Give your computer network a health checkup

Regularly monitor vitals, run tests, diagnose problems and prevent attacks for optimal performance

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Health aware­ness was cel­e­brat­ed across the globe last Fri­day on World Health Day, an event spon­sored by the World Health Organization.

But humans aren’t the only ones who suf­fer from health issues—so do com­put­ers. Here is a look at some com­pa­ra­ble char­ac­ter­is­tics of the two species.

Health Checks. Humans require assur­ance from their doc­tors from time to time that they are fit and healthy. So we sched­ule reg­u­lar health checks to ensure we’re on the right track.

Com­put­ers should like­wise under­go reg­u­lar health checks. This can be done by reg­u­lar­ly scan­ning for known vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and get­ting them patched.

 Sup­port net­work. Humans strive for social inter­ac­tion. We strive to main­tain a good sup­port net­work so we can share emo­tions and feel­ings with oth­ers. A sym­pa­thet­ic friend, or trained health pro­fes­sion­al, can read our audit trail, so to speak, to diag­nose the ailment.

Com­put­ers are their own best friends. They can help make such diag­noses by sup­ply­ing audit trails. Traf­fic logs can be mon­i­tored and ana­lyzed to pin­point any weak­ness­es or anomalies.

Pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures. Humans, right from birth, receive inoc­u­la­tions that help pre­vent them from being exposed to known virus­es and reduce the risk of being exposed to life-threat­ing illnesses.

Com­put­ers rely on a basic lev­el of anti-virus soft­ware that uses scan­ning tech­nol­o­gy to detect and block known threats in real-time and pro­vide a lay­er of secu­ri­ty that could help pre­vent life-threat­en­ing attacks on the system.

Tech break­throughs. Wear­able tech­nol­o­gy, such as fit­ness track­ers, help humans live health­i­er lives, while also giv­ing doc­tors anoth­er means to diag­nose health prob­lems at an ear­ly stage.

Com­put­ers have Secu­ri­ty Con­fig­u­ra­tion Man­age­ment (SCM) sys­tems that can mon­i­tor end­points and detect unau­tho­rized changes. Admin­is­tra­tors can then be alert­ed to take appro­pri­ate actions.

As we humans stay attuned to our health, so too should com­pa­nies nur­ture their net­works. Vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty scans can iso­late weak­ly pro­tect­ed com­put­ers, as well as machines on which unau­tho­rized changes have been made. Mak­ing sure all sys­tems are patched to the lat­est secu­ri­ty releas­es is an essen­tial lay­er of protection.

More sto­ries relat­ed to net­work security:
Steps to avoid being infect­ed by the ran­somware pandemic
Com­pro­mised patient data sets off a new health care crisis

Busi­ness­es must remem­ber shared cloud secu­ri­ty requires shared responsibility