CYBER SECURITY | 5 MIN READ
Businesses looking for assistance managing employee network help requests may turn to a Network Operations Center. However, what are the unique benefits that of a NOC that differentiates it from a help desk? Keep reading to learn 7 unique benefits of a Network Operations Center and more.
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7 Benefits of a Network Operations Center [NOC]
Protection from Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks, such as ransomware and phishing, pose legitimate threats to the security of business operations and sensitive data. Network Operations Centers are necessary for mitigating these threats.
NOC's typically use a tiered system of trained IT professionals to monitor your network and quickly remedy any issues that arise. These employees are also trained customer service representatives, which means that issues will not only be solved quickly but professionally.
Issues Identified and Resolved Faster
With help desks, issues may not be identified until an end user contacts the help desk about it. This can become problematic with certain network concerns such as cyber threats because typically an end user won't notice a cyber threat until it's already too late.
On the flip side, a NOC's monitoring software can identify cyber threats before they have an opportunity to attack. Solving network issues faster can minimize downtime and better secure your data.
Network Operation Centers can customize their offering to fit a business' unique needs. For instance, some NOC's have 24/7 security options for companies who need protection and proactive network monitoring outside of standard business hours.
The right NOC should be able to tailor parts of their offering for your company, such as the times of day they monitor your network, which security software they install on your network, and more.
Internal IT Assistance
If your business has an internal IT department and simply needs some help managing employee support tickets, NOC's will sometimes work with your department in a limited capacity to take some of the workload off by handling employee help requests.
Freeing your internal IT team up allows them to complete other projects such as infrastructure upgrades and future planning, leading to a more productive and efficient department.
NOC's have objectives that extend beyond network security. Another main objective is ensuring minimal network downtime.
One of the ways that a Network Operations Center ensures uptime is by consistently backing up data. In the event of a network outage, consistent backups mean that data can be recovered quickly with minimal data loss.
Additionally, by remotely monitoring for network issues, NOC's can identify processes that need to be altered or streamlined to improve network functionality. For instance, an overloaded network server that's causing traffic bottlenecking can be adjusted to speed up end user processes.
Network uptime ensures business productivity and can prevent the costs associated with network downtime.
NOC's use their various security software and platforms to proactively notice computer or network issues and take steps to address problems before end users notice a dip in network functionality.
Proactive monitoring and issue resolving mean that end users typically don't have to create many support tickets, which frees up the time they would have spent chatting with an agent and waiting for the issue to be fixed.
Compared to help desks and Security Operation Centers, NOC's have the ability to deliver more of a comprehensive package.
NOC's can offer a combination of cyber security services and general network assistance. For businesses with little to no internal IT, Network Operations Centers can serve as a useful instrument for holistic network health.
The SOS Difference
At Standard Office Systems, we are a Managed Service Provider with a Network Operations Center that also has certain SOC and help desk functionality. Our expansive capabilities mean that our offering is more diverse than just a true NOC, SOC, or help desk would be.
We are notified of network issues through help desk-style customer support tickets and customized SOC-style alerts set through our Remote Monitoring and Maintenance solution. This means that we receive alerts on all fronts, ensuring that issues are identified and addressed faster.
Additionally, we offer 24/7/365 customer support, which means that your business is protected at all hours, not just from 9-5 Monday-Friday.
An online retail business is technically open 24/7. Especially during crucial times such as Black Friday, a network outage could be a detrimental blow to that business' bottom line, as it could prevent customers from completing orders.
Employees at businesses who work nights and weekend, such as law firms, can't afford downtime outside of normal 9-5 Monday-Friday hours either. We have on-call staff ready to take your call at all hours of the day, ensuring that network issues are quickly resolved.
NOC vs. Help Desk Comparison
Network Operations Centers are not always the right fit for businesses. Keep reading to learn when your business should consider utilizing a NOC versus a help desk.
Consider a NOC if:
You cannot afford to experience network downtime
Businesses such as online retailers and law firms are known to operate outside of normal 9-5 Monday-Friday hours.
NOC's take proactive steps to minimize network downtime, which can be especially useful on crucial days like Black Friday. Businesses who experience downtime during crucial times may face steep downtime costs and productivity losses.
Even if your business wouldn't dramatically suffer from occasional network downtime, keep in mind that hackers know that not everybody has 24/7 IT support, which means they might think to take advantage of your network when it's least protected.
Keeping your network security on high alert 24/7 maximizes network functionality and keeps hackers at bay.
RELATED: How to Calculate Downtime Cost
Your in-house IT department needs assistance
In-house IT departments have so many tasks to complete that businesses may benefit from contracting out some of those low-level tasks to a third-party company.
While network monitoring is a task that is important for ensuring network health and security, there is no need to exhaust in-house IT departmental resources on this task, especially when there are other critical projects to be completed.
By letting a NOC handle network monitoring, an in-house IT department is freed up to complete other projects, such as upgrading your network or better positioning it for the future.
You have little to no internal IT
If you have little or no fully dedicated IT staff then you are probably leaving the management of your network up to another employee with limited IT knowledge, such as an HR manager or a secretary.
Leaving your network security up to an employee who isn't an IT professional puts your company's security at risk. By outsourcing the monitoring and management of your cyber security infrastructure to a NOC, this burden is taken off of internal employees and your network is better protected.
Consider a help desk if:
You already have internal IT and just want a help desk to answer your employees' simple questions
Help desks are great for companies who already have some form of internal IT. Internal IT staff manage so many aspects of your network that they can constantly get sidetracked by employees asking for assistance fixing a simple issue. Help desks ease some of an internal IT employee's work burden.
Your internal IT staff's productivity is hindered
If your internal IT team is becoming so caught up with helping other employees fix simple issues that they don't have time to sufficiently monitor and protect your network, that might be a clue that you should outsource part of your IT to a help desk.
Time that an internal IT team dedicates to helping other employees takes time away from updating and monitoring your network, which can potentially put you at risk of network breaches.
Your budget is smaller
If you have a tighter budget, you may benefit from a help desk over a NOC. Even if you have no internal IT staff, you can pay for an outsourced help desk to fix smaller issues, in turn leaving bigger issues up to break-fix companies.
Keep in mind, however, that costs for break-fix companies can quickly add up.
Network Operations Centers are customizable solutions that can help businesses improve network uptime, productivity, and more.
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Posted by Erica Kastner
Erica Kastner is a lead Marketing Specialist at Standard Office Systems as well as a University of Georgia graduate. She aims to use her passion for problem-solving to help businesses understand how to better leverage their network infrastructure.