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Posted: May 30th, 2022

Computer Networks

Computer Networks
Your department head has assigned you the task of evaluating its computer networks for things like currentness, functionality, responsiveness, and security. Write a memo covering 10 points on which you will evaluate the technology, connectivity, and functioning of the company’s computer networks. Ensure security topics are considered, such as physical security, monitoring, and data security.

Briefly state each area that you will evaluate (one line of text – bold). Follow that by one 7-10 sentence paragraph explaining how you will conduct the evaluation.

Example: Evaluation of Network security technology and procedures.
Review of past and recent security incidents will be conducted when and if information is available and impact of incident will be analyzed. Audit logs will be kept and maintained according to procedures. Audit logs will be reviewed on a regular basis for anomalies, not just following an incident. Review of technology now deployed including firewalls, antivirus software, password protection, intrusion detection, back-up management, and disaster recovery. Installed software will be evaluated for effectiveness and compared to industry standards and best practices for network security. Version control and updates for all software packages will be reviewed; this includes functional and security updates. In addition, documented security procedures will be evaluated and compared to best practices. Total cost of ownership techniques will be employed
MEMO
Elements To Consider To Evaluate The Technology, Connectivity, And Functioning Of The Company’s Computer Networks.
1. Evaluation of the Current Network Inventory
` The first step will entail gaining a broader understanding of the present computer networks in the company. The process will start by determining the number of users within the network and the age of both the network hardware and software. Specifically, the primary purposes the computer networks fulfill. Also, the evaluation determines whether the network is solely for in-house or other off-site employees who are using the network or clients accessing the network. It is prudent to determine how the networks rely on the network, including communication, accounting ordering, inventory control, application development, project management, and collaboration. It examines network inventory and aligns it with the respective capabilities and business users that will provide foundational insights on the network’s performance.
2. The Performance Analysis of the Computer Network
It is prudent that the performance of the computer network is assessed as it will guide in determining its functionality levels. The process will start from establishing the type of network incorporated in the company, which could be wired, wireless, or hybrid. Then several tests are conducted on the network hardware and their speeds. These tests will consider the keys, the RAM, the hard disk drives, the dead pixels, and the CPU and the GPU (Windows Techies, 2015). These tests will reveal whether the system is working efficiently or not. The performance analysis will also monitor the age of physical devices such as computers, servers, and other computer networks. It is evident that the older the devices, the slower they are, which will prompt the company to look for other solutions, such as moving to the cloud.
3. Evaluation of Network Connectivity through the Reboot Network Assessment
The assessment of network connectivity needs distinct data and analytic tools to yield important insights on the role played by member ties in building the network. Also, it shed light on the different connectivity structures that will allow learning and action (Taylor et al., 2015). Carrying out the Reboot evaluation will reveal several clear structural patterns with the effects on the network’s future. Through this assessment, the developers can determine the right network-building approvals supported by the present network. The findings from the assessment allow the leaders to understand the network building process metrics such that they appreciate how networks bring in value and why better connectivity is required (Taylor et al., 2015). The reboot evaluation will reveal the support needed for hubs so that the connections remain uninterrupted. It also established how the members’ relationships have been evolving and how they can be improved.
4. Evaluating the Present Network Security mechanisms to Determine The Security levels.
The evaluation of the network security will entail the review of various components. The first includes access control mechanisms implemented for every user and each device. The second component is the implemented antivirus and antimalware software in terms of handling existing and potential network threats (Cisco Systems, 2022). Another component is application security, where the hardware, software, and processes are accessed to identify any security holes. Behavioral analytics on the computer networks should automatically determine if the network is performing as required and whether there are any indicators of compromise. The use of firewalls within the network should be assessed to determine the kind of traffic allowed and the traffic to be blocked (Cisco Systems, 2022). It is the process of ensuring that the integrity of the information contained by a network is upheld and those who can access the information are controlled.
5. Assessing the Present Skills and Expertise of the Network users
An assessment of the competence of the users of this network is fundamental as it determines how to maximize the network’s effectiveness levels (SHRM, 2018). The process starts by identifying the business needs regarding the computer networks and what the users are expected to know and be skilled in. Then a gap analysis is conducted, which assesses the present state of the users’ skills performance and compares it to the desired levels. This is done through individual interviews, focus groups, supervision, self-assessments, surveys, and questionnaires (SHRM, 2018). The findings from the gap analysis determine the proper training approach that will take the users to the desired levels. The training approach will outline the recommended training needs, the training plans, and the evaluation of users after undergoing training. It is essential that periodical assessments are done to determine the company’s training needs, the employees’ knowledge, skills, and training program effectiveness.
6. The Mobile Device Security
Considering that the use of mobile devices is increasingly important for the company, any corporate applications accessed through them must be reviewed. This review should consider the protocols implemented that allow access (Fahey, 2021). The evaluation will determine which personal devices are accessing the network and also configure the connections so that its traffic remains private. The company should consider investing in a Virtual Private Network if it has not since many users are accessing the network remotely. It is prudent to determine whether the company relies heavily on mobile devices. The network assessments will reveal the mobile device usage levels that are tied to the network and the value it is bringing. Evaluating mobile usage and making adjustments to the security and usage policies are essential in making sure the network remains reliable and efficient.
7. Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Information Security policy
It is crucial to establish whether a comprehensive information security policy exists in the company and whether network users are fully aware of it. This policy needs to establish the administrative directions, procedural requirements and technical guidelines to ensure that the information within the computer network is protected. The comprehensivity of the policy will be established with how it articulates the guidelines related to each user’s responsibilities, system access control, and privileges. It should also include dealing with computer viruses, worms, and trojan horses, protecting physical devices, upholding privacy and confidentiality, logs, and other systems security tools, among others. The information security policy needs to be provided to every user before interacting with the computer network. It is prudent to establish if it is implemented from top management to junior users.
8. Evaluating the Current Backup and Recovery Software Systems
The present backup and recovery software must be assessed to ensure that the information will be protected from further damage in case of any threat. These systems need flexibility, which will be determined if several requirements are fulfilled. The first is the Recovery Time Objective, which relates to fulfilling the company’s distinct requirements to restore data that meet the requirement of how much time the business can live without the data (Dalebjork, 2015). The Recovery Point Objectives which is how to fulfill the distinct requirements that the company has about how much data they could lose in case of a different incident. The Backup Time objectives relate to the efficiency of the solutions in protecting the data. It is essential to evaluate the utilization of resources during the process and how tasks should be maintained from the solutions (Dalebjork, 2015). It is prudent also to understand how the systems have been integrated across the network so that the recovery process can be efficient.
9. Evaluation of Possible Outcomes for Violating the Network Usage Policy
The network usage policy provides users with the rules and guidelines for proper hardware, software, and general network access (GFI Software, 2022). This policy will ensure that the users are not negligent in their interactions with the network. Notably, it is prudent that the repercussions of user negligence are established and implemented to deter any inappropriate interactions. When the violation of the regulations stipulated in the Rules results in material damage, the primary responsibility could be vested to the user as it is stipulated in inappropriate regulations of the Civil Code. Users should be required to sign the usage policy that requires them to act inappropriately and be liable for any damage.
10. Evaluate of the Network‘s Adherence Levels to the Legal and Compliance Considerations
This valuation considers whether the network’s data protection tools, protocols, and processes have fulfilled the minimum requirements stipulated in relevant government and industry regulations (Edwards, 2019). The physical location of the network backups will be assessed to establish how data is being protected. Considering that the data protection laws vary from state to state or country to country, the assessment will ensure compliance as per the rules that govern them. It is prudent for the company to be fully aware of where their data has been stored, and the protection is given whenever it is in transit.

References
Cisco Systems. (2022). Small business network security checklist. Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/small-business/resource-center/security/network-security-checklist.html#~types-of-security
Dalebjork, T. (2015, February 3). When evaluating backup and recovery software, what aspect do you think is the most important to look for? Retrieved from https://www.peerspot.com/questions/when-evaluating-backup-and-recovery-software-what-aspect-do-you-think-is-the-most-important-to-look-for
Edwards, J. (2019). How to evaluate cloud backup solutions. Retrieved from https://blog.rmmsolutions.com/5-key-factors-to-consider-when-evaluating-cloud-backup-solutions
Fahey, E. (2021, February 10). How to evaluate your network | Tech masters. Retrieved from https://www.yourtechmasters.com/how-to-evaluate-your-network/
GFI Software. (2022). Sample internet usage policy. Retrieved from https://www.gfi.com/pages/sample-internet-usage-policy
SHRM. (2018, August 16). How to conduct a training needs assessment. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/how-to-guides/pages/conduct-training-needs-assessment.aspx
Taylor, M., Whatley, A., & Coffman, J. (2015). Network evaluation in practice: Approaches and applications. The Foundation Review, 7(2), 5.
Windows Techies. (2015, August 27). 5 hardware tests that you need to perform on your PC. Retrieved from https://windowstechies.com/5-hardware-tests-that-you-need-to-perform-on-your-pc/

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