This is part six of a seven part series discussing how to use a handful of overlooked best practices to improve network configuration management. Why? Human error is the leading cause of network downtime. Eliminate the error with these overlooked practices and you not only improve network up-time but also prove to the boss you are a natural born leader!
Today we’ll look at best practice #4 which recommends auditing your configurations for standards compliance.
How Configuration Compliance Can Help
Our objective with an audit is to ensure compliance to all applicable policy standards. There are a variety of security policies and standards that each organization may chose to follow. Most all of these are designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of company systems, data and other resources.
Many of the standards we implement are based on industry requirements, internal risk mitigation measures and other “best practices”. These standards are expressed as controls which are implemented as configuration settings. Therefore, by auditing selected configuration settings you can determine your compliance to those standards you follow.
Audits are notoriously unpleasant. They are time consuming and often reveal shortcomings that can reflect poorly on managers and administrators alike. However, for many they are a fact of life. By regularly reviewing your own audit reporting you can discover problems before they are noted by the auditor. Therefore, when proactively finding and correcting violations you can dramatically reduce risk and receive higher scores.
Looking forward to our review of the remaining post, we will take a look at practice #5 which deals with using change controls to manage changing business requirements and configuration updates. In the meantime, if you've joined this discussion in progress, you can visit our earlier postings. You can also learn what new in our recently releases NCM v7.2 or download your own fully-functional 30-day trial and start to put these practices to work in your own network.
You can also find and read past posts in this 7-part series here
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