Today, managing networks for small businesses has become increasingly complex, with various components crucial for the smooth and secure flow of data.
Managed networks have become the backbone of many organisations, ensuring data privacy, security, and accessibility.
In this article, we’ll explore the key aspects of managed networks, shedding light on VPNs, firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and more.
What is a managed Network?
A managed network includes the deployment, management, monitoring and maintenance of your critical network infrastructure. Modern managed networks are managed and monitored remotely, enabling quick changes and granular flexibility.
A typical monitored network may include Internet provisioning, routers, switches, wi-fi, web filtering and security gateways.
Explore more about different aspects of managed networks and what they cover below.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are essential for secure and encrypted communication over the Internet.
VPN setup involves creating a secure, private network connection over a public network, ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of data.
Managed networks simplify VPN setup by configuring the necessary infrastructure and protocols, making it easy for users to access network resources securely.
When someone needs to access their work network using a VPN, it typically involves connecting to their company’s private network remotely.
Once a VPN is set up, it needs continuous management. Managed network services offer VPN management solutions that handle user access, authentication, and encryption key updates.
This ensures that your network remains secure and operational while reducing the burden on your IT team.
VPN security is a critical component of managed networks.
Managed service providers implement encryption protocols, access controls, and security policies to protect data during transmission.
By continuously monitoring and updating the VPN infrastructure, managed networks stay ahead of potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Firewalls are the first line of defence for any network, blocking unauthorised access and potentially harmful traffic.
Managed networks handle firewall deployment by selecting and configuring the right hardware and software to match the organization’s security needs.
Firewall Rule Configuration
Configuring firewall rules is a crucial part of network security. Managed network services ensure that firewall rules are tailored to your specific requirements, allowing legitimate traffic while blocking unauthorised access, and preventing potential threats from breaching your network.
Intrusion Detection and Prevention
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS) are essential for identifying and stopping unauthorised access or malicious activities within your network. Managed networks deploy and manage IDPS solutions, allowing organisations to focus on their core operations while staying protected from cyber threats.
Firewall Logging and Reporting
Maintaining visibility into network traffic and security events is vital. Managed networks provide comprehensive firewall logging and reporting, allowing organisations to monitor network activity, analyse security events, and respond quickly to potential threats.
The gateway serves as the entry and exit point for network traffic.
Managed network services handle gateway configuration, ensuring that traffic flows seamlessly while maintaining security protocols.
Gateways are devices or software components that serve as intermediaries between different networks or systems, facilitating communication and data exchange.
An Internet Gateway connects an organization’s internal network to the Internet. It serves as a point of entry and exit for internet traffic. Businesses use Internet Gateways to provide Internet access to their employees, host web services, and manage incoming and outgoing Internet traffic, including firewall and security functions.
An Email Gateway is responsible for processing and filtering email traffic, ensuring the security and efficient delivery of emails.
Email Gateways are used to protect against spam, malware, phishing attacks, and other email-based threats.
They also perform email routing and can encrypt sensitive email communications.
A Voice Gateway connects voice communication systems, such as traditional telephony networks or VoIP (Voice over IP) networks, to facilitate voice calls.
Voice Gateways are crucial for businesses that need to bridge traditional phone systems with IP-based communication technologies.
They enable services like VoIP, enabling cost-effective and flexible voice communication.
A Data Gateway is used to facilitate the exchange of data between different systems, databases, or networks.
Businesses often employ Data Gateways to integrate disparate data sources and applications.
This enables data sharing, data synchronisation, and reporting across various platforms, enhancing business intelligence and decision-making.
A Security Gateway is a network device or software designed to protect a network from external threats, such as viruses, malware, and unauthorised access.
Security Gateways are essential for safeguarding business networks from cyberattacks, unauthorised access, and data breaches. They often include features like firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention, and content filtering.
Each type of gateway serves a specific purpose in ensuring the security, connectivity, and efficient operation of business networks and communication systems.
Modern Gateways incorporate some or all of these features into one device.
Why do I need a managed network?
Using a managed network provider can offer several benefits for individuals or businesses, depending on their specific needs and requirements. Here are some key points highlighting why you might need to use a managed network provider.
Expertise and Experience
Managed network providers typically have a team of experienced professionals who specialize in networking and can provide expert guidance and support. They stay up-to-date with the latest networking technologies and best practices.
Managed network providers often have redundant and resilient infrastructure, reducing downtime and ensuring high availability. They can offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with guaranteed uptime.
Managed network providers invest in robust security measures to protect your network from cyber threats and attacks. This includes firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security updates.
As your business or network needs grow, managed providers can quickly adapt and scale up your network infrastructure to accommodate increased traffic and demand.
Outsourcing network management can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house IT team and infrastructure. You can often choose from various pricing models, such as pay-as-you-go or fixed monthly costs.
Frees up Resources
Using a managed network provider allows you to focus on your core business activities rather than worrying about network maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades.
Monitoring and Support
Managed providers offer round-the-clock monitoring of your network, which helps identify and address issues proactively, minimizing disruptions.
Compliance and Regulation
Managed providers can help you meet regulatory and compliance requirements, ensuring that your network adheres to industry standards and data protection laws.
Many managed network providers offer customized solutions to meet your specific needs, whether it’s a dedicated private network, cloud-based services, or a hybrid approach.
Managed providers stay current with the latest networking technologies and can implement upgrades and innovations as they become available.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Managed providers can prioritize network traffic and ensure that critical applications and services receive the necessary bandwidth and performance.
Reduced Maintenance Burden
Managing and maintaining network hardware and software can be complex and time-consuming. A managed provider takes this burden off your shoulders.
Peace of Mind
Knowing that your network is in the hands of experts who are dedicated to its reliability and security can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on your business objectives.
It’s time you partnered with a managed network provider
Managed networks offer a comprehensive solution for organisations looking to simplify the intricacies of VPNs, firewalls, and other network components.
By outsourcing the setup, management, and security of these essential elements, businesses can focus on their core operations while ensuring their data remains safe, accessible, and confidential in an increasingly interconnected world.
If you’re considering managed network services, make sure to choose a provider that understands your specific needs and can tailor their solutions accordingly, thus providing you with peace of mind and a robust network infrastructure.
Contact the experts at Cicom
Speak to a real expert about a network management solution for your business.