Do you know that feeling of being picked last amongst your peers to play in a team sport?
Your office printers get this same treatment when your company discusses its security initiatives. They’re usually the last endpoint on every checklist.
From the outside, printers are about as simple as it gets in terms of office machinery. However, it’s easy to forget they connect to your company network just like laptops, tablets, and smartphones. What’s more, they’re the central point where critical data flows.
Print security is no secret. It’s been the talk of the town for some time now. Companies are quickly realizing those innocent-looking machines that perform only one important function are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
So why is print security such a big deal? And how can print security become a strength in your organization?
Here are some quick answers.
Your Customers Depend On It
If you know security is a top priority, so do your customers. They want to know that your company is implementing top-notch security practices before they hand their information over. Failure to invest in your customers’ security could cost you your business. A recent report found that 84% of consumers will take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust how a company handles their data.
How is printing a part of the picture?
Let’s use the highly-regulated healthcare industry as an example.
New patients fill out a form online before their appointment to give the doctor a brief overview of their medical situation. They also provide their full name, address, phone number, and email. When the patient gets to the hospital, online forms are printed out and given to the doctor for reference. All of the personal info provided to the hospital ran through an office printer.
Consider for a second how much critical data that printer has in its storage. Probably too much to count.
The point is that documents with personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI) are flowing through printers every day. Without proper print security, one breach could affect the thousands of people who trusted your company with their data.
Internal Theft Is On The Rise
According to Ponemon Institute’s 2022 Insider Threat Report, 56% of insider attacks are caused by employee carelessness. From a printing standpoint, internal theft comes from leaving critical documents unattended in the print tray.
It’s one of the most common (and most overlooked) ways that data gets swiped. You print a confidential document to a printer you share with five other employees. You receive a phone call, get distracted for a few minutes, and walk over to your printer only to notice your document isn’t there anymore.
Whether it was intentional or not, someone now holds valuable information they probably don’t need to see.
What are the potential consequences of leaving documents unattended, you ask?
Employee negligence and failure to follow security protocols cost companies an average of $484,931 per incident. Plus, malicious internal actors can sell valuable information to competitors for financial gain and help them get a competitive advantage.
Home Office Printers Are Vulnerable
Companies are now thriving under the new hybrid work model. Employees have the freedom and tools they need to get their jobs done without ever having to step foot in the office.
There’s only one problem.
Work-from-home employees are turning to unsecured home printers to print the documents they need for work. This has caused headaches for IT teams because home printers aren’t connected to the company network and are virtually untraceable. A 2022 Quocirca Print Security Landscape report found that 66% of IT decision-makers are very concerned about the risks of home printing.
And rightfully so.
Home office printers could be connected to unsecured networks, making it easy for cyber attackers to access print job data stored on the printer. Or remote workers could simply print confidential information to their personal home printer and use them for malicious intent later.
Neither scenario is ideal.
It may be time to start thinking about solutions that allow your end users to print without relying on unsecured printers outside your company’s network.
Unsecure Printing Is Your Biggest Expense
This is a bold statement. I know.
But if you’re organization is still using print servers, it’s essentially funding unsecured printing practices. Print spooler vulnerabilities like PrintNightmare are proof that print servers and the spooling process are a considerable risk to your organization’s security. Since July 2021, over 65,000 attacks have targeted print spooler vulnerabilities. And these attacks will cost you $750,000 on average.
Unsecure print environments also cost you time. And lots of it. IT teams are tasked with manually updating printers to their latest version, installing printers for end users, and deploying printers using GPOs and scripts. This manual labor costs your organization valuable resources and opens up the floodgates for potential attacks when updates aren’t performed quickly.
Advanced Print Security for Your Business
The answer to a lot of print security problems is simple:
PrinterLogic eliminates your print servers and gives you a centralized direct IP printing platform that simplifies printing for end users while helping you take the first step toward optimal print security.
Want next-level protection?
With PrinterLogic’s Advanced Security Bundle (ASB), you get simple and efficient secure printing capabilities that contribute to your company’s Zero Trust initiatives without slowing down the end user experience. PrinterLogic’s ASB features include:
- Off-Network Printing: Empower hybrid workers and guest contractors to print to any network printer regardless of which network they’re on.
- Mobile App Release: Enables end users to release print jobs at any network printer using the PrinterLogic Mobile App.
- Secure Release Printing: Print jobs are held on the user’s workstation until they authenticate their identity at the printer via PIN, badge release, or QR code release.
- Offline Secure Release: Empower users to release their secure print job while their workstation is shut down.
- Concurrent IdP Support: Support multiple IdPs under the same SaaS instance—whether it’s on-prem, in the cloud, or both.
Want more info? Check out our Advanced Security Bundle FAQ.