We often think that if we have anti-virus software or a protected network then we’re safe from data loss. However, that isn’t the case. The good news is, Managed Print Services can help reduce your vulnerability to data theft.

Businesses are more reliant on data than ever. Whether it’s customer data, employee data, or trade secrets about products and services, data drives businesses and you don’t want to be without it.  Aside from the inconvenience, data breaches can incur hefty fines and damage your reputation.

One survey conducted by IT analyst Quocirca found that 69% of companies that took part in the survey had, at some point, lost data as a result of insecure printing practices. And, with each breach costing on average £631,915, it doesn’t take an accountant to establish that this is a costly problem.

How data can be stolen from insecure printing practices

There are many ways data can be stolen from your business. Employees could take printed assets from a document tray or use the memory to access scanned documents. Data could be accessed through a network vulnerability or by employees accessing the printer cache. Each device on your network poses a risk and, if not secured, it can give miscreants a backdoor into your organisation’s computer network.

However, using managed print services can really help you to manage the risk inherent in today’s printing processes.

How managed print services can keep your data safe

In the last ten years, printers and printer/copiers have dramatically changed. Many printers use the cloud to manage workflows and processes, which brings a vast amount of versatility, however, it also introduces risk. In an effort to counter this risk, manufacturers of leading printers such as Xerox, Canon, Kyocera, and Ricoh have introduced new features to help keep your data safe.

Security functionalities found in today’s printer/copiers

  • Users have to verify who they are before they can use a printer. Those who can’t verify their identity will be locked out of a device and unable to use it. Not only that, by giving users PIN codes, proximity badges or security cards and tags, access to printer/copiers can be recorded for traceability and to identify malicious behaviour.
  • Pull printing allows documents to only be released for printing once the authorised employee is available to collect them. This process ensures that a document is only released for printing once a user enters the correct PIN code.
  • Data is encrypted to protect it as it travels from the printer/copier across the network, making it harder to intercept and make sense of with built-in Encryption and Data Overwrite Security.
  • Some devices also protect data stored on the printer in addition to the data sent for printing.
  • Organisations can set up alerts for any unusual data activity. With these alerts, Network Monitoring Software can give businesses an early warning so they can act proactively and shut down attempted data theft in its tracks.
  • Ongoing patches and updates to ensure any vulnerabilities are addressed before they can be taken advantage of.

Of course, not every printer or copier has these capabilities, and not everyone can afford to update their printer/copier as these new features become available. However, Managed Print Services can give you the flexibility you need to upgrade your printer/copier hardware and get the support you need to keep your data safe.

Because with Managed Print Services you lease the hardware, you don’t need to find large reserves of capital expenditure if you want to upgrade.

In addition to this added level of flexibility, using a managed print solution can improve the security of data when it comes to end-of-life hardware disposal too as Managed Print Solution providers such as ASL have the skills and knowledge to ensure that hardware is cleared of data and if necessary sterilised before it is sold on or disposed of.

For more information about how managed print services can help you keep your data safe, give us a call on 0345 2077000 and we’ll help you find the best way to secure the printing and photocopying solutions that your business needs to remain efficient and meet the needs of your customers.