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SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How to Conduct a Non-Invasive Network Assessment

Bob Vogel BlueBy Bob Vogel B2 Marketing

I’ve been talking with the folks over at RapidFire Tools to learn more about their network assessment tool called The Network Detective. Their big claim to fame is that the tool they’ve created allows you to perform a completely non-invasive assessment that’s deceptively easy to set up and fast to run.

So I asked them what does” non-invasive” really mean, and why is that important?

“Basically, there’s no software to install, and no monitoring agents that need to be deployed around the network,” said Win Pham, who built the software for RapidFire Tools. “This is really important if you’re walking into a prospect environment. There might be an incumbent service provider or internal IT resource that the owner would rather not know that you are in there poking around.”

Win explained to me that with the Network Detective, you get a small executable file that you can put on a thumb drive. Just plug the thumb drive into the domain controller and run the file (no install). Of course, you will need to have the server’s admin credentials to access all the data.

It takes only about 30 minutes to collect literally hundreds of pages of configuration data off the average size network. Use that time to have a business conversation with the owner about any issues, concerns, needs and wants. When the scan is complete, all the data is gathered into a single encrypted file that you can save back to your thumb drive.

They have different scanning tools for different kinds of assessments – one for a general Network Assessment, one for a Security Assessment (including external vulnerabilities scans), one for an MS Exchange Assessment, and another for a SQL Server Assessment. They even have a set of tools to allow you to perform a full HIPAA Compliance assessment.

Back at your office, run the encrypted network data file through the Network Detective’s data analyzer, and then pick the reports you want to run. You have a choice of a very sophisticated Client Risk Summary report to use as a door-opener for new project, a complete (and voluminous) Network Assessment Report, or a nifty little network schematic diagram. If you’ve run a scan on the network in the past you can also run a report that just highlights anything that’s changed. The reports are editable, and brandable.

If you haven’t checked out this product yet, it’s worth a look. Here’s the link to register for their next webinar, coming up on Nov. 11.

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