Automating routine or repetitive tasks on your network can improve business efficiency and consistency, which has the added effects of reducing operational costs and increasing network availability. Here are five tasks that could benefit from network automation.
1) Patch Management
Patch management is a great example of a routine task that could benefit from automation. From a security standpoint, staying up to date with the latest patches is a key element for managing risk in your organization. It’s not uncommon to hear about a strain of malware for which a patch had already been issued – but the malware still spread across a variety of devices, which remained unpatched.
Of course, it can be time-consuming to manually apply patches across the network. Enterprise patch management software allows you to delegate that task to an application that can easily manage the process and provide automated reports letting you stay on top keeping devices up to date.
Let’s face it, nobody is perfect, and fat-fingering can happen to anyone. Even the most experienced IT pros occasionally slip up when making changes to the network. With an increasing number of devices and users on a network, manually configuring everything can leave your IT team feeling rushed, which increases the odds that something might not be working properly.
A network automation solution, such as Cisco DNA Center, saves time and reduces errors significantly. This Cisco blog post describes how DNA Center follows best practices for automated configuration of your network.
When it comes to dealing with network issues, the troubleshooting process can often take much longer than actually fixing things. This is another process that can be automated to greatly free up time. An automated troubleshooting platform can scan all the layers of your network to find the problem, so that you don’ t have to go through a lengthy manual troubleshooting process.
4) Network Visibility & Segmentation
The more devices you have on a network, the harder it can be to spot a threat. In fact, the Ponemon Institute’s latest Cost of a Data Breach Report found that it takes organizations 279 days on average to identify and contain a breach. Attackers spending nine months on the network can cause significant damage – a global average of $3.92 million per breach.
This is where network segmentation comes in. Segmenting systems and applications – keeping them separate from each other – makes it more difficult for an attacker to access your entire network, limiting the attack surface. With virtual network security solutions, you do not have to physically separate servers to achieve network segmentation.
5) Improved Application & User Experience
The equation is simple: better network performance equals happier users. By reducing the time required to perform troubleshooting and maintenance, and by lowering the risk of configuration errors and drastically reducing downtime, automation can keep apps running smoothly and users reliably connected to the network. Sounds like a win-win!
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