Today, many enterprises adopt managed print services (“MPS”) due to a desire to obtain cost savings, prevent unnecessary printing, and reduce paper waste in landfills. Yet this technology offers another, very important benefit. It helps safeguard printers more effectively against a variety of security threats.
From data thefts to ransom ware extortion schemes to computer viruses and worms, a startling array of potential hazards threaten legitimate online activities. Yet recently, security experts have begun cautioning their customers about the potential for cyber criminals to exploit office printer vulnerabilities. This concern intensified after many manufacturers developed printing technology capable of copying (and storing) voluminous documents and transmitting them online.
Reportedly, sometimes hackers utilize multi-function printers as a focal point for attacking enterprise computer networks. Managers may pay close attention to securing computers and servers, yet disregard the flow of information impacting peripheral devices, such as printers. Incorrect printer configuration sometimes poses an unidentified potential threat.
MPS as a Security Tool
Since MPS enables enterprises to monitor and track the use of printing technology closely, it offers a helpful tool in efforts to maintain the security and integrity of data. Companies furnishing this service assist clients in better securing their enterprise printing capabilities. They help detect malicious efforts to breach cloud security through “middleman” attacks on printing ports using PostScript, for example.
Additionally, by identifying printer workload trends, MPS services assist companies in tightening security (if desired) with respect to printer access. Many modern printers mesh seamlessly with sophisticated access control systems, enabling enterprises to better monitor the printing performed by individuals within an organization. This capability may offer valuable assistance in identifying possible printing security breaches.
For example, a large university may require printing capabilities capable of spanning several different levels of security. It may prove important to monitor the copying of materials generated by a research team working in a restricted-access lab to prevent the loss of proprietary data. Some academic departments may benefit from allocated printing capabilities matched to meet (and not exceed) specified budget goals. And the institution may also desire to track revenue streams generated by a pay-per-copy service in an academic library printing center. By using MPS, enterprises of every size gain better control over both printer resources and security.