October 27, 2014 12:00 am
There are few things more disastrous for a business than losing or misusing sensitive data. While organisations that handle sensitive data invest in firewalls, encryption, and secure back-ups, many fail to secure their printers.
63% of businesses admit that they have experienced at least one print-related data breach (Quocirca), but less than a quarter have implemented security procedures when printing or improved their systems as a result.
Printing as a Security Risk
Unsecured printers and MFDs provide unfettered access to sensitive data and if your organisation routinely handles this information it can be difficult to track how often you print it. Printers are often in communal areas, so unclaimed output is very easily exposed without any major negligence on behalf of your employees – they simply need to be delayed on the way to the printer and the information is lying in the office for anybody to pick up.
Closing the Security Gap
Secure printing is incredibly easy to set up and simple to maintain. ‘Pull printing’ ensures that print jobs are only released when they are authenticated by the original printer – this can be done through PIN codes, smart cards, or even biometric fingerprint recognition. Unclaimed documents will never be printed, so the information cannot go missing or fall into the wrong hands.
In addition to standard authentication, your organisation could set up:
- Network authentication, which integrates with existing network credentials
- Job accounting, which helps document regulatory compliance
- Intelligent print management, which creates rules-based permissions – this could prevent printing altogether for extremely sensitive documents
Ongoing Security Audits
Most of our security printing options include the facilities to conduct regular print audits for your administrators to track print jobs, photocopies, and scans. You can easily check on how each user is using your print facilities to identify patterns of misuse or waste. In the unlikely event that there is a print-related security breach, it is easy to trace the source and improve your processes further.
An Investment in Security
The European Commission may begin fining businesses up to 5% of their annual turnover for data leaks if there is clear negligence – your business cannot afford to be complacent about security or the issues within your print processes. Using intelligent processes and reinforced authentication will ensure that your organisation does not have to pay hefty fines or risk the professional embarrassment of losing data.
While security is the primary concern, setting up secure print systems has other benefits; reducing paper wastage through unclaimed jobs can reduce your spend on consumables, while increased mobility provides your employees with additional flexibility.
Do You Need a Secure Printing System?
You may require a secure system if:
- You are legally required to keep information confidential
- Your compliance processes require information to be kept secure
- Your business routinely handles secure information
- Your printer is in a communal area that is accessible to more than just your own employees
- A department in your business handles sensitive information but does not have their own print facilities
If you would like to discuss your needs further, please get in touch.
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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1