Printing is essential for most businesses. From stickers and flyers to display posters, newsletters, and annual reports, most commercial enterprises devote a significant part of their budgets to printing. The way a business does its printing affects workflow, productivity, and return on investment.
Most modern printers are connected to the internet and therefore are a potential gateway for cybercriminals. Consequently, printer security is of the utmost importance, something that can be protected and boosted by choosing Managed Print Services.
What is Managed Print Services?
If you don’t use Managed Print Services, the chances are you have experienced some kind of schedule conflict around your company’s printer. Maybe your Marketing Department had tied it up when an executive’s office needed to print an annual report. Or a print job for business cards took priority over the sales brochures for a product rollout. Managed Print Services is a third-party service that assesses, monitors, and manages your printing needs in a way that ensures your printing priorities are met on time, and your printing costs are lower.
Managed Print Services can also:
- Analyze your printer usage. An unbiased, third-party review of your printer usage can reveal potential improvements in paper flow, printer use, and overhead expenses. You can optimize printer use and get the greatest possible utility from your machines.
- Modifying printer placement. Do you have some employees who always seem to be on their way to or from the printer? Finding the optimal placement of your printer on your work floor can potentially save hundreds of worker hours otherwise spent trekking back and forth.
- Saving on printer supplies. These days, every business deals with supply chain issues. With Managed Print Services, a third-party vendor with expertise in the field can make sure you always have the toner, paper, inks, and other supplies you need when you need them at the best possible price.
- Remote printer management. Your employees can access printing services offsite with their mobile devices, even when they´re working from home.
Why Printer Security Matters
Printer security used to be fairly straightforward: Place strong passwords on your computers, put a firewall on your network, and keep your antivirus software up to date. A shockingly high percentage of companies didn’t keep up with even these simple steps.
The old days of straightforward network security are over. The explosion of office Wi-Fi and the numerous remote connections through your employees’ mobile devices means your network has multiple entry points that need to be secure. The risk to your printing system isn’t so much that employees will use your printer for an unauthorized print job, but that a competitor or hacker could steal your data or hold your entire system to ransom.
Let’s review just a few of the best-known printer security attacks of 2021:
- In July, an attack on Microsoft systems named “PrintNighmare” emerged to target print jobs entered in Windows operating systems. While it did not hold systems for ransom or completely destroy the ability to print, urgent patches were required on all Windows printing systems.
- In May, an attack on the Colonial Pipeline shut down gasoline deliveries to several Southern states. It entered Colonial’s computers through an old virtual private network set up to give employees printer access and neglected by cybersecurity efforts.
- And according to Global Print Security Report, 60 percent of businesses in the UK, France, and Germany experienced at least one cyberattack through their printing systems at an average cost of US $400,000 each.
The simple fact is that your modern, multifunctional printer is another office computer, uniquely vulnerable to cyberattacks because so many people and so many office systems have access to it. Your printer is vulnerable—unless Managed Print Services professionally monitor it.
The Link between Managed Print Services and Data Security
Just how much can security breaches involving your printer cost your company?
A report in Biz Journals states that the average cost of a cyberattack to a US company isn’t the $400,000 cited in the Global Printer Security Report. In the US, the average loss is $7.7 million.
Biz Journals says that nearly two-thirds of IT managers report that their printers are infected with malware, and 73 percent of corporate information officers expect a significant security breach in 2022.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Managed Print Services offers iron-clad protection for your printer’s connections to the internet in five different ways.
- More and more makers of printers are adding security features to their machines. Still, your Managed Print Services vendor can ensure that your cybersecurity solutions are scalable beyond your printer. They can make sure your printer easily operates within your environment but can be quickly locked down when necessary.
- Printers can’t be so secure that your own company can’t access them. Whether your printer is in an open area, kept under lock and key, or operated from the cloud, Managed Print Services will ensure you have the pull printing authentication, data encryption, and hard drive security you need.
- Your printer security isn’t just about you. Your Managed Print Services vendor can make sure you meet the requirements of government agencies and companies with which you have contracts.
- Your Managed Print Services vendor can help you deal with compliance issues for outsourcing printing.
- Your Managed Print Services vendor can help you deal with industry-specific security needs. Companies regulated under HIPAA and defense contractors, for example, can incur massive penalties for data breaches. Your Managed Print Services provider can help ensure you avoid crippling fines for lax security.
You need Managed Print Services. Contact Modern Office Methods to make an appointment for us to show you exactly how we can meet the Managed Print Services needs of your Cincinnati business.