Most define “a single point of failure (SPOF)” as a potential risk posed by a flaw, in which one fault or malfunction causes an entire system to stop operating.
When it comes to Internet Technology, every business needs to carefully evaluate the architecture, server location/data resiliency, and administrative monitoring of their digital networks as a strategic component of risk management for business operations.
Optimize your network architecture
The architecture of your network is the first step in protecting your business operations. When your business network is configured through a single router, switch, or application server, you may be setting the stage for a SPOF, bringing your business operations to a sudden stop.
The most vulnerable components of SPOF are the router\firewall and main switch. To minimize downtime, the best solution is to have access to a secondary, preconfigured firewall or switch that can be implemented quickly. Most firewall solutions now come with a High Availability (HA) function. The HA function allows for two firewalls to be running simultaneously. One as a primary and the other as a secondary. In the HA architecture, the primary firewall will copy its data to the secondary with any changes. Therefore, if the primary firewall were to ever fail, the secondary firewall would assume the role as the primary. Thus preventing any downtime at all.
The main switch solution would entail a pre-configured backup switch. In the event of a main switch failure, the secondary switch would need to be physically connected in place of the failed main switch and all port connections would need to be reconnected.
Secure your data
Server security is as important as network security, as it holds most of the vital data for your business. While configuration of the network contributes to server security, considering the physical location of your server/servers is equally important when addressing data availability, business continuity, and rapid recovery, as they relate to a SPOF in a natural disaster.
Data Centers are places to store network server/servers; however, not all Data Centers are structurally rated to withstand natural disasters. When looking for a location for server storage or to ensure data resiliency with offsite data backup, you will need to research whether the structure of the Data Center is rated to withstand tornados and earthquakes, as well as maintain power in the event of a power outage.
No matter the size of your business, server location and regular data backups are essential to securing your company’s data and ultimately, business continuity. In fact, regular data backups may arguably be the single most important step you take for preventing a network disaster. Regardless of your current security strategy, backups help ensure you have a clean copy of data to keep your business running in the case of data loss, a hack attack, or a natural disaster.
Secure and monitor your network
A sound network security policy begins with the individual computer. A computer network is only as secure as its weakest node.
When considering the basics for network security, the following questions will point you in the right direction: Can an unauthorized user physically access a computer without a password? How secure are the user account passwords? Who are the network users and how much administrative control do they have? What type of firewall is necessary?
Whether you have an employee network administrator or outsource your I.T., the role of the network administrator is vital in supporting network security. For starters, this role is responsible for testing the network for architectural security weaknesses; software updates and patches to servers and workstations; monitoring the log messages for the system kernel or network traffic; and updating default passwords.
If you’re not sure where to begin on proactively protecting your business network and data, we are here to help. You can reduce your risks of a SPOF by allowing Dobson Technologies to manage your network and strategically plan for your business continuity. We are happy to work with you to develop a customized solution that fits your specific needs. At Dobson, we are your partner. We are committed to ensuring the success of your business because it is personal to us. Click here if you would like to schedule a meeting and learn more.
Be Proactive. Be Vigilant.
Dobson Technologies provides partial or full-service IT managed services and Telecommunication solutions for small to medium-sized businesses, as well as high-speed Internet across our 3,000 mile, fiber-optic network. We are celebrating 80 years of operations as a comprehensive technology firm that serves the needs of businesses across the state of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle.
Source: Patrick Calloway, Technical Support Manager at Dobson Technologies