2024 Print Security Trends

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Every day, businesses rely on printers and multifunctional print (MFP) devices to keep operations running smoothly. If not properly secured, a print device could be just the opening a threat actor is looking for to view sensitive printed materials or creep farther into your network.

It wasn’t long ago that print devices were often overlooked as a part of an organization’s overall security plan. But today’s savvy IT teams know that networked print devices are important endpoints to secure and monitor for abnormalities.

Wondering what’s on the horizon in print security? We’ve done the research for you and found the top four print security trends for 2024. Here’s what you’ll need to know: 

  1. Increase in Print Security Threats
  2. Zero Trust Printing
  3. Layered Approach to Print Security
  4. Managed Print Services Are Becoming a Necessity

RELATED: The Expert’s Guide to End-to-End Print Security 

Increase in Print Security Threats

According to a recent report by Quocirca, 39 percent of surveyed organizations agree that it is becoming harder to keep up with security demands. This same report also revealed that only 38 percent of organizations include printers as a part of their formal risk assessments.

While potential print security threats may be difficult to quantify, they most definitely are increasing in number. It’s a rare week to not hear of a large, costly data breach in the news. But it’s not just large corporations – small and medium-sized businesses are often targeted, as well.

Organizations need to address the security of their entire print fleet including all printing-related devices (both large and small) within the organization’s buildings as well as address the printing needs of remote workers.  

RELATED: The Top 7 Network Printer Security Best Practices 

Zero Trust Printing

Interest in zero trust printing is growing among organizations. This concept has been implemented in a variety of ways, depending on the organization’s market sector and frequency of handling confidential materials.

Zero trust printing revolves around the motto of “trust nobody” and is based on three core components: 

  • Always Verify – All users should be verified via a preprogrammed security card, personal identification number or password while at the printing device.
  • Least Privileged Access with Segmentation – Access should be segmented by user. In this manner, each user will be given access to only the printing devices they need and nothing more. If requirements change, an administrator will be able to alter the access for a user.
  • Assume the Risk of a Breach – Every print job contains security risk; therefore all print jobs will be tracked. This also increases visibility, threat detection and the data gathered can be used to improve future defenses. 

While many organizations of all sizes are beginning to look into zero trust printing, Gartner predicts that 10 percent of large enterprises will have a mature and measurable zero trust program in place by 2026.

Layered Approach to Print Security

Print security works best using a layered approach. In this manner, if a threat makes it through one layer of defense, there are additional layers that it will have to outsmart before the threat will be able to do any major damage.

This layered approach commonly includes securing the print infrastructure, print workflows and the printed output. Many organizations have also added threat detection software to monitor network activity, including endpoints such as printers. Using this approach, unauthorized access is discouraged and in the event of a breach – it’s much easier to contain a threat. 

RELATED: Why Your Managed Print Provider Should Have a Security Council 

Managed Print Services Are Becoming a Necessity

A survey by industry expert, Quocirca found that 80 percent of organizations have changed the composition of their printer fleet within the past two years. And 79 percent of organizations expect to increase their print security spend within the next year.

Some organizations choose to have their own internal IT team manage their printer fleet. However, more and more organizations are choosing to enlist the help of a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider.

A skilled MPS provider can ensure timely software updates, password protection, “follow-me” printing capabilities and other proven security measures to keep your print fleet safer. In addition, a MPS provider can analyze your print data to help you set goals and objectives that can be measured to ensure long-term organizational business technology success. 

Your Partner for Print Management and More

Ready to learn more about why print security is important, how it works and what you can expect from implementing a proper endpoint security strategy for printers? Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) is your partner for print management and all of your office technology needs. Download your free copy of our Quick Guide to Print Security and gain insight into how to protect your printers from cyberattacks and data breaches.

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