If you have a business computer network, you probably already know that you need to keep careful track of your IP addresses. Each computer and all other devices that use your network have IP addresses, and you want to have a comprehensive database of them. If you don’t do this, it can cause havoc and open the door to cyberattacks and network crashes.
Most company CEOs understand that an IP address management strategy is a fundamental thing that you need if your network is going to be safe and secure. With that in mind, let us go over some specific reasons why you need to have a streamlined strategy in place.
What is IP Management?
Before we talk about the reasons to utilize an IP management system, we’ll first make sure you comprehend what we mean when we use this term. IP management:
- Is a kind of methodology
- Is what you implement in computer software to manage and plan IP address usage and assignments
In other words, IP management is an overarching term that you’d use to describe how your company and employees are watching over all your IP addresses. If you do not have a methodology in place in this area, your business’s computer network is vulnerable.
Now, let’s get into more specific reasons why you need to have a strategy in place in this regard.
Even if you don’t know a whole ton about the way your business’s computer network operates, you at least know that security is one of your main concerns. For security purposes, you need IPAM data access. That is because, if you have it:
- It makes it far easier to detect any infrastructure breach
- You can also identify any likely internal or external misuse areas
A huge part of IP management is how easily you can access your full IPAM data scope. That includes things like the IP addresses you regularly use. It will also include the devices to which each IP address belongs and who in your company should be using it.
With this information, you can identify patterns that point toward network or security breaches. If you want robust overall network health and to maintain data integrity, all of this is vital.
Compliance is another focus area when you’re thinking about IP address management. Usually, to comply with various governing body regulations, you’ll need to focus on two areas. One is IPAM, and the other is a network access control system.
Your NAC setup can use IPAM to determine whether your antivirus software is up to date before you allow anyone access. This can prevent infections from spreading.
You can also use IPAM to identify information that can help you complete a variety of compliance processes. Maybe you need to keep logs on your system that chronicle what work employees are doing there. If you have a government contract, for example, this will almost certainly be true.
Your IPAM data can generate those logs in an instant. Whatever regulations you have to follow, you can maintain or establish compliance through IP address management.
The one other reason admins commonly mention for why you need IPAM is your overall network health. Specifically, they might talk about IP address conflicts.
An IP address conflict occurs when you are using duplicate IP addresses. If you have IPAM in place, you can look at a specific IP address at any time if you feel someone is misusing it. You can look at its status and see if it says reserved, dynamic, static, etc.
You can also collect things like host names, DHCP leases, and MAC addresses, and look at them all together. If you want to compile a comprehensive overview of what’s happening in your network, this is the optimal way to do that.
Now you know some reasons why you need a business IP address management strategy. But how can you achieve that?
There are many IPAM solutions available, and you’ll need to look them over before you select one that seems to make sense for your business model. The more devices you have on your network, the more urgently you need to have one of these solutions.
Without an organized plan and with dozens or hundreds of IP addresses and devices, you’re looking at a potentially epic mess. If you have a tiny company, you might use an in-house solution, but the bigger you get, the more you’ll probably need outside help.