For companies to thrive in today’s uncertain times, they must develop resilience. The digital revolution has brought a new high to data availability and scale of connectivity while accelerating decision-making everywhere.
With it, comes a promise of vast digital opportunity, but also significant risks. Without proper security, this transformation comes with potential for large-scale failure and security breaches, together with a waterfall of consequences.
The rise of remote work has accelerated the digital revolution. Organizations are having to quickly adjust their work processes to account for the implications of hybrid working environments. After all, while remote work may have initially seemed like a temporary reaction to the global pandemic, it is beginning to seem like it's here to stay.
There are many advantages to remote work for both employee and employer, including decreased overhead costs and a better work-life balance. However, there are also concerns inherent to this more flexible approach to work, and nobody is more aware of these than IT professionals.
Ask any IT professional their concern, and they’ll probably say that printing systems present a serious vulnerability and point of attack for businesses.
This article will look at the role of printing infrastructure in IT security and the trends that we expect to be big in 2022 as the popularity of remote work continues. These trends were adapted from Gartner's public research and a market report created exclusively by Quocirca, which is available for download below.
Prediction 1: The potential for attacks on print infrastructure will grow
All over the world, companies are attracting and retaining talent by offering the flexibility of remote work. Sometimes called” an “Everywhere Enterprise Strategy”, this approach to work ensures that workers aren’t bound by any sense of geography or physical space. All that is required is an internet connection and workspace.
While there are many advantages to a remote or hybrid work environment, one considerable disadvantage is a widened attack surface.
While security training for employees remains a viable way to educate printer operators on the vulnerabilities associated with print, it has become more difficult for IT teams to closely monitor print activity, document security, and endpoint security. The main reason for this is the increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that allow remote workers to engage their personal printers in work tasks.
This means that IT leaders have had to find creative ways to protect their companies from security breaches. This often involves the use of integrated secure print management services that allow devices to be managed across various locations. And while security measures such as requiring the use of identity cards can be helpful, it’s hard to rely on a system that uses a personal ID when most of your workforce is remote.
Prediction 2: The variety of risks affecting print will also grow
Companies committed to secure print solutions have more than just a broader attack surface to worry about—the actual volume of threats has also increased. In fact, data breaches are becoming more common and more costly, with a staggering 60% of businesses reporting a printing data breach of some kind.
Many kinds of security risks can take print infrastructure as a “back door” for nefarious entry vary by industry. For example, in financial services, it could include things like forgery and counterfeiting. In the supply chain industry, it could include the interception or manipulation of data and documents.
No matter the specific consequences, the risks related to print are predicted to remain high for the 2022 forecast period, and IT professionals should stay on high alert. This brings us to our next point.
Prediction 3: Managed Print Service (MPS) will become a must
As we’ve established, the potential for data breaches to occur while printing is becoming increasingly high. The global security print market has worked diligently at establishing new solutions and security strategies that help protect company data.
It’s easy to see why Managed Print Services (MPS) would help instill confidence. MPS includes a suite of services that work together to symbiotically manage print. At their best, MPS providers are also cyber security experts that offer an all-encompassing view of print infrastructure operations, including intel critical data points such as who is using the device (and what for).
The most essential —and often overlooked—element of MPS, though, is the ability to move over to cloud-first services like EveryonePrint’s Hybrid Cloud Platform. Migrating your print infrastructure to the cloud will allow you to bypass issues associated with traditional on-site print equipment.
Prediction 4: Cloud-native platforms ensure your print architecture is resilient and agile
The invention of cloud-native platforms is a gamechanger in print security, offering unparalleled opportunities to mitigate big and small risks. They work to re-write everything that we understand about existing security models by leveraging best-in-class security features to secure users, protect data, and ensure compliance with the world’s most strict security standards.
EveryonePrint’s cloud environment, for example, has gone through a tremendous evolution during the past three years to achieve prestigious ISO27001 certification. With security built from the ground up, companies don’t need to worry about an error in the fabric of a cloud-native print architecture. Everything has been designed with safety and protection in mind.
Prediction 5: Data loss will continue and will become costlier
Unfortunately, while an MPS is a great way to protect print jobs from data breaches, companies are not adopting this new method of print management fast enough. As a result, data losses continue to happen and have devastating effects.
As per the Quocirca Print Security Landscape 2022 Study, in the past 12 months, over two-thirds (68%) of organisations have experienced data losses due to unsecured printing practices. This has led to an average cost of a print-related data breach of €755K.
However, small and medium businesses are not immune. Some companies might mistakenly believe that they do not need to worry about data breaches because of their small size, but this is simply untrue. Small and medium businesses that think they’re too small to be targeted leave their surfaces open for hackers.
The impact of a data loss is not limited to the leaking of sensitive documents or proprietary information. It not only requires many hours of expensive IT time but can also damage the trust of a client or customer base if personal information is involved. This is precisely why many companies think of data loss mitigation as important brand protection.
According to Quocirca’s study, far fewer organisations that operate a standardised fleet of connected printers and MFPs (multifunctional printers) experienced a data loss in the last 12 months than those with a mixed fleet. Standardisation will enable better control over data security, minimising the financial and reputational costs associated with a data breach.
Our single print driver feature can help you standardise your fleet and manage multiple print devices (regardless of print manufacturer), domains, and networks. We also regularly organise PEN Tests every quarter to ensure that we’re keeping up to date on the new ways that hackers could penetrate our environment from the outside. These tests indicate possible vulnerabilities so we can fix them before anyone else finds them.
Prediction 6: CISOs will continue to play an indispensable role in security management
The rise of remote work has made the need for a highly-skilled CISO and CIO more pronounced. As more and more businesses complete a migration to the cloud, both the CIO and CISO are key players in the quest for print security. The CISO primarily will be relied on as the security expert who pays special attention to mitigating the many risks that printing poses.
CISOs will also play an essential role in helping teams navigate the ever-changing global security printing market, which often requires a liaison who can behave as a translator of sorts between wor” teams and industry jargon.
Prediction 7: Companies will need to take a layered, not singular, approach to print security
While adopting an MPS is a great way to negate the risks associated with printing, many organisations will find that they need to arm their print services from many different angles. Often called a “multi-layered approach” to print security, this involves adapting several different print solutions to protect against the risks associated with a hybrid work environment.
While adopting frequent reporting and analysis of print systems can be effective, many organisations who are serious about offering security features will have to go so far as to adopt a Zero Trust approach to printing.
At EveryonePrint, we ensure that we are not only in compliance with the aforementioned ISO27001 certification but also the Cloud Security Association (CAIQ). Of course, we also operate under the Zero Trust principle using various authentication methods and end-to-end encryption.
Some of the most powerful lines of defence that would be at home in a multi-layered approach to print security could include secure pull printing, BYOD policies, regular in-depth risk assessments, and continuous management.
If this seems like a hefty undertaking for your IT team, help is available to you. By relying on a cloud printing solution like Hybrid Cloud Platform (HCP), you can alleviate the burden on your IT teams and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with operating a well-protected print infrastructure.
HCP provides constant monitoring of your print system, ensuring that your systems are always up-to-date, and your print documents and sensitive data are always protected. If you’re in the process of optimizing your print infrastructure to protect against the dangers of operating a remote environment in the modern world, HCP is a great place to start.
Want to assess the preparedness of your organisation? Feel free to reach out to us for a free security testing.
We hope these critical trends and predictions will help you elevate and secure your print infrastructure and management strategy. Want to dig deeper into the print security landscape and forecasts for 2022 and beyond?