Think before you print

16 June 2016

Report reveals a security threat that is often overlooked  


According to a recent survey by research firm Quocirca, 63% of businesses have experienced at least one ‘print-related’ data breach.

Organisations are usually on high alert when it comes to network security, yet they often overlook the potential risks posed by printing devices connected directly to their network

SC Magazine reports that the print environment plays a vital role in keeping an organisation's information safe, yet IT teams often consider this as beyond their remit and the responsibility of someone else.

Employee behaviour and inadequate workplace print policies are creating big security holes for businesses and putting them at risk of data breaches. A recent survey by Danwood of 1,000 office workers revealed that 94% of office workers have at least one bad printing habit that is risking security in their organisation.

Over a quarter (27%) have thrown away printed documents without shredding, 24% percent have printed documents but left the copies in the printer tray, and one in five have picked up someone else's documents from the printer.

The report suggests five simple steps to minimise the risk of print-related data breaches:

 1.  Manage your print devices. Remote management software makes this easier by automatically keeping tabs on all your printing devices.

2.  Protect your documents. Make sure documents are stored on a secure hard drive.

3.  Follow-me printing.  A feature where a user's print job is held on the server and only released by the printer when a user authenticates themselves at the printer, either using a code or a print card. This minimises the risk of unattended documents being left on the printer.

4.  Integrate print into your security strategy. Printers and multifunction devices are connected to a network. Make sure they are as protected like any other connected device, such as a computer or mobile phone .    

5.  Conform with data protection mandates. User behaviour makes the ‘insider threat' a critical consideration in securing company data and information. To help your employees, define a security policy and clear user behaviour guidelines, as to how information should be printed and shared.

To read the SC Magazine report in full visit


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