Category Archives: Print Security

Is Cloud Printing Secure?

cloud printing

Cloud printing is a fast and convenient printing solution. It allows you to print from any device, such as your computer, phone or tablet, to an internet connected printer.

By using cloud printing, your business can benefit from reduced operating cost and improved workflows. However, because cloud printing means that print jobs are rendered on a public infrastructure, before being sent to print, it can impose a security risk.

Another security risk to consider when using cloud printing is the interception of a print job when it has been completed and is waiting for collection.

So how can you ensure a safe and secure cloud printing service? Below are a few cloud printing security tips….

Follow me printing

‘Follow me’ printing is a good combination with cloud printing, because it can reduce the risk of security breaches, such as sensitive documents being left at the printer and being viewed by others.

With ‘follow me’ printing the print data is only released when end users authenticate their IDs by entering a password or using an authentication device.

Network encryption

Network encryption is necessary to protect data as it moves from your device, to the server and then to the printer. This is particularly important if your employees work remotely or print wirelessly, because without it, users outside of your company could connect to your network and read the data being transmitted to your printer.

Encrypting your print data can be done using a third party print software application, which uses the Internet Printing Protocol to create the encrypted text.

Private Cloud

Implementing a private cloud service at your place of work is another effective way to ensure secure cloud printing. This is because in a private cloud, only you and your employees have access and are in control of the servers. The best way to implement a private cloud solution for your business is with the help of a Managed Print Service provider. These companies will help to ensure that your business is doing everything possible to safe guard yourselves against print and data security issues.

Why is Information Security Still so Fragile Within Businesses?

Security used to mean CCTV, a manned gate and employees only being able to gain access with a pass. Security of information consisted of lockable cupboards within your offices and that was enough. However, times have certainly changed in the age of dramatic transformation regarding the digital world, and how we defend the information our businesses hold has certainly had to change. Or has it? It appears with recent research, that Companies are still failing to see the importance or protecting confidential information with proper security measures, or rather they’re choosing not to engage with the growing threat of cyber attacks by ensuring they have basic IT security.

Mode investigates the threat that all businesses face.

Ransomware-an increasing threat:

Rates of attacks from ransomware has significantly increased from one every two minutes on average, to now one every 40 seconds. The greater threat appears to be SME’s where 42% fell victim to some kinds of ransomware attack. Unbelievably one in three paid the ransom however, only one in five retrieved their files even though they had paid the ransom.

67% of companies affected lost all or part of their data and one in four spent several weeks trying to retrieve access.

Financial gain is the main driver for ransomware attacks although now many of these attackers are being paid for sensitive information and those sectors more greatly targeted are those in the financial, educational and healthcare sectors.

Pretexting scams

You may not have heard of this before, but in a nutshell, this is where an individual lies to need information in order to confirm the identity of an individual, hence the name Pretexting-false motive.

This is becoming an extremely popular tactic and is rapidly on the increase and financial employees are most at risk of this as they are the ones that hold the keys to the Company’s purse strings. Email is the number one form of doing this and can occur over a period where the cyber criminals send several emails developing a relationship before asking for any financial transfer request.

Loose & easy passwords

This is such a common and easy flaw within any business’s IT Security.

The Verizon Data Breach report commented that 81% of hacking related incidents occurred because of either stolen, weak or too easy to guess passwords. Even if your businesses IT security is fundamentally flawed, a strong password is one of the most effective security measures you can have in place to protect your information. Our experts at Mode suggest a multi-factor authentication as this alone would act as excellent security for your sensitive data.

Whilst there is so much press coverage on Cyber security and the threats that we all now face, too many Companies are not bolting down the hatches and cyber criminals are still finding it too easy to gain access to too many businesses. The fact remains that the cost to your business is far greater if a hacker gains access, than the cost for secure, effective IT security.

If you’d like more information on how Mode can protect your sensitive data, then do contact us on 0345 223 2203 or email us on enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk.

6 Questions to Ask Potential Managed Print Companies

Managed print services (MPS) can offer big benefits for your business. By finding the right service you can spend less time managing documents and more time on your business goals.
Asking potential managed print companies the right questions will help you get the best return on investment in the future.

To help you evaluate your best print management solution and find a service provider who can meet the needs of your organisation, here are six crucial questions you should be asking…

  1. Where can we read your client reviews?

Client feedback is a great place to start. Do your research and see if you can find online reviews and testimonials for each potential MPS. Do they deliver what they promise?

  1. What analytics do you use and what reporting will be provided?

A good MPS should be able to offer a bespoke solution that fits your business and work flows. They should be able to provide analytical tools and reporting that can tell you how much time and money you are spending on printing, scanning and managing documents.

  1. How secure is your solution?

From sharing and printing confidential information to accessing documents stored on your network, robust security is an absolute must when it comes to a print management solution. Find out how a MPS can assist you with your GDPR responsibilities and be sure to check that their print management security will work seamlessly with your existing security setup.

  1. What maintenance and help desk support do you offer?

When something works, you don’t notice it. Our preventative maintenance provides absolute peace of mind and lets you get on with running your business. We offer personalised, attentive service from local engineers so that your issues are resolved quickly and easily. This is the kind of service you should be looking for when choosing a MPS.

  1. How can your services improve workflow?

Find out how well a potential MPS can integrate both your digital and hard copy processes, so that all work flows smoothly and efficiently throughout your business. Will they suggest new software options to automate workflows? Will they provide suggestions for equipment placement within your office? Will they help with connectivity, cloud applications and mobile printing? And finally, what are their service response times like?

  1. How future-proof are your services?

This final question is probably the most important. Can this potential MPS meet your business needs for the future? How quickly and easily can you change or upgrade? And how much will it cost you? Take this opportunity to ask these questions and future-proof your investment.

8 Steps to Ensure Your Business is Printing Securely

In any business, the need to protect your assets and information is increasingly crucial as criminal hackers become more sophisticated in their approach to either illegally gain information or disrupt your business.

You will need to ensure you print securely if:

  1. You print sensitive documents
  2. There is a need to comply with industry standards
  3. You must/want to protect your IT network from outside threats

Why are printers even considered a threat?

  • MFD’s/Desktop printers all contain hard drives that are necessary in order to queue print jobs-these can be hacked if they are not secure.
  • Printers that are not configured properly can provide access for a hacker
  • Sensitive documents are recoverable from photocopiers

Minimise the security risk

  1. Ensure you have a printer that is right for your business with the necessary security. Home printers have minimal security whereas MFP’s (Multifunctional Printers) have more sophisticated features.
  2. Perform regular software updates. Hackers are becoming increasingly smarter and evolve the way they can access your sensitive information. Hardware manufacturers regularly release security patches to counter these threats, so ensure these are done.
  3. Implement passwords and an Admin account. All employees should have passwords on their IT equipment and there should be an admin account where one person within the business is able to access the server. This way there is traceability of who is accessing the server.
  4. Review the security settings on your printers. All MFP’s should have the capacity to only release print jobs once the author is at the device, and this is only accessed by a code only known to them, or through a personalised ID card.
  5. What is the location of your machine? Ensure that it is situated in a visible position in your office so that it is less easy for people to tamper with the device.
  6. Device encryption. This needs to be implemented on the device. Hard drives store printed documents and this is often forgotten on machines, but a strong encryption will protect your data.
  7. Network encryption. This is totally necessary to protect data as it moves from the computer to the server to the printer. This is particularly important should any of your employees work remotely or print wirelessly. Devices outside your office could connect to your network and read the data you transmit to your printer.
  8. Education in your office. Talk to your employees and ensure that every action they perform is ensuring that they are all printing securely.

For more information on printing securely visit https://www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk/secure-printing/ or call us to speak to one of the team on 0345 223 2203

Cyber Security: How do SME’s protect themselves?

security

Cyber-crime has often been regarded as something a teenager does from their bedroom or criminal individuals to disrupt businesses or for small gain. However, this is no longer the case anymore. Cyber-crime is a major part of organised crime and has now become so large scale that it is being run by gangs that are able to purchase tools cheaply to perform mass attacks on businesses. Mode looks at the most common forms of attacks and what we recommend for combating this.

Phishers: Phishing emails pose as emails from trustworthy companies, they could look like they have come from a trusted company you deal with or even a customer, asking for information or even urgent action like making a payment or confirming details from yourselves. As these cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and evolving their techniques now,  more than ever,  you must be wary of proceeding.

Check:

  • The email address. Tap on the email address to see the full email address behind it. If it looks full of gobbledegook, then you will know this is a fake address. Also look for misspellings or additional characters in the email address.
  • What details or payments are they asking you to make. If necessary, make a call to see if this is real.

Ransomware: this is where cyber criminals steal and encrypt your data and hold it to ransom until you exchange the release of that data for money.

Mobile Malware: A new sophisticated process where criminals are developing apps that look like games. Once downloaded this enables them access to steal your personal information.

What must SME’s do to help prevent cyber-criminal activity?

  • Back up: Mitigate the risk and danger of attack by backing up all your data. Think about all your operational and financial data that is important to you and that is business critical.
  • 2 factor Authentication: Consider having a password and a pin required (where this is sent by text) to be able to access software and emails. Strong passwords involving words as well as numbers and symbols will also help protection.
  • IT Policy: create one to prevent attacks but do make sure that this is easy to read for your employees. Make it the Top 10 points of cyber security but make sure it covers:
    1. Acceptable usage of your systems
    2. Password policy
    3. Social media guidelines
    4. Network security
    5. Physical security
    6. Data protection
    7. Incident response
    8. Disaster recovery
  • Finally, TEST: Staff training, simulated phishing emails, these will all educate employees and help highlight potential risk areas.

For more guidance on being Secure in print, contact Mode today

What is Secure Printing?

secure printer

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 on our website: https://www.modeprintsolutions.co.uk/secure-printing/ or alternatively contact us on 0345 223 2203 or enquiries@modeprintsolutions.co.uk

Security in the Printing Environment

printing

Businesses cannot forget that GDPR came into Law this May. However, whilst office equipment has significantly improved over the years in terms of functionality and security, many companies still have outdated equipment that could be a potential security issue.

People often don’t associate printing with security breaches, however as cyber criminals increase in sophistication, often network firewalls and printers are insufficient in providing businesses the security they need.

You may think that that equipment is just a box in the corner of your office that allows you to print and copy but this is how your box can be putting your business at risk:

  1. Storage: devices that record images and print them are effectively storing sensitive information on the internal disks or hard drives. These can be accessed if this is not protected.
  2. Capture: These printers can easily capture and route to many destinations if hacked, potentially exposing sensitive data.
  3. Cloud Control Panel: If your cloud connectivity is unsecured, then unauthorised users could access this.
  4. Machines Control panel: Users can exploit the settings on printers from an unprotected control panel with the potential to even disable the device, making this a real security threat.
  5. Input tray: Often sensitive documents can be left at the input tray and these can be easily stolen.
  6. Output tray: This is the most common security breach, Left, unwanted print-outs that can potentially have sensitive data on and these can easily fall into the wrong hands!
  7. USB ports: Cyber criminals can easily access the printer via an unsecured USB or network ports.
  8. Network: Your network can be intercepted as your data travels from your computer to the machine unless your firewall is secure.
  9. Mobile Printing: if you have employees printing from their mobile devices, this could cause a breach because unwanted print-outs may end up being left on the machine. Many people may have access to your office and data that needs to be protected may be left exposed.
  10. Bios and Firmware: This is effectively the “Brains” of your device. It tells the printer what to do and potentially is a huge security breach waiting to happen. If you have a newer machine, this will receive updates to the Bios and Firmware, however, if it is an older printer it will probably not be updated therefore leaving your printer as a security risk.
  11. Hard drive: If your hard drive is not encrypted then ultimately you are inviting hackers to gain access to your printing devices and obtain your sensitive information.

Multifunctional devices are equipped now to ensure that your printing has the highest security. Benefits include:

  • Multifunctional Printers (or MFP’s), have more than 250 security settings
  • Follow me printing: Print jobs not released until the owner is at the machine and has accessed it via a code/user name or card.
  • Real time threat detection
  • Security improved: not only just your printer benefits from improved security but your network will benefit from using this type of device.
  • Hard drive protection & encryption

Why don’t you talk to Mode today about how we can help your printers have the best security, so your business is not at threat any more.

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?

firewall

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.

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