If we were to simplify the impact of downtime for any organisation, we’d say that when the IT infrastructure works, the business works. Regardless of the company size, any length of unplanned downtime can lead to repercussions such as lost productivity, negative customer experience, and overall lowered efficiency.

IT downtimes can also result in monetary loss. Read more about it here.

With the company’s bottom line, business continuity, operational efficiency, and customer service at stake, it’s imperative that you prevent unexpected downtimes. To achieve this goal, your organisation must be acquainted with common causes of network downtime.

The Causes of Network Downtime

1. Power Failure

Power failures mean your network and IT infrastructure coming to a complete halt. These can occur as a result of excessive rain, wind storms, or other natural elements. Power surges and short circuits caused by electrical issues are the other reason.

The best way to mitigate this is through a backup power supply. UPS’s can prevent your network from shutting down completely.  One important point to remember here is prioritising backing up servers, network devices, and monitoring systems.

2. Cybersecurity Issues

The same technology that allows your organisation to stay efficient can be misused by cybercriminals, exposing your organisation to cybersecurity threats that can cause downtimes.

Ignoring patch management and vulnerability testing can also make your network vulnerable to DDoS and other attacks that undermine network stability.

Security measures such as antiviruses, fraud and malware detection software, multi-factor authentication, encryption, and regular testing can be effective against this cause.

3. Human Error

After cybersecurity issues, human error remains one of the most common causes of network downtimes. Issues with improper configuration, administration, and integration due to network complexity can cause unexpected downtime.

Furthermore, a lack of training can lead to employees falling for phishing and spam schemes. Sophisticated social engineering attacks that may seem legitimate can often be the source of these schemes penetrating your systems.

Mitigate this by improving spam detection, automating critical network functions, and hiring external IT and network experts to monitor network performance, train employees, and implement the right processes.

4. Hardware Failure

In addition to corrupt or defective software, causing performance errors, failed hardware can also cause network downtime. Networks that rely on legacy systems feature redundancy, instability, and wear and tear that affect their performance.

Keeping the hardware in your IT infrastructure up-to-date and replacing it with more efficient, modern alternatives can prevent downtimes. Maintenance, monitoring, regular upkeep, and installing fail-over devices are also necessary for preventing network disruptions. If you see signs of lagging performance in any aspect of your IT hardware, assess and replace it before it results in failure. Read more: Replacing office hardware – how often?

Prevent Downtime with Professional Intervention

Keeping your IT infrastructure and network running without interruptions is necessary for your organisation’s continued performance. SME Businesses tend to lack the manpower and resources to keep systems monitored.

Motherboard IT Support provides a comprehensive outsourced IT service that allows us to keep a close eye on your infrastructure, ensuring its smooth performance.