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The Importance of Data Hygiene in Cybersecurity

Gradient MSP

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The Importance of Data Hygiene in Cybersecurity

Gradient MSP
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You want to get paid for the work you do, right? Well of course you’d want to get paid for the work you do. But here’s the thing: If you don’t have accurate data, it’s not going to be easy to get paid. 

In a managed services business, you’re receiving data from a lot of sources—and it’s not a simple task to actively manage and secure all of that data. Read on to learn more about why data hygiene matters to the security and success of your MSP business. 

Data Hygiene and Cybersecurity

We all know that having multiple layers of cybersecurity is essential in this day and age. And actually, maintaining good data hygiene is one of those essential layers. Being able to correctly identify the assets and vulnerabilities within your own systems, and those of your clients, is part of having a robust approach to cybersecurity.

First, there’s the matter of maintaining data hygiene. This is easier said than done. You can make sure you keep data as clean as possible when it enters your system, but over time data becomes stale-dated. Remediating dirty data after the fact typically costs more than addressing data cleanliness upfront. 

When we were first doing a demo of Gradient Tidy™, the partner we were showing it to noticed that we’d marked a particular contact as high confidence—meaning that we were pretty sure that was bad data. Turns out this was the billing contact for one of their clients. So for the past couple of years, they’d been sending this person the invoices, but that person didn’t even work there anymore. The client, not surprisingly, had gone from paying on time consistently to being one of those clients that never paid on time—the invoice was going to a dead email address! 

Second, there’s the issue of how much time it takes to ensure that your data is in tip-top shape. Consider something like billing reconciliation. You have all the data you need to make sure your invoices are accurate, but that data is spread between your PSA and each different vendor portal. Your team sets up and removes seats all the time—the whole billing thing isn’t necessarily going to be accurate unless you take the time to ensure that it is. 

The result, however, of not reconciling your billing is that sometimes you’ll provide services to clients and not bill for them. Good luck billing months later when you finally figure it out! 

The reason you do billing reconciliation manually is because you have to. You can’t afford to leave money on the table—but that’s a truly joyless task. 

Third, all of this data is desirable to bad actors. Data is like currency, and that’s why there’s a significant financial impact for the small businesses or MSPs who undergo a data breach. And given the increase in ransomware attacks lately, having a comprehensive set of security measures in place is a critical part of good data hygiene. 

So when we think about data hygiene, it’s important to remember that dirty data comes in a lot of different forms—and in each case, it can absolutely mess with your profits. 

Gradient is absolutely committed to helping you master your data, so that you get paid for the work you do, and maximize your profits.

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