The widespread use of networked printers and multifunction peripherals (MFPs) which scan, print, fax, copy and email has increased productivity in the production of all types of business output. However, the growing sophistication of these devices has also increased security risks associated with printing. Network connectivity, along with hard disk and memory storage, means that MFPs are now susceptible to many of the same security risks as PCs and servers alongside the traditional risk of sensitive printed output getting into the wrong hands. However, all too often the security of the print environment is overlooked and little is done to mitigate these threats.
Although most businesses recognise the serious consequences of confidential data being leaked externally most do not realise the exposure that an unsecured printing environment introduces to their business. With printing being an essential part of many business processes, protecting network printers and MFPs should be a critical part of any organisation's IT security strategy. Printing security is paramount in three key areas: users, documents and devices. By controlling user access, protecting documents and securing devices businesses can address requirements for data confidentiality and regulatory compliance that are only set to get tougher.
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