Building a Secure Print Infrastructure
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” is a common term heard around IT security talk, but the unpleasant truth is weak links in the security chain are frequently overlooked. Until they are exploited. Credit card skimmers on ATMs and gas pumps are so successful because they appear to have no user vulnerability, and so commonplace the potential risks are ignored.
One of these potential vulnerabilities is your company’s print infrastructure. While companies go to great lengths to physically secure building access and restrict access to network resources, once a person is inside the building or gained access to the network, there are a few roadblocks preventing them from accessing and removing sensitive information. This is even more critical because statistics show internal employees are the source of over half of all data leaks1. If your security is focused solely on external threats, you’re already losing half the battle.
Print vulnerabilities manifest in a number of ways, including:
- An unauthorized person simply walks off with confidential information that has been left sitting at a printer or multifunction device
- Something printed for legitimate purposes is misplaced or left in a public area
- Someone prints sensitive information with the intent of removing it from the building for unauthorized purposes
- Sensitive print traffic is captured directly from the network while in transmission
A secure print management platform can greatly reduce or eliminate these threats and assist in tracking down those responsible for leaks that occur daily.
Best-in-class print management products offer not only secure print release (eliminating the problem of sensitive information left sitting at a printer), but also provide tools like watermarking and user-information stamping to not only visually remind users that the printed copy contains sensitive data, but also to assist in tracking down the source of any leaks found in the wild. In addition, innovative print management products may look within the documents themselves, examining the content for sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and preventing those documents from being printed and alerting administrators to the attempt.
Building a secure print infrastructure includes a solution that:
- Enables follow-you printing, ensuring workers can print and pick documents on-demand anywhere, anytime
- Secures your devices with user-based authentication and access controls via mobile devices, or a touch screen or card reader on the MFP
- Delivers advanced information protection such as watermarking, encryption and conversion
- Offers file quarantine and other data loss prevention methods
- Tracks all print, capture and routing activities in configurable reports
- Establishes a chain of custody documenting who has accessed or printed information
While it’s critical to provide physical security to any location that contains sensitive information and to perform standard IT security practices like updating device firmware, implementing and properly configuring a top-tier print management platform helps your company strengthen the links of its security chain.
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1. InfoWatch Global Report 2017