Properly Networked - IT Structures for Planning Offices

It doesn’t take long to set up a few computers, install programs and interconnect them all into one network. But when the office starts to expand, problems and questions often arise: is there a backup for our data? Is our internet access secure? Are we protected from viruses and worms? What will we do if our system crashes? It’s never too early to start thinking about the topic ‘back-office’, i.e. about servers, gateways, firewalls, cabling, printer connection, data backup and central software for anti-virus and anti-spam protection. The aim of this article is to help readers understand these components, check existing configurations for loopholes and shortcomings or, at least, enable them to hold a knowledgeable discussion with the administrator. Each individual component or step in the network has to be analysed from the aspects security, availability, administrability and cost and these are weighted differently depending on the size of the office.
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