Many business owners and managers recognise the importance of business data security - and so they invest a lot of money in upgrading their physical and digital security systems. However, some of them don’t realise the risks and vulnerabilities that exist within their existing print operations. So how secure is your print and document environment?
In this post, we will help you better understand the security concerns that may be putting your organisation at risk, and provide some important steps to consolidate print and document management to enhance overall security.
Why do you need to focus on print and document security?
As companies up their security budgets and defences, criminals are constantly looking to take advantage of the weaker links in the infrastructure – such as printers and multifunction devices (MFDs). Increasingly, printers are being regarded as a ‘back door’ for hackers to sneak through, giving them access to an entire network, including data.
How much emphasis do you place on the security of your print and document networks? When buying printers and MFDs, many businesses focus more on print speed, quality and overall costs. Although these are all important factors to consider, very few business owners and managers are concerned about the possible security issues with printers and document workflows.
The possible risks and vulnerabilities exposing your organisation can include:
- Confidential information being left in printer trays
- Unauthorised access to printer and administration settings
- Lack of the ability to track documents as they are edited, updated or deleted
- No visibility and control of users, access levels and usage
- Highly sensitive materials sent and stored in printers and unsecured networks
As you may know, your company’s information is an important asset that needs to be constantly protected. Any breach of security or unauthorised access can have grave consequences for your business, including significant financial losses, damage to customer confidence, and leaking of confidential and competitive data.
How can you create a secure print and document environment?
Having a secure print and document environment can help ensure the continued success of your business. Here are 4 steps you can take to enhance security:
1. Adopt a holistic approach
So, where do you start? While it is good to initially review your printers and devices, they are just one aspect of your print operations. Business owners and managers need to take a holistic approach to document and business data security.
To do this, you need to look at the entire end-to-end document process. This includes all your print devices, networks and systems, policies, document workflows from creation to actual delivery, plus storage of both print and digital documents.
It might also be worth reviewing current staff involvement and your company culture, plus your overall business goals.
2. Conduct an audit
Do you know how your documents (both printed and electronic) are being managed and stored? Do you have visibility and control over your entire print operations? Are the current security systems up-to-date?
Conducting an audit of your document workflow and processes can help you better understand the entire print environment. It can help you identify any efficiencies in the system, and more importantly, expose any security issues and vulnerabilities within your infrastructure.
3. Implement security upgrades & streamline workflows
Once you’ve identified the ‘gaps’ within your print and document security, you can start the work of implementing the necessary changes. It is important to make sure all your printers and MFDs have updated software and security features. You can also consider replacing old devices with new ones that come with up-to-date technologies.
Get your staff involved in the process and establish a security culture within the workplace. Encourage them to use strong passwords and encryption codes on important documents. Educating staff and making them aware of the security risks, can go a long way to ensuring your confidential data is always protected.
4. Consider using outsourced managed print services
Working with an external print provider can have significant benefits for your organisation. They can manage your entire print and document environment – taking care of all the technical and security issues, while you focus on running your business.
Managed print services or MPS is an end-to-end print solution that covers your entire print and document operations. The MPS provider can help you assess your entire system, identify inefficiencies and risks, and implement a customised solution to meet the specific needs of the business.
Technology is constantly evolving. Hackers and cyber criminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated. That is why you need to always stay one step ahead, and protect your company’s most valuable asset: your business data security and information.
But It won’t be easy. Improving print and document security takes a lot of time and effort. Start with the steps mentioned above, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that all of your sensitive data is kept safe and secure.
Managed Print Services is a flexible and scalable print solution that can meet the changing needs of your organisation in the new era of work. To learn how you can reduce your costs, minimise risk, improve your environmental footprint and gain greater control of your print environment, download our Managed Print Services Fact Sheet.