How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-03-16
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness
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    How to Safeguard Your Network During March Madness

    by Chris Preimesberger
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    2 - Monitor the Network for Availability or Poor Performance
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    Monitor the Network for Availability or Poor Performance

    Your enterprise network transports vital, sensitive information. Any disruption in availability or performance degradation could spell serious damage to business and productivity. Every company should be focused on vigilant monitoring of its network availability and performance. If you haven't already done so, find and use a rich set of tools that provides your IT team with real-time visibility and analytics.
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    3 - Identify Who Is Consuming Your Bandwidth
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    Identify Who Is Consuming Your Bandwidth

    At the end of the day, the primary purpose of your enterprise network is to boost productivity. But often, the unauthorized use of bandwidth-hungry personal applications impacts the performance of business-critical apps. With the right tools installed, IT teams should start monitoring network bandwidth traffic to optimize service levels and identify which users and applications are eating up the most bandwidth.
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    4 - Apply the Right IT Policy for Network Use
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    Apply the Right IT Policy for Network Use

    To keep employees happy, every organization needs to give some leeway for personal use of its network bandwidth. But keeping your team happy should never be at the cost of bringing the entire network down. Solve this problem through alerts based on bandwidth usage, and identify bandwidth abuse before the situation spins out of control. Companies should take advantage of real-time alerts and business-hour filters to be notified about and fix problems as they happen.
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    5 - Monitor App Traffic, Make Changes in Real Time
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    Monitor App Traffic, Make Changes in Real Time

    Do not let the network take all the blame for poor user experience. You also need to check on app performance and identify unnecessary application traffic that could compromise mission-critical apps. Assign the highest priority to critical apps—such as CRM, corporate email and client-server-based applications—and de-prioritize second-tier business (and personal) apps, such as YouTube videos and social media. You can also create IP groups to check the use of sports sites, online shopping sites and others.
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    6 - Shape Bandwidth for Better Network Control
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    Shape Bandwidth for Better Network Control

    Don't let your network slow down due to excess load. Instead, throttle down bandwidth to smooth out the performance of your entire network. You should ensure that business-critical apps are constantly up and running by monitoring bandwidth closely in real time and shaping the traffic appropriately based on priority. Tools should be able to allocate bandwidth percentage and classify the important traffic and thereby verify the performance of these policies.
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    7 - Control How BYOD Impacts Your Network
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    Control How BYOD Impacts Your Network

    Bandwidth management has become more complicated these days, with everyone bringing their own devices and operating them on the enterprise network. IT must have the power to take control at any time and be able to regulate apps that run on any mobile device, whether corporate or personally owned. Having the right combination of policy and technology to improve user experience and lessen the strain on the network is crucial.
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    8 - Fight Malicious Attacks and Anomalies
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    Fight Malicious Attacks and Anomalies

    Keep the bad guys out and protect your network against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and zero-day attacks by quickly initiating mitigation services before business is adversely affected. With BYOD, IT struggles to track so many devices and account for all of them to identify attacks and block malicious IPs without affecting legitimate transactions. Choose tools that can establish patterns and detect anomalies proactively to avoid sudden shutdowns.
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    9 - Report on March Madness
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    Report on March Madness

    What implications do changing usage habits have for how we design and build networks? Assess the future of your rapidly changing IT requirements with capacity planning reports to make better infrastructure investments today. Stay ahead of your network by quickly troubleshooting issues with tools that provide various flexible reports on top users and applications—and their real-time bandwidth usage—that can be generated automatically as per the company's requirement.
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    10 - Investigate Your Traffic to Find Out the Root Cause
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    Investigate Your Traffic to Find Out the Root Cause

    Get to the root cause of bandwidth issues to spot potential problems and drill down into any element's traffic using multiple views to get the perspective you need. You can investigate and isolate excessive network bandwidth utilization and unexpected application traffic. Carry out advanced forensics for troubleshooting to get to the root cause of the issue and avoid future network slowdowns.
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    11 - Keep an Eye on Cost
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    Keep an Eye on Cost

    Don't let March Madness drive you mad. Always keep an eye on cost. Calculate the costs of streaming bandwidth and the cost of downtime, and measure them against the benefits you gain before making any enterprise-level decisions.
 

The National Collegiate Athletic Association's college basketball March Madness begins March 17 and continues through the championship game April 6. Along with the usual partying, cheering and groaning by millions of fans—much of it happening on company time, since many of the games take place back-to-back during the workday—IT and security administrators are bracing for the heavy toll on their companies' networks. To keep employees happy, every organization needs to give some leeway for personal use of its network bandwidth. But keeping your team happy should never be at the cost of bringing the entire network down. With many employees streaming live videos and checking scores, all that activity tends to use all the bandwidth reserved for companies' business-critical apps. It is vital for all IT managers to handle severe traffic spikes in their networks by acting proactively to prevent network outages. In this slide show, developed with eWEEK reporting and industry expertise from Piyushree Nagrale, marketing analyst for real-time IT management platform provider ManageEngine, we offer key tips on how to safeguard your network during the madness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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