We live in a digital age, and printing is still a vital part of every business. Hard copies of information are still prominent, and finding a way to maintain printing access without depleting precious resources can be a real challenge. Managed Print Services (MPS) is a great way to address that challenge and implement solutions to combat them. MPS is also an essential tool that can improve your network security. Here’s why Managed Print Services is key to network security.
The Connection Between Printers and Data Security
Digital security is vital. There have been many instances and news stories that highlight how devastating a data breach can be. Even if you understand the dangers, it’s easy to overlook risks in any network. Printers are arguably the most overlooked item of all. According to a CIO Review poll, 90 percent of businesses don’t even know how many printers they have, much less how secure they are. Therefore, your networked printers are a glaring blind spot when it comes to data security, and it’s crucial to stay informed about how risky these machines can be if they aren’t properly set up to combat cyberattacks or security issues. Consider the following:
A community printer is open to prying eyes. Anyone can walk up and read a document on your printer’s output tray that might be confidential. It doesn’t require a master plan. It doesn’t even have to be deliberate. But when the wrong eyes see sensitive information, it’s a breach. That’s especially true in legal and medical spaces with strict compliance regulations.
Old-fashioned document theft has been around forever, and it’s still prominent today. It might not seem like it, but the first step to printer security is ensuring the physical documents are not a risk.
It makes sense to put an office printer on a network, as one work station can service multiple team members. It’s a more efficient and cost effective solution for small-to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). However, if a printer is on a network, it can be accessed remotely by nefarious parties. This can lead to spying, data insecurity, and even hacking. Printers are a common point of vulnerability because they’re easily overlooked. If businesses aren’t sure how many printers they have, how can they be sure that networked printers are truly secure?
It’s often overlooked, but one of the reasons that printers are enticing for data theft is the prevalence of internal data storage capabilities. A single printer can digitally retain an unbelievably large number of documents that go through the printer system. That digital information can be stolen, and businesses should be wary of their printers’ vulnerabilities. Printer storage needs to be protected as thoroughly as the printed documents themselves.
It’s well known but can’t be overstated that your employees’ actions can pose a threat to your data. The most significant digital security risk to any company is internal behavior, and it’s rarely malicious. People don’t know the best way to behave in the digital world. Employees might change printer or network settings to complete a task. That’s the type of autonomy that is usually good for a business, but changing the settings can increase vulnerability and exacerbate all of the risks you just read.
How Managed Print Services Secures Your Business
The problem that your printers pose a threat to your business data has been identified. That identification is a significant first step, but what comes next? Every business needs the means to address these security issues, and for many SMBs, the most reliable solution lies in implementing Managed Print Services. This modern solution can handle printer security and directly address any vulnerabilities. Here are a few ways Managed Print Services secures your business.
Being Up to Date
This aspect of MPS hits on two fronts. If you’ve read advice from a digital security expert, they probably harped on the importance of software updates, and with good reason. Software updates are extremely important to digital security, and Managed Print Services should include software updates as part of the standard package.
Printers don’t receive the same attention as other digital resources, but printer exploits get found over time. Sometimes, you need physical updates or improvements in order to resolve those exploits. Physical upgrades can be just as critical as software upgrades, and Managed Print Services is one of the only ways you can gain access to regular hardware upgrades without paying a high price.
As mentioned, one of the biggest risks to digital security is employee behavior. Training can be added to a Managed Print Services package that helps employees understand and implement best practices. It goes a long way to improving network security and the lifespan of your devices, saving you time and money in the long run.
Any network printer is potentially a vulnerability. A professional Managed Print Services provider will include VPN security for the printer. This is as important to their network security as yours, and it’s a simple solution that massively cuts most risks and points of attack. Printers should generally be on VPNs, and a good MPS provider ensures that they are.
Knowing the Industry
Perhaps the most underrated advantage of Managed Print Services is the industrial knowledge that it provides. This isn’t just knowledge of printing. Chances are, your MSP provider will be familiar with your vertical market. They might not know enough to run your business, but they have substantial experience in how technology plays a role in your workflows and business processes. With that knowledge and experience, they can cut off the most common problems before they arise. Industrial knowledge is invaluable, and you’ll receive plenty of it with a reputable Managed Print Services provider.
If you want to discuss a Managed Print Services solution that can make your printing more secure and efficient, contact Modern Office Methods. For all of your Managed Network Services needs, we’d be happy to put you in touch with our Managed IT Services company, Full Service Networking. Our teams will show the ropes and help you look at packages that are suited for your budget and business goals.