What is Secure Printing?

Secure and printing are not two words that are often in the same sentence or understood when placed together. However, with GDPR law now firmly in place businesses cannot afford to be complacent about printing securely.

Whilst security has become important for businesses, less than 25% have adopted secure printing practises, and this problem is becoming bigger.

Quocirca recently reported the many vulnerabilities around print and that now in the era of advanced connectivity and our ability to collect, process and store large volumes of data, the photocopier or printer has become the weak link in security and no longer can we ignore this. Quocirca quotes that 61% of large Companies have admitted to suffering a data breach. Therefore, now is the time to be proactive in your printing equipment and evaluate the security of your print environment. Discussing this with a print supplier will mean that they can recommend the appropriate hardware and software that means your business is secure, as well as offer education to your employees and help you implement printing practises.

As a business it is important to assess the following things:

  1. Access: Can confidential documents be accessed in your organisation. Who has access, and do you have controls in place to manage this information and track it?
  2. Policy: Do you have a security policy in place for accessing and printing to the network including the multifunction printers?
  3. Guidelines: Do your employees have any guidelines in place for printing securely and how do you monitor that they are adhering to this?
  4. Network security: Do you have firmware and has this been implemented?
  5. Procedure assurance: are you alerted if a device fails the security policy? How do you identify the weakness?
  6. Vulnerability: Does your printer pose as a security issue? Could you be a potential target for hacking or data to be stolen?
  7. Printer compliance: Given you have network security, do your printers comply? How can you check and resolve this?
  8. Reporting: Do you receive reports on the security of your hardware and software? If something isn’t complying, how are you informed so that you can resolve the issue?
  9. Mobile: Do you have a mobile work force that needs to access the network and print?
  10. Configuration of security: Has there been any changes to the firmware you have already installed? Are you up to date?

A printer supplier will be able to help you answer all these questions and help you implement a policy, along with the correct equipment that will help you make your printing environment secure. At Mode we follow this principle:

  • Security strategy: integrate printers and all hardware to be part of your overall security strategy
  • Policy: ensure that you have a policy in place that includes printers so that in the event of a data breach, you can demonstrate under GDPR, that you have taken every necessary step to limit any breach and secure and protect all devices.
  • Secure the devices: make sure your hardware has encrypted hard drives this offers another layer of security and ensure that when that equipment is disposed of, that all data is wiped.
  • Secure Access: ensure there is no unauthorised use of the hardware allowed. No unclaimed print outs on the printers, only allow print jobs to be released when the author is at the machine.
  • Monitor and manage: You need a centralised and flexible way to manage and monitor the security of your print fleet. There are auditing tools available that can track usage at user level. Multifunctional devices are excellent for this, and you can see who has printed what and when.
  • Seek advice: Printer suppliers are the experts in achieving this and can offer you the best way to protect the data your business is holding.

If you are seeking advice on this, why not take a look at our Secure Printing section. Alternatively contact us on 0345 223 2203 or enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk

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This post was written by Anwen Haynes1

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