Business have a range of vulnerabilities when it comes to data security, but few are as overlooked as print security. The majority of budget and consideration is spent on IT security, and only 22% of businesses with data security responsibilities have implemented secure printing. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to some of the easiest and simplest ways to obtain confidential data; picking it up from the print tray.
Standard Printing is Not Secure
A huge number of businesses have suffered a print-related security breach – 63% have had at least one occurrence. 66% of financial companies have had one breach, while 90% of public sector offices have had at least one breach, with 35% suffering more than one. It’s clear that despite repeated issues with print security, it often isn’t addressed.
Printers tend to be located in heavy-traffic areas, including the reception, where the majority of your office or even visitors have access to document hard copies. Printing is rarely carefully monitored as moving from desk to printer can be easily interrupted or simply forgotten in the midst of a busy day. Without authentication procedures or print release options, printing is simply not secure. This is particularly true if the print job was sent remotely for later pick up.
Despite the risks, the top reasons for not adopting print security were that it was low priority (92%), businesses being unaware of the benefits (71%), and a lack of print security strategy (65%). If you have a robust data security strategy, it must include a print element.
Managing Data Security Risks Through Secure Printing
The most popular way to secure printers is through release printing (or pull printing) which means that print jobs are only actually printed off when authorised users are there to accept them. This can be achieved with a built-in device (specially-made secure printers) or with a server-based approach. Users than then use PIN codes, passwords, smart cards, or biometric fingerprint readers to complete the print process. If a job is not collected, it is automatically deleted from the print queue.