Now or Never: Opportunities for the Print Industry #2

Now or Never: Opportunities for the Print Industry #2

November 23, 2020
Articles, Research, Trends

To emerge stronger in 2021, print industry players must adopt a future forward mindset to address the rapidly evolving cloud and hybrid workplace era – or risk being left behind.

The industry is at a crossroads where those who take the path to reinvention and take advantage of the following trends will emerge stronger beyond 2021.

This is the second in a series of 5 trends for 2021 that Quocirca believes will create opportunities for the print industry.  Read Quocirca Predicts #1 

#2. Security will take centre-stage as home printing becomes a new threat vector

The dramatic growth in remote working has led to the rapid adoption of cloud-based applications and services. More than ever before, organisations need to protect their data and IT infrastructure from cloud-based threats.  Industry players must expand their security propositions to incorporate zero trust and integrate with IT security endpoint threat detection and monitoring platforms such as cloud access security brokers (CASBs), data loss prevention (DLP) and security information and event management (SIEM).

Remote working, the cloud and the rapid adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies has expanded an organisation’s potential attack surface. The rise of shadow IT in today’s decentralised workplace means that IT teams are challenged with securing devices and corporate data in the remote environment, while ensuring that employee privacy is not undermined.

Inherent trust of users inside the network is no longer working, causing organisations to evaluate if the “never trust, always verify” concept of a zero trust architecture can help solve the modern security challenges of more users and data now existing outside of traditional IT defences. Quocirca’s forthcoming Print Security 2020 study reveals that 34% of IT Decision makers (ITDMs) are already implementing a zero trust security model with 37% planning implementation in the next six months.

In addition to multifactor authentication (MFA) or strong password controls, which are essential for remote access, cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions are emerging as a further way to limit access to corporate or personal devices. These can enforce granular security policies and can be integrated with IT security tools such as endpoint security management and data loss prevention (DLP) to protect content containing sensitive or restricted data.

Ultimately, an organisation’s security is only as strong as its weakest link and attackers will always seek out the path of least resistance. Home printers are the new attack vector, increasing potential security risk exposure. Aside from confidential or sensitive information being printed in shared households, and not properly disposed of, unprotected home printers can provide an entry point to the corporate network.

Organisations must therefore ensure that home printers meet corporate security standards. For instance, what support is there for malware detection, data loss prevention (DLP) and patching?

Take action:

  • Assess your client’s print security posture. Security assessments should evaluate the security vulnerabilities of both the office and home print environment. Cloud based tools that can provide visibility on a user, device and activity level are key to managing and securing a hybrid print infrastructure. Advanced remote monitoring tools can detect at-risk devices, ensure compliance and remediate when a security incident is identified.
  • Recommend a multi layered security approach. Robust hardware security features should be enhanced with measures such as pull printing, malware protection and SIEM tool integration. Some manufacturers already offer integration with third party DLP and content security tools that control what is printed at an application level.
  • Track home printing. Consider use of remote data collection agents (DCA) or terminal devices that can track home printing usage. This can provide IT teams with some assurance that home printing is auditable, although some organisations may choose not to authorise home printing.

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