Regular health checkups are an excellent idea for everyone. Computer networks are no different. Setting aside a few hours to check the vitals and run some tests on your technology infrastructure can help identify weaknesses, plan corrective measures, and improve performance.
Here are some suggestions for conducting a mid-year checkup as well as developing good habits for maintaining a healthier and happier computer network.
- Data Backups: Review your data backup systems and processes to ensure they are working properly and that information can be retrieved / restored quickly in the event of a disaster.
- Malware and Viruses: Run a deep scan-and-scrub to uncover any hidden or dormant spyware, malware, or viruses that standard security tool and software cannot detect or remove.
- Updates: Check for any software updates, patches, and hotfixes the may have been released, which will help guard against bugs, performance issues, as well as newly discovered vulnerabilities.
- Stability: Conduct health and integrity checks on all server, workstation, and networking hardware and components—starting with the most business-critical systems.
- Benchmarking: Test the individual and overall performance on all servers, workstations, and networking equipment to ensure you’re achieving optimal functionality and speed.
- Security: Carry out a firewall review and remove any outdated, incorrect, and / or unused rules, which will strengthen perimeter security and reduce the risk of being compromised.
- Declutter: Archive old files and e-mails, delete large files that are no longer necessary, and remove any unused programs that are taking up space or unknowingly running in the background.
- Cleanup: Routinely run disk maintenance tasks, including: defragment hard drives, scan for and delete temporary files, empty Recycle Bin / Trash, and check for and repair file system errors.
- Unplug: Shutdown unused devices, drives, and Wi-Fi connections, as they can put a tremendous strain on the overall network infrastructure and represent potential vulnerability points.
- Dust Off: Cleanup (literally) any servers, workstations, and networking equipment that may have collected dust internally, which can compromise connections and cause overheating.
- Take Notes: Update records and maintenance logs with as much detail, information, and accuracy as possible—and make sure IT staff know where to find this key documentation.