Telephone System Audit Service

In traditional business environments, IT supported the business. But in many cases today, IT is the business. When something occurs that prevents your end users or customers from accessing critical applications, you might as well be out of business. But how do you know where the risks lie?

1st Communications recognises that application availability goes beyond device level availability to include the complete infrastructure including the processes that support and sustain the environment, and are also responsible for recovering from any failure that may occur. With the 1st Communications Network Audit service, our consultants will help you identify gaps in your IT environment, whether related to processes or technical architecture that present a potential threat to meeting your desired levels of availability.

Network Audit – Initial Stage

Before any network audit can begin and the following tests performed, a high level inventory of the network must be completed. This will enable 1st Comms to produce an accurate scope of works and costing structure, it will also enable the customer to identify the depth of the audit i.e. are WAN links and remote sites to be included?

This initial stage audit can normally be completed over the phone in a matter of minutes.

What does the Audit Include?

  • Physical Infrastructure Architecture and configuration:
    • After the scope of works has been defined, the next stage is to document the physical topology. In general the topology will have a direct impact on the reliability calculations. Serial components reduce availability whilst parallel components increase availability. This will highlight any single points of failure within the network which could result in application downtime.
  • Voice Network:
    • The voice network, rather like the electricity supply, is something that everyone expects to be available all of the time, but how many people know how their PBX is configured? What additional features they are missing out on because they are not running the latest version of code? Or could you simply be paying too much for your phone calls.
  • Security Management:
    • Since the inception of the computer and computer networks, a very small number of people in the telecommunications community have existed who have wished to demonstrate their intellectual prowess by attacking computer systems and networks. On other occasions, the attacks have come from those internal users seeking revenge for a perceived wrong.
    • The 1st Comms audit service will include a review of your Security System(s) in which we can do a high level scan of the network through to a more in-depth penetration test mimicking a possible real life attempt to gain access to your network.
  • Application Availability Management:
    • Only 45 percent of system outages can be attributed to hardware failures, the remainder are caused by software failures, operator configuration errors, environmental failures i.e. power outages etc. Consequently, in order to reach a high level of availability implementing an additional power supply is not enough and the whole ‘working methodology’ must be reviewed. High availability systems typically provide 5 9’s (99.999%) availability, or 5 minutes downtime per year.
  • Documentation:
    • Upon completion of the audit 1st Comms will produce a detailed report which will include recommendations designed to help you optimize your business services and reduce the risk of downtime. The report will also include a direct comparison of your operation procedures with industry best practices.

Quick Checklist:

  • Physical Infrastructure Architecture:
    • Physical network topology
    • Device implementation and configuration
    • Network addressing schemes
    • Type of cabling and connections
    • Standards compliance
    • Health check
  • Voice Network:
    • PBX configuration
    • Redundancy
    • Applications
    • Call costs
  • Security Management:
    • Vulnerability Scan
    • Penetration Test
    • Firewall Assessment
    • Internet Application Testing
    • Regular Security Audits
  • Application Availability Management:
    • Operations (system configuration, operation and administration)
    • Server hardware resilience
    • Software failures
    • Process failures (administrative decisions)
  • Documentation:
    • Identify appropriate level of availability to balance needs and costs
    • Determine areas of highest downtime risk
    • Prioritise areas for improvement
    • Identify the most effective and cost-efficient means to address prioritised issues
    • Support contacts

If you have any queries or would like more information about the 1st Communications Audit Service, please contact us or request a callback. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 0684 880 for immediate help and advice.