Could This Be the Year for Your Business to Review its Security Measures?

2018 has been ear marked as the year as having the potential to be worse for cyber-attacks.

This bold statement has been substantiated by a survey commissioned by Acronis (leading experts in data protection and storage), based on evidence in 2017 where ransomware variants have seen an increase of 46% meaning that detection is now more challenging.

It is now apparent that high quality, secure backup solutions are necessary for businesses to protect against ransomware to ensure the risk to losing data is minimal and devices are secure.

If, as a business, your understanding of ransomware is limited, it is essential you educate yourselves now, as the cost to your business will only increase. Criminals in this field have fine tuned their skills and continue to take advantage of flaws in security where they are able to by-pass anti-virus software, meaning attack is almost undetectable. Also, if you are sophisticated in this area, the ransomware criminals are now developing new sways of targeting back up files and software. Most people in business are still unaware that ransomware can encrypt files and backups!

The most recent attacks are testament that many businesses are underestimating the capabilities of these criminals.

So, what can you do?

  1. Back up your important data: Store your data locally and in the cloud
  2. Keep everything up to date: This includes software as well as operating systems. It stops criminals entering your systems through any security holes!
  3. Ensure Anti-virus is updated regularly: Ensure that all updates are enabled
  4. Be suspicious: if an email doesn’t look right with dubious links or attachments, then don’t open it!

Security is key within all your systems and keeping up to date and using IT experts to help with this will ultimately ensure cyber criminals are kept at bay!

Is Your Business Secure from Attack?


Cyber attack reports have been such hot topics lately with some high-profile cases being reported. Most recently in the light of the new GDPR law and the ever-increasing sophistication of hackers, it is even more important that your systems are secure. However, this comes and a cost and more often, SME’s are over looking this essential part of security due to cost.

These are Mode’s tips:

Not all data is equal: Your business will hold employee data, client data, product, services data. All needs to be treated differently and held securely.

Data Back up: this needs to be done on regular basis. A back up is regular copying, reorganising and storing of all digital information. This can be physically stored or stored in the cloud or on a dedicated server.

Data recovery: This is the process of recovering data that may be no longer accessible or lost due to corrupted or damaged storage. Regular data back-ups relieve this data recovery process, but both are an essential element of protection.

Virus and Spam protection: Virus and malware replicates itself into other programs or files and their intentions are malicious. If undetected, they could easily damage data by corrupting or accessing private information, spread spam and leak confidential information that could harm your business.

Firewall: This is an essential network security system. The Firewall monitors traffic and controls it based on security rules. It’s essentially a barrier between your internal network and any external networks (e.g. Internet). This will restrict access of incoming and outgoing traffic that is suspicious, prevent infections and spreading of malware. Network firewalls run on computer hardware, host-based firewalls are software based and control traffic on the computer its installed on.

Whilst your business may not be able to afford an IT department to important these procedures, it is essential to engage an IT company to ensure that these steps are taken to protect your information, as if not, the cost to your business could be far greater.

The Benefits of Secure Follow Me Printing

With increasing concerns surrounding the security of our personal data, it is no surprise that organisations are beginning to evaluate all of their office and IT security, with one area of interest being secure printing.

So what exactly is secure follow me printing…?

Secure follow me printing allows the user to send a print job to a printer, but requires authentication from the user at the point of collection.

There are many benefits to installing a secure follow me printing solution. Read on below to find out more…


  • Improved security

Whether you have a legal department in house, or work for a private company where you would like to ensure that your company accounts are kept confidential, secure printing is an essential way to maintain data security. Many offices need secure printing, even if they don’t work in an industry that has confidentiality requirements.

  • Reduce printing costs

Follow me printing can help to reduce printing costs, because employees are required to release their print jobs at the printer, ensuring there is no wasted or accidental print outs.

  • Happier helpdesk

With follow me printing, system administrators are no longer required to manage print queues, giving them more time to focus on other important tasks.

  • Environmentally friendly

Follow me printing can help to promote environmentally friendly printing behaviour. For example, you can set up individual print profiles, which allow you to select double sided or black and white printing.

Mode’s 10 Green Printing Tips

If your business is looking for ways to reduce the impact it has on the environment, a great place to start is by looking at your office printers and your printing methods.
By evaluating your energy consumption, toner and paper waste you could help reduce your costs and improve your impact on the environment.

By adopting some of our tips below and making changes to how you and your office print documents, you’ll soon be able to go green as a team!

  1. Print double sided – to reduce the amount of unnecessary paper used.
  2. Print a draft copy – running a draft copy before printing a large job prevents mistakes and saves paper.
  3. Print preview – use this function to check that your formatting is correct before printing.
  4. Energy efficiency – ensure that your machines are switched to ‘stand-by mode’ when not in use. You can also set large print jobs to run at night, benefitting from cheaper electricity.
  5. Recycled paper – you may be able to use recycled paper with your current printer. However, not all printers are compatible. Please get in touch with us for advice.
  6. Save electricity – by sharing printers, scanners and other IT equipment across departments.
  7. Follow me printing – will release your print job through a secure access code to any machine in your organisation, reducing waste from abandoned prints.
  8. Custom printing profiles – reduces your toner consumption by defaulting to black and white and saves paper with double sided printing.
  9. Recycling schemes – encourage recycling in your workplace and see what recycling options you have available in your area for printer ink cartridges, paper and more.
  10. Eco-friendly printers – are a great choice if you’re serious about ‘going green’. Designed to use less energy than other printers on the market, eco-friendly printers will not compromise on performance. If you want to know more, please get in touch with a member of our team who will be happy to give you advice.

Top 5 Printer Maintenance Tips

Taking care and proper maintenance of your printer will help it to perform at its best and will keep it in good condition for many more years to come. Whether you own an inkjet or laser printer, we’ve put together our top five printer maintenance tips for you to follow. We hope you find them helpful:


  1. Clean your printer

It is essential to keep your printer as clean as possible. Wipe away any interior paper dust or debris on a regular basis.

  1. Replace Cartridges

You don’t need to replace the cartridge as soon as your printer indicates that it is low; however it is a good idea to plan on replacing it within a few weeks. A dry cartridge can lead to wear and tear on your printer head.

  1. Fold feed trays away

When you are not using the feed tray, be sure to fold it away, otherwise it can easily be knocked or broken by passers-by.

  1. Paper type

You should always use the type of paper recommended by the printer manufacturer. Using the wrong type can lead to problems such as paper jams or excessive toner usage, which will waste money and cause inconvenient problems.

  1. Standby Mode

Printers generate a lot of heat while they are switched on – This can dry up the cartridges or clog up the header. It is best to keep your printer in standby mode between printing or switched off when not in use.

Printing is Sustainable: The Current Trends That are Emerging

Whilst in the past it has been predicted that printing will become an extinct use within any business, the opposite has happened. If anything, printing is evolving to meet our ever-increasing needs.

Problematic issues with disposal of hardware and consumables have been addressed by the industry manufacturers to ensure that concern over waste disposal is minimised, along with the power used to operate the devices and using paper that is more environmentally friendly.

SO, Mode has reviewed what trends are emerging and how printing needn’t be unsustainable nor environmentally damaging.

  • New models: whether they are desktop, mobile, multifunctional devices, are now far more energy-efficient than they ever have been. They are faster and less costly to run. MFD’s (Multifunctional Devices), help businesses reduce waste through monitoring paper usage.
  • Packaging: toners are now being packaged in recyclable cardboard, plus manufacturers now have more measures in place to recycle the toners themselves!
  • Follow me printing systems: there are various names for this but more and more, these systems are being implemented in business to prevent unused print outs sitting on the photocopier. By using a card that releases the print job when the card is presented at the machine means paper, energy and ink is saved and this is helping businesses to curb their overall environmental impact.
  • Devices destruction at end of life: these processes have been dramatically modified and responsible destruction should be a consideration when choosing a supplier to work with.

Having an awareness of your environmental impact will naturally create trust in your customers, therefore it’s essential any business works with a print solutions company that can help you deliver this.

Print has been leading the way in sustainability for some time and as a business there is a whole host of processes that you can use to help your environmental impact:

Review your current business practices: review and measure what your impact is and work out how to solve your issues. Any responsible service provider should help you consider the levels of damage your current equipment causes to the environment and help you resolve these.

  • How much paper is wasted?
  • How old is your equipment?
  • How are your consumables disposed?
  • Do you have an MPS solutions already? Is it efficient?

Encourage recycling within your organisation: this should be reviewed across all your processes and a policy created and implemented. This should include:

  • Paper recycling
  • Consumables recycling

You should check with your service provider, the recycling processes they have in place to make this easier for you.

Consider a multifunctional device: By having a multifunctional device, it means you can copy, scan and print with one device, meaning you can eliminate multiple machines, ensuring less impact on the environment.

All businesses need to strive for greater environmental efficiencies and reducing their impact. There are always opportunities to contribute to this and really in the end but improving your processes and encouraging sustainable practises, there can only be benefits.

Talk to Mode today if you would like advice on any of the issues discussed in this article.

Common Printer Problems (and How to Fix Them)

Printers are the unsung heroes of today’s busy office environment and it’s often not until they hit a hurdle that we realise how much we rely on them.

Equipment that’s not performing properly can cause issues in more ways than one; firstly, in terms of the cost of repairs and secondly in terms of precious time.

Here, we’ve collated a selection of the most common problems affecting printers and how to fix them.

Poor quality prints

This is an annoying issue. Your printer works perfectly well, it’s just as fast as it ever was, but the prints are coming out blurred or with odd marks on them. You can’t use badly printed documents in a professional capacity so you need to get to the bottom of this problem…and here’s how to begin.

  • Print several sheets to see if the quality gradually improves; sometimes the issue will remedy itself.
  • Check the print driver in case you have the wrong paper or media selected; this is a surprisingly common issue.
  • Ensure that toner cartridges are fresh and intact.
  • If everything is as it should be but the quality isn’t improving, then it’s time to call in the professionals
Slow printing

This issue can be absolutely infuriating. You’re in a hurry to get something out to a client or to staff and the printer is in snail-mode. What do you do?

  • Check your settings. If you don’t need top quality print, then select draft standard for documents which are only going to be used within the office. If you’re going to be sharing the documents within a formal meeting or similar, then shift back to the higher quality mode.
  • Remember that double-sided printing will always take longer. Yes, it saves paper but if you’re in a hurry, then that may be a false economy.
Paper jams

Paper jams are another irritating issue and if you’re finding that they happen just too often, it might be time to have your printer serviced. But first, check out these trouble-shooting tips.

  • Check the path of the paper to see where the issue is. If your printer isn’t well-lit in its interior, then use a torch. Remove any paper you can see but do it gently so that you don’t tear it and risk tiny pieces of paper causing even more problems.
  • If you can’t see any paper which has jammed within the machine, take out the tray and reposition it.
  • Still not happy? Remove the entire paper stack, ensure it’s square and replace it.
  • Other tips to ensure paper jams don’t happen too often are to double-check the paper is the right paper for the printer and always store your paper supplies in a dry environment.

A great way to ensure your printers remain in good working order is to know that those people with access, understand the correct way in which to use the equipment. The only way to be sure of that is to provide good training and regular updates if software changes are on the cards.

Keep your printers dust free with regular maintenance and always use the right paper, ink and toner.

3 Signs Your Printers Need to be Updated

Printers are such an integral part of most businesses that many people forget just how important it is to ensure that they are in tip-top condition. They’re generally long-lasting enough to be taken for granted. We might not even notice the first signs that a printer is past it’s best and heading rapidly for its’ sell-by-date, but in today’s’ climate of paranoia around data protection, it will pay more than ever before for you to stay on top of things.

It’s probably unfair to say that the interest in data protection is a kind of paranoia…it’s not. It’s founded in the very real risks which every one of us are facing today thanks to increased incidents of data breaches.

Even on a small-scale, data breaches are a potentially expensive mistake to make…and on more than one level.

With new, hard-hitting legislation due to come into force across Europe at the end of May 2018, more and more businesses and organisations will need to ensure that they’re on-top of updating their printers.

So, take a look at these 3 unmistakable signs that your printer needs to be updated.

1: Regular breakdowns or glitches

Breakdowns cost time and money which most businesses can ill-afford. Throwing a spanner in the works, a broken printer can grind productivity to a halt and not only that but poorly maintained equipment is bad for morale.

Staff want to be able to complete tasks on time and when they need to be tackled. They don’t want to stand around complaining that things aren’t working as they should be.

If you find that your printer is breaking down more often than once a year, then it’s definitely time to review your options.

2: Your needs have changed

This one is something which can creep up on you. As your business evolves and your needs change, you discover more incidences where your printer simply doesn’t offer what you want it to.

It’s things like remote capabilities and speed which are most commonly complained about as lacking and let’s be honest, the ability to communicate with your printer remotely is fairly important in today’s’ high-speed world.

Your business needs what it needs in order to succeed so this is a fairly important issue for most businesses.

3: Out of date tech which opens your data up to leaks

It’s worryingly common even in larger organisations for technology to be years out of date which of course, puts sensitive data at risk.

Your printers need to be as tight as possible when it comes to security so that your business isn’t at risk. The new GDPR legislation coming into force May 25th, 2018 will mean much more serious consequences for businesses and organisations who don’t take responsibility for their clients’ sensitive information.

Staying up-to-date and ensuring that your business or organisation is well equipped and ready for all possibilities is vital, so watch out for these issues affecting your day-to-day productivity. Or even better, get there before they do!

GDPR and Your Print Environment

The new European Union General Data Protection Regulations, or the GDPR, is a hot topic of discussion which has been flying around in the media and in workplaces for quite some time now. Let’s take a more in-depth look at it and more specifically, what it might mean for your business and for your print environment.

What do we know about GDPR already?

GDPR has been designed to prevent breaches of security as well as the loss of personal data by any organisations which may hold or process Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

This new legislation will affect all organisations which supply goods or offer services, (including free goods or services) and it also affects organisations which monitor the behaviour of EU citizens.

The fact that the legislation will affect organisations of all sizes could have some pretty big ramifications for small businesses and charitable organisations which simply can’t afford to get hit by big fines; up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover depending on which is higher.

The GDPR are going to be a lot stricter than the Data Protection Directive which it will be replacing and with the penalties for breaking the rules predicted to be considerable, the subject is a serious one for all businesses.

The new legislation will come into play on 25th May 2018 and the UK will have to conform to the new rules regardless of Brexit.

How does this affect print environment?

It’s easy to forget just how powerful today’s printers are. Their internal hard disks have the capacity to store vast amounts of information and where information is stored, there’s a potential problem in waiting.

In busy offices, particularly offices which employ a number of part-time staff who might not always communicate well, there’s a lot of risk.

Within many offices, there’s often a tendency for staff to scan or print documents from mobile devices or computers and then move to the next task without even considering the fact that sensitive information has just been passed from device to device and is now stored in at least two areas…and that’s not even taking into account abandoned print jobs with hard-copies potentially left lying around.

This must change. Any organisation today which wants to keep their client data safe and stay on the right side of the GDPR, needs to take a close look at both the habits of their staff and at their equipment.

Losing data which contains client’s financial details, personal details or any private business information such as NDA’s or contracts, could have very serious consequences.

What can you do?

In the immediate, you can educate your staff about the implications of the GDPR and fully explain what it means for your business. This is best approached through both printed information and via discussion. Offering your staff the opportunity to ask questions will ensure that any changes you need to make are fully understood.

It’s wise to wipe the hard drives of any of your current printers or copiers, so that confidential information is eliminated. A managed print system would help improve your information security, whilst simultaneously saving time and reducing damage to the environment.

Instigating change is something which may take a little time as new programmes are installed or new devices built in which will help to lock-down all of the data which passes through your business.

Change is coming; don’t be left on the wrong side of the law as far as data protection is concerned!

GDPR Compliancy Essential for a Children’s Nursery

Compliance to GDPR is important for every business, but when there is a need to safeguard children, the need to protect data is of paramount importance.

The Nursery’s issues

When our Account manager visited the nursery, Mode was shocked to discover that the equipment they currently had was so old and outdated and therefore definitely not GDPR compliant, but that also their current suppliers had refused to continue to service the machines as they were too old! We were astounded by this lack of professionalism from a business in our industry and that the current supplier had been lacking in being able to offer the nursery new more modern equipment!

Mode’s Solution

The proposed solution included Mode Managed Print Suite which will prevent confidential or sensitive data from being left at the device. In addition to this, the Xerox device suggested is configured with an encrypted hard drive to prevent any malicious attempts at data recovery from the machine.

So, in the first instance we ensured that this nursery data was protected as well as GDPR Compliant, but we also provided them with features that included scanning to Google Drive, one drive, drop box as well as Office 365 but that the equipment was on an encrypted network for added security as well we are having exceptional Xerox print quality.

Why not speak to Mode today to see if we can help provide you with GDPR compliant print solutions.

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