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ANALYSIS

How document management can spell security

DUBAI, July 17, 2019

By John Reilly

How many times have we heard the phrase, “Ignorance is bliss?” When it comes to protecting the business documents, they handle every day – or more importantly, the data contained in them – most small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have long had the luxury of believing that hackers only targeted large corporation. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.

Ponemon’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Mid-Sized Businesses showed that a staggering 61% of companies surveyed had faced a cyber-attack in the past 12 months, with 54% of these companies suffered a data breach involving employee and/or customer information. According to Small Business Computing, 58% of those data breaches occurred at small businesses.

As SMBs begin to recognize the threat they are facing, and the complexity of the security threat landscape, they are turning to channel partners to mitigate the costs and challenges of protecting their devices, data and networks.

Although the majority of SMBs still rely on paper-based processes for at least some of their core business activities, most are focused on safeguarding their PCs, laptops and servers from threats, leaving their print environment unsecured.

Why document management spells document security

Today’s multifunction printers (MFPs) have undergone a significant transformation, with devices going beyond print, fax and scan to be true workplace assistants, bringing new levels of convenience and productivity to the modern office. But like any piece of the office landscape, they require their own security considerations.

These MFPs are intelligent networked devices that require their own layer of protection from unauthorized access, and that’s just for starters. Most business owners and managers never consider things like the risk of confidential or sensitive material being left uncollected in output trays

Document management services (DMS) from a knowledgeable, qualified channel partner can help mitigate these risks and help customers work better with fast, cost-effective print security measures and solutions that are easy to manage.

What’s more, DMS is one of the top ways channel partners can drive growth for their business. Here’s what a successful, security focused DMS plan looks like in action.

Assess

Whether you’re dealing with larger SMB customers who host a diverse printer fleet, or a smaller customer who may have the wrong number or wrong type of devices, the first step should always be an assessment. A thorough assessment determines the type and number of devices, and what security measures are already in place.

This can evaluate all points of vulnerability and help you build a comprehensive security plan that covers everything from information point of entry to user access and even how the device (and the sensitive information stored in it) will be disposed of at the end of its life. It’s also a great way to help customers consolidate, upgrade, and improve their paper processes, while also cutting cost.

Protect

Part of a good DMS assessment is to ensure that your customer’s MFPs do not provide open access to the network. Your assessment will make certain that all ports are closed, and that automatic firmware and software updates are in place to ensure that each device has the latest and best possible security protection.

3.    Secure

MFP devices often use SSL (secure socket layer) processes to make it safe for sensitive documents to be printed over their network.

4.    Control

By enabling access controls through secure printing, you can give your customers the peace of mind that comes from knowing only authorized users can access their MFP. Also known as PIN and pull printing, print jobs can be saved electronically on the device, or on an external server, until the authorized user is ready to print them.

Customers can decide whether to employ PIN code authentication, or another method, such as a swipe card, proximity card or fingerprint. This not only prevents unauthorized access; it also protects data security and reduces printing costs by ensuring that unclaimed documents aren’t left lying in the printer tray.

Monitor and Audit

With so much focus on protecting the device (not to mention choosing the right one), it is easy to overlook an essential part of the conversation: ongoing device monitoring. Continuous device monitoring should be a part of every customer’s workflow strategy.

Print environments are a complex mix of products and technology that becomes even more complex when users enter the mix. A centralized print management tools can monitor and track all MFP related usage with the tracking and management easily outsourced to you, their MPS provider.

With security attacks becoming both increasingly sophisticated and likely to target SMBs, the time for action is now. By leveraging the expertise of a knowledgeable MPS provider, SMBs can rest easy knowing their data is protected at the same level and with the same expertise large corporations employ.

About the author

John Reilly is vice president Velocity Channel Group at Xerox.


 




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