GDPR: Print as a crucial element of endpoint security

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect on 25 May 2018, could prove to be a catalyst to change the existing unsystematic approach to print security.

Networked printers and multi-functional printers (MFPs) are often overlooked when it comes to wider information security measures. Yet these devices store and process data, and as intelligent devices have the same security vulnerabilities as any other networked endpoint. With recent researches revealing that almost two thirds of large organisations have experienced a print-related data breach, organisations cannot afford to be complacent.

Today’s smart MFPs have evolved into sophisticated document processing hubs that in addition to print and copy, enable the capture, routing and storage of information. However, as intelligent, networked devices, they have several points of vulnerability. A printer or MFP, is effectively an Internet of Things (IoT) device and as such, left unsecured, is an open door into the entire corporate network. Without the appropriate controls, information on the device, in transit or on the device can be accessed by unauthorized users. The risks are real – almost two thirds of large organisations have suffered a print related data breach.

As critical endpoints, printers and MFPs must be part an overall information security strategy. This should ensure that all networked printers and MFPs are protected at a device, document and user level.

Many organisations may believe that they are covered by existing technology, but in many cases, this does not protect against the latest threats. Consequently, operating a large, mixed fleet of old and new devices, can leave gaping security holes.

Given the complexity of print security in large organisations, it is recommended to seek guidance from vendors that understand the internal and external risks and the risk of unprotected data on printer/MFP devices. Organisations should select vendors that can address both legacy and new devices and offer solutions for encryption, fleet visibility and intelligent tracking of all device usage. This should ensure the ability to track what information is being printed or scanned, for instance, where and on what device, therefore enabling faster breach remediation.

Look for comprehensive print security services that offer:

  • Assessment;
  • Monitoring;
  • Reporting.

Read more at:

Recent articles