying indicators of compromise and mitigating them through design is a robust and controlled approach to network design. Example indicators include:
- Device management interface login attempts
- Firewall Drops
- Unusual bandwidth consumption
- Denial of Service indicators
- Unrecognised IP addresses
IT4A offer a Protecttive Monitoring service that is aligned with “Good Practice Guide 13”, an approach recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre.
WHEN PERFORMANCE FEELS SLOW
Analysis of application data streams can highlight bottlenecks caused by capacity, mis-configuration or underperforming product.
Analysis and certification of underlying media provides surety that performance and reliability objectives can be achieved.
A review of topology can identify opportunities for resilience and optimisation.
SEEMINGLY RANDOM FAULTS
The more challenging faults to identify and remedy tend to occur in networks where little or no consideration has been given to the longer operability of a netwiork at the design stage. It is rare that a user requirement document given to a System Integrator will ask for any network administration featiures to be imlemented in the solution let alone tested at Site Accetance Test – SAT. This initial process failing makes a good outcome more down to luck and goodwill than judgement and specification. Add in the reality of poor or non-existant network diagrams and O&M manuals and you start to see the problem. In these cases it is the experience of the investigation team that will make the difference. Sometimes the only approach is to prove everything that does work to identify what does not. Consideration of troubleshooting aids from the outset will reduce the number of issues faced and make those identified easier to remediate.
A simple review of network management features and administration tools will identify gaps between current implementation and good practice.
Contact IT4A if you suspect problems exist or you simply want to understand how best to invest in your infrastructure going forwards.