The threat of hackers accessing your network through your printer is real; very real! Print-related security breaches can happen, even when employees print directly from their mobile devices. In fact, according to Quocirca, 63% of businesses have experienced one or more print-related data breaches. Yet, why have so many companies experienced such issues?
Based on research from Quocirca, the top three reasons are:
1. Low priority (92%)
2. Unawareness of print security benefits (71%)
3. Lack of print security strategy (65%)
Is My Company At Risk?
“Businesses may be working hard to protect electronic data across email, PCs, laptops, mobile devices and USB sticks, however the threat of data breaches remains if the one time any confidential or sensitive information is printed, it is left exposed to unauthorized access.” – QuocircaThe print landscape has greatly changed over the past decade as local single function printers have been greatly replaced by multifunction peripherals (MFPs). Although MFPs have brought convenience and enhanced user productivity to the workplace, they also pose security risks. With built-in network connectivity as well as hard disk and memory storage, MFPs are as vulnerable to security risks as any networked device.
Making the move to a centralised MFP environment is efficient and provides tremendous benefits. Conversely, it also means more users are sharing devices. Without a print security strategy, documents can be collected by unauthorised users, either accidentally or maliciously. Similarly, confidential or sensitive documents can be accessed in seconds by unauthorised recipients, through scan to email, scan to file, and scan to cloud storage functionalities.
The financial and professionals services sector rank print security as high priorities. According to Quocirca, however, their counterparts in the retail, manufacturing and the public sector trail far behind. Notably, 90% of public sector respondents admitted to one or more paper-based data breaches.
How Can I Protect My Print Infrastructure?
Whether you are looking for a solution to a print-related data breach or implementing precautionary measures, managed print services (MPS) is the solution you need. MPS will help you with enhancing document security and promote realistic printing practices that will reduce costs and paper waste.
1. Conduct a security assessment
The assessment comprises of the evaluation of your device, fleet, and enterprise document security. Through this assessment, your MPS provider will be able to examine all points of vulnerability, regardless of the diversity of your printing environment, and provide a tailored security plan. Including security measures for devices, user access, and end of life/disposal of your printing environment.
2. Device protection
Many MFPs come as standard with hard drive encryption and data overwrite features. Data overwriting ensures that the hard drive is cleared of readable data when the device is disposed of. Residual data can be completely erased when the encrypted device and the hard disk drive are removed from the MFP.
3. Secure the network
MFPs can be utilised in conjunction with several protocols and communication methods to improve security. Most commonly, SSL (secure socket layer) is implemented as of way of encrypting print jobs. SSL makes it safe for sensitive documents to be printed via a wired or wireless network.
4. Control user access
Implementing access control on printing devices ensures that only authorised users are able to access MFP device functionality. Security features that you can use include PIN codes, swipe cards, proximity cards and fingerprint recognition for user authentication purposes.
5. Oversee your printing infrastructure
An MPS provider can monitor and audit your printing environment, and track of all MFP related usage. Additionally, you can benefit from monthly reports of costs, printing patterns, and user activity – all in one go!
Print security is just as important as the rest of your IT infrastructure. Ensure your data is secure with MPS and never fall victim to a print-related data breach. Contact Amaranth Business Solutions Limited and speak to a representative to find out more about our MPS solutions, and let’s get started on securing your printing environment.