How Prioritizing Security Can Strengthen In-plants
In today’s interconnected global community, data breaches and information security protocols are common factors across all facets of an organization’s technology operations. Now more than ever, it is imperative for in-plants to be equipped with strong security practices and solutions designed to help with data security.
In our current environment, it is vital for in-plant managers who are responsible for the organization’s printing technology fleet, from high-end production devices to multi-function printer (MFP) platforms, to address multiple areas of risk. These areas include device security, print security, document security, information security, and cybersecurity.
Production presses, multifunctional devices, and other office equipment may have contact outside of the network, thus potentially becoming a target for exploitation in the pursuit of breaching a company’s perimeter. Furthermore, in today’s hybrid work environment, it is increasingly critical for in-plant managers to control each step of the document’s journey, from the initial print command to the final output.
A single point of control — a console from which everything in the network is visible and accessible — can be the first step to monitoring and tracking data through an enterprise fleet and inventory of in-plant devices. This begins with administrators having the control to authorize access to certain features and functions on the device by authenticating users at the printer or multi-function display, and can be accomplished by entering a PIN code or password, or using a proximity card.
Administrators should also extend this monitoring to include remote workers printing from home. For example, with uniFLOW online, IT professionals can connect compatible home printing devices seamlessly to the same print management tenant running in the enterprise, thus extending the ability to monitor devices to the home office.
Proactive Security Measures
As attackers find increasingly innovative ways to compromise systems and gain access to confidential information, protecting sensitive data both in transit and at rest is imperative for modern organizations. Long gone are the days of a reactive approach. In-plants need to implement proactive security measures that are designed to help them identify at-risk data, and can assist users in implementing data protection measures. Leveraging encryption can be a solid step toward assisting print providers in establishing a security posture, while additional layers of security can be added to documents in the form of passwords, digital watermarks, digital signatures, and “invisible” markers that only system administrators can detect.
Security vulnerabilities can be detected from several different areas in a company. Therefore, it is in the best interest of an organization, and its in-plant, to build a collaborative security strategy to help ensure all areas of a business’s workflow are included. A good way to start is to establish a committee of stakeholders representing different lines of business, obtain executive leadership buy-in, and perform an exhaustive risk assessment to determine where to strike the balance of securing business processes while maintaining productivity.
Training is Key
In addition, the human aspect of the equation should not be overlooked or underestimated. Training employees to practice safe security measures is a key to data security. In fact, Canon’s 2019 Office of the Future survey finds that one in four IT decision makers believe employees have limited or no understanding of security threats or prevention. Once organizations have established procedures and solutions to help with security, they should provide ongoing, periodic training for employees to help keep employees aware of potential security risks. Additionally, they should educate employees on other precautionary tasks they should take, such as not downloading software from unverified third parties or clicking on email links from unknown sources.
As we look at securing the workplace with a holistic, layered approach — from implementing security features on devices, to the output from those devices, to the document repository and protecting information in any type of asset — it is crucial for organizations and in-plants to implement strong security solutions, and conduct necessary training for employees so they can be aware of common safety practices to help limit potential breaches.