Device Security in the Digital Era

A report from August 2016 stated that 76 per cent of IT practitioners had reported that their organisation has experienced loss or theft of company data over the past two years.

Does this figure reflect that data theft is simply now commonplace? Or does it highlight the need for companies to do more to minimise the risk of data breaches?

Upon reflection, I think it’s a mix of both. Minimising risk – especially from data breaches – is now a board-level concern, although it is far more difficult to establish to what extent it now filters down into proactive measures to protect against data breaches.

We live in an era where security is a dynamic risk and one that’s constantly evolving, so companies will always need to do more to keep ahead of the curve. Sadly, there is no magic strategy to end all security risks and it’s a job that requires constant attention, not least because cyber criminals are relentless in their efforts to capture confidential and valuable information.

Print infrastructure is, more often than not, one of the weak links in the security chain. Too often it is overlooked by IT professionals, resulting in networked devices being deployed and used without proper safeguards in place. An unsecure print infrastructure is vulnerable to both internal and external risks.

Internally, devices that do not have any secure print measures in place can give rise to situations where confidential documents are printed and left unclaimed on a device. In those scenarios, it’s all too easy for documents to be picked up by those unauthorised to view them. This can be particularly harmful; for instance, a HR team may print a confidential spreadsheet that shows employee salaries and leave it unclaimed on a device used by the sales team. Alternatively, a hospital department could print a patient record and leave it unclaimed on a device that’s accessible to the public, resulting in a serious breach of patient confidentiality.

To prevent such scenarios, we offer a range of Intelligent Print Management solutions that make print more transparent and accountable. Equitrac Print Management– among its many other features - offers access control by adding authentication at the printer to protect devices from unauthorised use of print, scan and fax functionalities. It also provides confidential printing with its authorised user-only, Follow-You print feature, which ensures that prints are only delivered into the right hands and negates the risk that confidential documents could go missing.

Many of our private sector clients, in industries such as financial services, are also required to honour specific regulation and compliance criteria around their customer data, meaning that they must consider their responsibilities in the context of their device and print security policies. The Information Commissioner’s Office applies pressure on companies to do so by imposing hefty fines to public and private sector organisations that have failed in their data privacy duties.