What Is A Network Audit And When Do You Need One?

The analogy is simple: your network is like your body. If financial health is essential to individuals, network health must be crucial to organizations. Unless you look after your network and regularly assess its performance, it’s prone to cyber threats and attacks. But how do you evaluate your network performance? You audit it. 

Network auditing is the process of examining your network to identify risks and judge its performance. According to managed IT services Sydney, there are two ways to audit: do it yourself through an in-house auditor or outsource it. Regardless of how you do it, you need to know when your network is up for an audit, just as you’d know when your body is ripe for a medical checkup. 

This article provides you with the necessary details about network auditing, what it means, when you need it, and how you should go about doing it for your company. 

Network Auditing: What Does It Mean? 

Network auditing is a series of actions or procedures needed to analyze, study, and gather network data for risk identification, management, and resolution. As an assessment measure, it provides insights into the effectiveness of network control and ensures network compliance and practices. 

When auditing, you’re most likely looking for the security, management, and performance of your network. You’re also running an analysis of your information system to gather data for network review and improvement. 

In summary, auditing is the assessment of: 

  • Network nodes 
  • Network control 
  • Network management 
  • Network security 
  • Network measures 
  • Network practices 

 
Each assessment aims to optimize inventory hardware, software, and network services. It’s also carried out to ensure networking issues meet organizational and global compliance. That way, you can quickly identify risks, correct them, and implement effective network strategies. 

How Do You Perform A Network Audit? 

Network auditing can be internal or external. Internal auditing is done within a company while external auditing is often outsourced to managed service providers (MSPs). Regardless, each form follows the same steps and procedures such as: 

  • Plan: The first step is to plan how you want to audit. This is the stage where you set out the details and objectives. 
  • Document: The second step is to document the process and measures associated with the audit. 
  • Review: The third step is to review the network management system and security practice for risk identification and log problems. 
  • Assess: The fourth is to assess training logs and operations such as access points, encryptions, firewall holes, and other related systems. 
  • Confirm and Test: The final step is to confirm your audits and test your network for operational efficiency. 

 
Throughout the steps, you have to engage in good team communication and ensure sensitive information isn’t compromised. 

Low angle portrait of African American data engineer holding digital tablet while working with supercomputer in server room lit by blue light, copy space

When Do You Need A Network Audit? 

Knowing the right time to audit your network can be tricky, but it doesn’t always have to be. Just as your body shows signs and symptoms, your network does the same. You only need to look for these indications to begin network auditing. Some of these signs include: 

1. Inconsistency 

When your network becomes inconsistent, it’s telling you to go for an audit. This inconsistency could be in the form of a network outage or other latency issues that stall the effective operation of your applications, client engagement, and user accessibility. 

2. Outdated System 

Technological trends are forever shifting. So, if your network isn’t applying modern tools or practices, it’s likely to become outdated. An outdated network system is old-fashioned and less functional. To keep it alive again or revive its operation, you’ll need to run an audit. 

3. Non-Compliance 

Networks today are part of cloud computing, which is a global system. So, when your network doesn’t comply with international security measures, it’s prone to cyberattacks. To avoid such a scenario, you need to conduct an audit. Also, an audit is necessary if you’re regulating your network to meet organizational needs. 

4. Non-Optimal System 

You enjoy loads of benefits when your network is fully optimized. Optimization ensures network efficiency, good data management, and keeps costs below your budget. But to achieve this, you’ll need a regular network audit. Auditing your network periodically keeps it upgraded and refreshed for optimization. 

Conclusion 

A network audit is crucial to organizations as it guarantees improved network health and wellness. While networks can be audited internally or externally, processes and procedures are the same. Getting familiar with network audit is one thing, and knowing when to audit is another. But there are always signs, so you should look for the indications before auditing a network.