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    With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, we wanted to talk about love, but not in the way you think. We are talking about loving your network. When was the last time you showed your network any love?

    Picture this, your business is a human body and your employees are the heart, without you the company wouldn’t run. Your network is the arteries and veins, they help to transfer data and information around the business, in the same way that arteries and veins carry blood and oxygen around the body.

    If the veins and arteries become clogged or faulty, the heart weakens and doesn’t work as efficiently. In the same manner, if your network fails or becomes ineffective, the metaphorical heart, in this case, your employees, will struggle to retain the same level of productivity and their performance will be affected. Just like you need to look after your heart, you also need to show some love for your network security.

    What better excuse to start showing love than on Valentine’s Day?


    What is Network Security?

    Network security is a vital aspect of your business, to protect your employee’s and your client’s data from cyber-attacks. When you have strong network security your network runs smoothy and efficiently. After all, the last thing you want is a network lag or connection issues when conducting your business. This is more relevant and important than ever before, with the rapidly increasing popularity of hybrid working and remote working, leaving networks vulnerable to low productivity and cyber-attacks.


    What are the different types of network security?

    Here are some of the most common applications and tools which keep your network nurtured and safe:

    • Firewalls
      A firewall controls incoming and outgoing traffic to your network. They will often come with default settings which can be configured to your specifications to ensure any suspicious activity is rejected or quarantined.
    • Access Control
      Access Control Management takes 6th place in the CIS Critical Security Controls. This security mechanism is a way to control user privileges to ascertain who is allowed access to certain areas of the network. It is especially useful for areas which contain more sensitive data where you can implement the principle of lest privilege. By restricting user access to different areas, you will have more control over your data and can implement strong security policies, which restrict or limit access to non-compliant or guest users.
    • Data Loss Prevention
      This is an important part of network security as it helps to prevent data losses or breaches within your system. With data loss prevention (DLP) tools you can prevent data being exposed to external parties as well as blocking unauthorised access to your network.
    • Network Segmentation
      By using network segmentation, you will find it easier to implement policies for different areas and classification levels of your network. A segmented network makes it easier to allow or deny authorisation credentials for employees, therefore ensuring only those that need to view that section will be allowed access.


    How to nurture your network?

    Here are a few tips on how you can nurture your network and keep it healthy:

    • Consider the potential threats
      Be aware of your threat landscape and the exposure points on your network.  Ensure you have the right applications and tools to protect your organisation from these risks.
    • Check your network speed
      Slower network speeds affect slow internet loading times. However, when we are looking at larger networks with multiple users this can mean delays in important files being downloaded or connections to VPNs becoming weaker. It could also make access to the cloud slower, which may mean a drop in productivity as employees are spending longer accessing and saving files. We recommend conducting regular checks of your network speeds to ensure there are no drops in performance.
    • Address issues without delay
      If you or one of your employees identify a potential issue, make sure you diagnose the underlying root cause as soon as possible. This may appear to be something as insignificant as VPN connections dropping occasionally or programmes running slightly slower than normal, but this could be a sign of a more severe problem. Any issue or performance drop can potentially cause a weak link in your network, which could give cybercriminals a foothold into your data and folders.
    • Perform regular maintenance checks
      Even if you aren’t experiencing issues with your network ensure you carry out regular maintenance checks and vulnerability scans. By doing this you will be able to keep your systems running smoothly and pick up on any potential issues before they arise.


    Why is it so important to love and nurture your network now?

    Having a healthy network is more important than ever. During lockdowns and remote working, we saw a significant increase in cyber-attacks, and this hasn’t slowed down. In January 2022 alone, IT Governance, discovered 95 security incidents which resulted in 65,984,648 compromised records. Without showing some love and attention to your networks, vulnerabilities will appear which expose your company to potential data loss and cyber-attacks.

    The requirements for having a fast, reliable network are vital in order to keep running an optimal automation platform. With so many aspects of a network to consider and more tools requiring faster and stronger connections, software-defined, wide area networks (or SD-WAN) are high in demand. SD-WAN separates the control and management processes from the underlying networking hardware, making them available as software that can be easily configured and deployed.

    Computer Weekly IT Priorities report of 2021, revealed that many companies are looking at upgrading their network in the next 12 months, 34% of companies surveyed, are looking to upgrade their home networking and remote SD-WAN setup, due to the rising popularity of hybrid working. 28% of those surveyed are looking to upgrade their network automation.

    With hybrid working becoming the ‘new norm’ for many companies, it is more important than ever to show some love to your network, and ensure you have sophisticated network security implemented. To alleviate security concerns which can come with hybrid working take a look at our previous blog.


    Why should you invest in good network security?

    A comprehensive network security setup will minimise risks such as data breaches, cyber-attacks and unauthorised access.

    By investing the time and money into a strong network you are also likely to have a more efficient, satisfied workforce. By nurturing your systems, they will run smoother, with less issues, therefore making it easier for your employees to remain productive and less stressed.


    How Nouveau can help you secure and nurture your network

    Here at Nouveau we believe that a healthy network is one of the pinnacle factors to a happy, healthy company. With the networking expertise from Axians Networks and security pedigree of Nouveau, we now have the team to provide expertise on both areas.

    From IT security tools to IT infrastructure & network management, we can provide a comprehensive managed IT services package. This means you can focus on nurturing the heart and leave us to look after the veins and arteries of your business.

    Contact us today to find out how we can help you show your network some love.

    For more information about our managed IT security services, get in touch with our expert consultants on 0118 918 6822 – alternatively, you can fill in our contact form, and we’ll get back to you shortly.

    ” I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the prompt assistance you provided us with during this project.

    Could you kindly express our gratitude to your engineers for the excellent work they carried out for us. “

    Farhad | London Borough of Hounslow


    ” Being responsible for IT in an organisation which is very tech dependant is a real challenge, especially having no formal IT experience myself.  Having the Nouveau team at the end of the phone is a real-life saver and I have needed a life line many times.  I most appreciate the accessibility, knowledge and friendliness of the team. “

    Judith Ball | CFO | Aspen Worldwide


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    ” The company I work for has been using Nouveau Solutions for the past 15+ years and I have had the pleasure myself to build up a good, close relationship with them for about 12 of those years.

    Nouveau Solutions have dedicated teams for each different area that are made up of very knowledgeable technicians and engineers that specialise in their specific area of expertise. It is due to this that I always feel confident that Nouveau Solutions will be able to deliver us any IT services that we may request from them (there has been a lot over the years).

    They have always gone above and beyond to deliver high quality professional IT services to meet any requirements that we throw at them within any timeframes that we may set.

    On top of the ad-hoc IT services we request from Nouveau Solutions, they also monitor, manage, maintain and support some of our network infrastructure and have always been on hand to resolve any issues that may be noticed via their monitoring or raised by us within a timely manner.

    We also purchase the majority of our IT equipment including hardware, software and licensing through Nouveau Solutions which is always at a reasonable price and always received within a timely manner.

    Since day one of our relationship with Nouveau Solutions we have been appointed to the same one account manager which has allowed him to get to know our business very well. The service that has been provided by him to us has been nothing but exceptional. He always comes across as knowledgeable in any business discussions that we may have and has always been happy to take the time to communicate with us, make us aware of anything that we need to be aware of, or provide us with updates on anything.  I have always had the impression that his main priority is to ensure that we are happy with everything that Nouveau Solutions provides to us and he will do anything to ensure that is the case.

    All in all, I have nothing but praise to offer for Nouveau Solutions and would highly recommend them to any company that was looking for an IT services company.  There are definitely no plans here to switch to a different IT services company for the foreseeable future.

    Here’s to many more years with using Nouveau Solutions! “

    Lee Burgess | IT Systems Administrator | Combined Independents (Holdings) Ltd


    ” Nouveau have been brilliant from start to finish – very professional and competitive with their service and pricing. We needed a large number of Firewalls to deploy across our global company over a very short time period and thanks to Jack’s excellent availability, Nouveau’s turn-around time was extremely swift, even with nearly no notice. Nouveau not only provided us with the hardware  – one of their competent technicians supplied us with some design work in the past to help with our data centre firewalls replacement project! Nouveau have been great to work with. “

    Hassan Ashraf | IT Service and Infrastructure Manager | Everlight Radiology


    ” In the summer of 2017, I approached Nouveau in the hope of finding a competent partner that could help us through an upcoming hardware refresh. A priority of ours was to discover a local business (within 20 miles) that excelled and specialised in HPE, Dell, Fortinet and Microsoft/Office 365 as we planned to refresh our whole core infrastructure,. This included storage, infrastructure hosting and networking (core, access and perimeter) for our headquarters and our other branches. After an extensive phase of speccing, detail planning and quoting, Andy Swain and his team were able to offer a “spot on” solution for our demands with a very high cost/value ratio. This project led to a very open and trusting partnership with Nouveau and made them our No.1 partner within IT. “

    Stefan Nader | Ensilica