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Print Security Considerations as You Return to Business

By Kerstin Woods

Unfortunately, the bad guys have been hard at work during the pandemic. Essential businesses have been massively hit by cyberattacks while they were busy keeping up with the extreme demands placed on serving functions essential to our nation.

The World Health Organization itself saw a fivefold increase in cyberattacks. Work from home employees were also a targeted segment with massive phishing campaigns disguised as interesting COVID-19 topics depositing malicious software into computer systems. In fact, hackers of all kinds are exploiting COVID-19 subjects and scenarios in both large and small ways.

Tragically, the FBI Internet Crime center has seen a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes since the beginning of the pandemic.  As a result, 70% of businesses are expected to increase security spending in the coming year.


Unfortunately, a company’s print environment is an often-overlooked IT system with many potential vulnerabilities. It’s a centralized, shared resource, so it handles data from multiple groups with varied levels of confidentiality.

A print system distributes and stores corporate information of all kinds, including sensitive customer, employee, business and competitive data. It handles both physical and digital information so has a wide spectrum of security requirements.  It is an IoT device linked to a network, so has vulnerabilities coming from outside of the four walls of your office.  And, you likely have more than one device in your office so enforcing consistent management and security policies across devices can be arduous.


Thankfully, proper print protection doesn’t need to be difficult or costly.  It does, however, need to be holistic.

At Toshiba, we recommend looking at three aspects of security:  product, process and people.

Product security means locking down the device, or fleet of devices, to whatever level of security is most appropriate for the data it transmits.  This is not a one-size fits all approach but instead a sliding scale.

Process security is about understanding the workflows of the device.

And, lastly, people is about understanding the device users, their roles and their requirements.


At the product level, you need to consider 4 main pillars of defense:

1.) Device security should be considered across the lifecycle – from the moment it’s turned on to its end-of-life

2.) Access security needs to be controlled, monitored and managed – both physical and digital

3.) Document security, again both physical and digital, needs to be established – this looks at how documents  flow in and out of the device via scan, fax, email, print or cloud

4.) And, fleet security should be handled centrally so consistency and compliance are straightforward and easy to achieve

We’ll explore each of these topics in upcoming blogs and a webcast at 11 AM PT, Wednesday June 24. Click here to register and join us.

Lastly, throwing money at the problem isn’t a solution for most business, especially SMBs or businesses that were closed during the stay-at-home orders and suffered dramatic revenue declines.

My recommendation to optimize security while containing costs is to engage a company well-versed in Managed Print Services to support you.

Not only does MPS allow you to shift to a unified billing platform for lowering your costs, it also engages experts with decades of print experience who evaluate your environment to optimize your fleet for performance and security. For example, your most vulnerable devices are probably your single-function older printers that were put in offices before security was top-of-mind and built-in to most systems.

At Toshiba, we have our Encompass Print-as-a-Service MPS offering that includes a security assessment that looks at document and workgroup security and uncovers areas for product, process and people improvements.   Especially in the COVID economy, I’d recommend checking out this recent blog on ways you can save money with MPS.

Visit our on-demand webcast to learn more about the ways Toshiba makes maximum print security achievable; unfortunately, it’s important now more than ever.

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