Is Your Network at Risk for Human Error?

Network outages can have devastating consequences for businesses. They do not only result in business interruption; they can also cause businesses to lose money, data and reputation. In some cases, businesses may also get into legal trouble because of network downtime.

LinksAccording to industry experts, more than 60 percent of network outages occur because of human errors that are committed when making configuration changes to network devices.

If you want to minimize network outages, it is essential that you take effective measures to reduce human errors.

How Human Errors Occur During Configuration Changes

Businesses invest substantial amounts of money to procure network infrastructure, and they employ highly skilled IT professionals to manage their systems.

Usually, a large network infrastructure is managed by several administrators. Since the needs of businesses are always changing, network administrators have to change the configurations of network devices from time to time to meet their companies’ IT needs.

Changing network configurations is a time-consuming and sensitive task, and it requires specialized knowledge and skills, familiarity with network devices, good understanding of the effects of changes and great precision.

Human errors are more likely to occur when configuration changes are carried out manually. Just a small error can result in network downtime and make a network more vulnerable to cyberattack.

According to an article entitled “How to Minimize the Risk of Human Error to Your Network Configuration“, about 35 percent of data breaches are the result of errors made by employees and contractors.

When the number of network devices grows, network configurations have to be changed more frequently, which increases the risk of human error.

Automate Network Configuration Management

Automating network configuration management is probably the best way to reduce human configuration errors. Presently, there are many automated network configuration management tools available in the market.

These tools do not only help you minimize human errors; they can also make your network more reliable and cost-effective, as well as easier to maintain and scale.

Additionally, they can significantly reduce the time needed to perform configuration tasks.

Establish Guidelines and Policies

Establishing standard procedures and guidelines for making changes to network configurations is another effective way to prevent human errors. Create a user manual that contains these guidelines and give a copy to every employee who is involved in configuration management.

Also, you can place markings on hardware to show the proper steps for changing configurations. It is also important that you create policies for preventing unauthorized people from accessing your company’s data and systems.

Back up Your Network Configurations

While there is no sure way to prevent human errors, you can minimize their impact by devising a good disaster recovery plan.

Make sure your network configurations are properly backed up and test the effectiveness of your disaster recovery plan by conducting mock drills.

Human configuration errors are inevitable, and they can hurt your business in many ways.

By following the tips above, you should be able to keep human errors to a minimum.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.