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Is your printer putting you at risk?

Is your printer putting you at risk?

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Is your printer putting you at risk?
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Is your printer putting you at risk?

In the Battle of Thermopylae, the Greeks, along with 300 Spartans, held a wall preventing the Persians advancing into Greece. For 3 days, the armies held the line through constant attacks until a fellow Greek, Epilates, gave away a secret passage to bypass the wall and attack the defenders. Tearing down part of the wall, Xerxes ordered the hill to be surrounded and the Persians rained down arrows until every last Greek was dead, allowing the intruders to advance through to Thermopylae.

Thousands of years later, similar attacks and sieges can still be seen today in the world of technology; only Thermopylae has transformed to become core infrastructure and the shower of arrows have been replaced by hacking techniques.

With this in mind, I presented and discussed the topic of Endpoint Security and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) as part of the Ergo Rethink Managed Print event in Carton House on October 7th. Based on findings from the event, we found that over 70% of our attendees rated Multi-Function Printer (MFP) security as a major concern. The majority of attendees also expressed a real interest in Data Loss Prevention and how it would work in today’s landscape.
It’s really interesting when we discuss with IT and Security Advisors how little is actually being done for MFP Security and Data Loss Prevention through printing.

MFP Hardening

Great strides have been made for MFP endpoint security from manufacturers with HP still leading the way when it comes to MFP hardening through the use of:

• Intrusion Detection
• Whitelisting
• Firmware Integrity Validation
• Security Manager

One of the many ways you can look at MFP security is to get an MPS Security Audit. Ergo have the expertise and tools available to assess your printing devices and present you with a detailed report on potential threats and the many actions to help eradicate and harden your printers that reside on your network. This will also assist in ensuring you are compliant with regulations when you are audited.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Gartner predicts that DLP will be among the fastest-growing security segments through 2019.

When I engage customers I ask “what is your policy for Print security and Data Loss Prevention?” While some will discuss the various hardening options they use, it is very rare that any have a “Print Data loss Prevention” strategy.  While most security officers will tell me what they would like to have in place or that they are aware of the potential threats, I then find that they have not been engaged by their Managed Print Provider on the various options available today that they could implement to meet their print security requirements.

Having the ability to prohibit documents from printing through the use of keywords, phrases or a set of numbers whereby a user prints a document and depending on the policy in place we can either stop the print job or allow it to print at the same time an email alert is generated with the document attached and the date, time and username for who printed the document can be sent to the Security Officer. Ergo can implement this technology with the added benefits:

• We can provide 24/7 monitoring through our helpdesk and report on live unauthorised document printing
• We can restrict unauthorised photocopying by redacting documents through the use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

When I talk to companies I no longer talk about saving up to 30% of costs through reducing print volume through mono or colour; I talk about MFP security and Data loss Prevention. One successful attack can have the potential to cost your organisation much more in lost revenue and reputation. DLP through print should be high on your agenda and it is something you should look at now rather than later -  or else your organisation could end up like Leonidas and be betrayed from inside your firewall.

To speak to a print expert today, click here

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