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Have you cleaned your office or physical files this year, have you looked at your tech? The term digital cleaning is a reference to reviewing and updating your outdated technology. As cyber-crimes have risen one common theme noted is the attackers go after outdated technology.

According to a recent SBA survey, they found about 88% of small business owners feel vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Many businesses have no idea where to begin with cybersecurity protection or feel they cannot afford the professional solutions.

Question to think about how secure is your business? If that question entered your mind, the best tip we can give, update all your software.

Why is a Digital Clean up so Important?

Not updating software in a timely manner creates the risk of not have the latest security updates. Cyber-criminals use automated software to search for outdated software. A few years ago I gave a presentation showing the importance of patching. I showed on a Windows 7 PC, I could create an administrator account without signing in as an administrator.

According to an FBI press release the cost of cyber-crime in 2020 was about $4 billion dollars against small businesses. Think you are too small to worry about a cyber-attack, guess again. According to a 2021 Cyber Readiness Study from Hiscox the average cost of an attack on a small business was about $24,000. You can download the PDF here.

If you get a data breach you may have to pay fines or lose trust with customers. Can you think of any data breaches your information was stolen from, how did that make you feel? Do not let your company lose its reputation with your customers.

How Can You Protect Your Business?

Now would be a good time start a tech cleaning, or maybe on the weekend. At the start of each year you probably put old files into storage and update the office. If you answered yes you should add a digital cleaning.

Here are seven ways to keep your technology healthy:

  1. Review your equipment – First step is knowing what devices you have. Make a checklist of each server, PCs, and laptops you have. Begin checking each device for software updates. As you update a computer or server, mark it down on your checklist. This one step can reduce your changes of getting malware, such as ransomware.
  2. Conduct a digital cleanup – What is involved in a digital cleanup? A quick list: change passwords, disable accounts, organizing and delete old files. In addition remove unused programs, and check your backups. Wait you are not doing backups? See step 6.
  3. Get rid of any old equipment – If you have old computers laying around donate them. Securely wipe any hard drive before you get rid of them. You do not just want to do a format or deleting of files. One service we offer is a secure a disk wipe with a certificate. Our service goes sector by sector erasing data. Avoid exposing company or customer information.
  4. Cleanup email – If your inbox is like mine you probably get more junk mail than good. Are there any mailing lists or newsletters you signed up for? Maybe unsubscribe, go through and delete old emails if you do not think you need them. Sometimes you could be getting rid of an infected or a phishing email.
  5. Prioritize security – A good place to start is using a password manager. Using a password manager allows you to create a unique random password for all sites you go do. Personally I use LastPass from LogMeIn, I think I have almost converted each password to something unique. LastPass also has a team version so you can share passwords among your employees. By creating unique passwords you limit your chances of a hacker using a password a stolen or guessed password. Google Chrome offers a compromised password check, check that and see if any passwords have been compromised. Finally, insurance companies are beginning to require customers to use multi-factor authentication (MFA). Often this is a text, email or authenticator app.
  6. Verify backups – We always want customers to verify their backups are working and to rotate their drives. In addition, we recommend some type of off-site storage of backups. Not backing up files can be a very dangerous game to play. Quick story, a customer came in and had been attacked by a ransomware virus. Unfortunately they had not backed up their QuickBooks data in five (5) years. With a ransomware virus the only option for recovery is restoring a backup. They did not have one so they had to reenter 5 years worth of records. In the event you are not doing backups look at least at the built-in Windows backup. Start backing up today, probably should have made this number 1
  7. Partner with an Managed Service Provider (MSP) – DK Systems can take care of these steps and more, without breaking your budget.

By performing a digital cleaning you help set your business up for success. Make the first step and you will not regret it. Remember to repeat at an interval like every 6 months to a year.

Updating your hardware and software increases productivity. Your employees are not waiting for pages to load or documents to open. They can focus on your customer’s and their needs..

DK Systems offers several helpful services that can help you tidy up your tech. From cybersecurity, IT security assessments, IT managed services, local/remote IT services, or backup and recovery we can help your business technology. We like to say we are at the center of your business.

Call, email, or fill out our contact us. You will not get a high pressure sales pitch, rather how to help ensure your business is safe from cyber-criminals.