Executive Summary

Quocirca Print Security Landscape 2022

Key findings

  • Remote working is here to stay and is creating an expanded threat landscape. Hybrid work creates significant security challenges for IT teams to manage as the exploitable attack surface increases. The proliferation of shadow IT and unsecured home networks means that organisations need to rethink their security posture around the print environment.
  • IT security remains the top investment priority over the next 12 months. 53% of respondents say it is one of their highest three priorities. 70% of organisations expect to increase their print security spend over the next 12 months, with only 11% expecting a decrease.
  • A reliance on printing creates a need for effective print security. Despite rapid digitisation over the course of the pandemic, many organisations remain reliant on printing. Printing will remain critical or very important for 64% of organisations in the next 12 months. Printers and networked MFPs pose a security risk not only in terms of printed documents being accessed by unauthorised users, but also as an ingress point to the network if left unprotected.
  • Just a quarter (26%) feel completely confident that their print infrastructure will be secure when offices fully reopen. Organisations are struggling to keep up with print security demands: more than half (53%) say it has become considerably or somewhat harder to do so. 67% of respondents are concerned about the security risks of home printing, compared to 57% who are concerned about office print security.
  • Print security is lower on the security agenda than other elements of the IT infrastructure. Top security risks are considered to be cloud or hybrid application platforms, email, public networks and traditional endpoints. Employee-owned home printers come in as the 5th top security risk (24%) ahead of the office print environment (21%). This suggests both a lack of awareness and complacency in not fully appreciating the security vulnerabilities around printing, which remains an integral endpoint in the IT environment.
  • There are marked differences between MPS users and non-MPS users. Organisations that use an MPS provider foresee much greater growth in print volumes and are most confident in the security of their print environment – despite having a higher awareness of the risks. They are also twice as likely to state that keeping up with print security challenges has become somewhat or a lot easier.
  • In the past 12 months, over two thirds (68%) of organisations have experienced data losses due to unsecure printing practices. This has led to a mean cost per data breach of £632K. Such quantified financial losses are bad enough for organisations to manage, but they also state many other negative impacts, such as a loss of business continuity and ongoing business disruption after the breach.
  • Quocirca’s Print Security Maturity Index reveals that only 18% of the organisations can be classed as Print Security Leaders. The number of leaders rises to 22% in the US and falls to 12% in France, which also has the highest number of laggards (37%). Print Security Leaders are likely to spend a higher amount on print security, experience fewer data losses, and report higher levels of confidence in the security of their print environment. When compared by vertical, finance has the largest percentage of leaders (23%).
  • Less than a third (28%) of ITDMs are very satisfied with their print supplier’s security capabilities. This drops to 20% in the public sector. US organisations are most satisfied, with those in Germany least happy. ITDMs who use an MPS have far higher satisfaction levels (42% are very satisfied) than those who don’t (20%).
  • Most ITDMs turn to managed security service providers (MSSPs) for print security advice. MSSPs are the primary source of security guidance for 35% of organisations overall, rising to 40% in the US. Just 18% of ITDMs overall would turn to an MPS provider for print security guidance, while 21% would consult a print manufacturer. This points to an opportunity for MPS providers and channel partners to collaborate more closely with MSSPs.

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