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Sharp Europe targets SMB market with new print security service

Sharp Europe targets SMB market with new print security service

October 3, 2023
Articles, Managed Print Services, Security

Sharp Europe recently held an analyst event in September, where the company announced a new focus on helping SMB organisations improve their security. One of the key announcements was the launch of a new turnkey IT security subscription service called Complete Print Security (CPS).

The evolving threat landscape

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and attackers are increasingly targeting SMBs. As a result, according to Quocirca’s Print Security 2023 study, 58% of SMBs are experiencing more cybersecurity incidents, making it essential for them to detect, protect against, and monitor potential security breaches. Print is often overlooked as a part of the IT security chain, leaving organisations vulnerable to the severe consequences of a print-related data breach.

Securing print infrastructure goes beyond using secure print release or pull printing to prevent data leaks. Networked printers and MFPs can be easy targets for attackers to infiltrate the corporate network, so they require the same security measures as any other end-point device.

Quocirca’s research shows that despite the majority (61%) of organisations reporting a print-related data breach, just 19% of organisations are completely confident in the security of their print infrastructure, dropping to 11% of SMBs.

Sharp Europe is addressing this lack of confidence and preparedness around print security, as well as the budget and resource limitations that SMBs face in tackling print security challenges.

Sharp’s Complete Print Security

Designed for SMBs, CPS is a fully managed service delivered through Sharp directly. It aims to ensure that MFPs are secure from the moment they are delivered, throughout their operational life, until they are decommissioned. The service is designed to help customers understand the threats to their business and provide them with tailored on-device protection from a multitude of threats, straight out of the box. Currently, this print security-as-a-service approach is a unique proposition in the market.

The CPS offering aligns with the NIST cybersecurity principles of Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover. It combines a number of its existing services and solutions, such as Smart Security, Sharp Remote Device Manager (SRDM), and Sharp Job Accounting II (JAII), with ConnectWise 24x7x365 security information and event management (SIEM) monitoring to detect any potential cyber threats. Security alerts generated by the SIEM service are monitored by the Security Operations Centre (SOC), with any suspicious activity alerted to Sharp’s 24/7, multilingual European Technology Solutions Centre (ETSC) based in Warsaw, which then investigates and takes the appropriate action to secure the MFP.

  • Identify: This is a consultative-led approach that begins with an initial assessment-based security survey to identify the print security risks in a customer’s environment. Sharp leverages its Smart Security configuration tool to map the working environment to MFP settings and create a custom-made MFP security policy. Devices can be preconfigured with effective security settings before delivery to the end customer, ensuring information is protected from the outset.
  • Protect: Over 150 MFP settings are monitored against the security policy using Sharp Remote Device Manager (SRDM). Any settings that are changed trigger an alert 24x7x365 and are automatically reset to ensure compliance with the policy.
  • Detect: The use of SIEM technology and 24x7x365 monitoring through the ETSC enables Sharp to detect and respond to security threats in the print environment.
  • Respond: SIEM also enables Sharp to respond to print security threats. Threats are assessed based on the severity and attack profile. Additional activity can be accessed from the SRDM, and action can be taken remotely to respond to the threat.
  • Recover: Data backup helps customers recover in the event of data loss with a daily backup to the ConnectWise cloud, including MFP settings and configuration and PC image, as well as software and configuration.

Partnership with Bitdefender

Sharp already has strong security credentials, most notably its partnership with Bitdefender, which strengthens cybersecurity threat prevention in its Future Workplace A3 business MFPs. The Bitdefender anti-malware engine is integrated into Sharp’s Future Workplace A3 line of MFPs and performs real-time scanning of all input and output data from the devices, alerting users, as well as IT and security teams, when threats are detected. The Bitdefender anti-malware engine provides protection against known and unknown malware, including viruses, trojans, worms, ransomware, advanced persistent threats, zero-day threats, spyware, and more.

Quocirca opinion

Sharp Europe has developed a strong print security proposition across its hardware and services portfolio. The launch of CPS, backed by its expertise in MFP security and expanding security-led IT services, positions Sharp to become a leader in print security for SMBs.

With the acquisition of Complete I.T. in the UK in 2019, Sharp gained three decades of experience in providing IT support to SMBs – expertise it will undoubtedly leverage to introduce this new CPS offering to its direct customer base.

Quocirca believes that after it has tested the service and rolled it out via its direct sales channel, Sharp will be in a strong position to help channel partners build their expertise in security, add value to customers, and capture new revenue opportunities.

As the channel is a key route to market for Sharp, extending this offering to its channel partners is crucial as they look to expand their security expertise and deepen engagements with their customers to achieve greater security resilience.

Hear more from Sharp Europe on its SMB strategy here.

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