From a workflow and regulatory perspective, printed information still plays an important role in the finance industry. According to analyst firm IDC, 53% of financial workflow processes involve printing. However, many organizations do not have sufficient print and hardcopy tracking in place, especially for employees who may alternate between home and office work.
As we move towards hybrid work, the challenge is how to build a secure IT environment that protects customers and the sensitive data held by financial organizations, regardless of whether it resides in digital form, hardcopy form, or both. This means that robust and secure technology solutions must be put in place to protect from any future global Black Swan event, which all experts say is likely.
An often-missed aspect of security is smart print devices. Over the years, these have become more intelligent and increasingly hold information that is either stored across a network or on the printer itself. The problem is that as we worked from home during the pandemic, office-based printers were rarely used, causing scheduled maintenance to be delayed or missed. This can leave networked devices open to attack or compromise.
Office-based smart print devices can be a security risk if they are not properly protected with regular firmware updates and lack access control settings to keep sensitive documents from being seen by the wrong people.
There is a similar challenge for organizations that provide staff with print devices to use at home. Gathering information about these devices via an audit when they are located off-site is a harder logistical undertaking than for office-based devices and so needs a carefully thought-through technological solution.
Lexmark works with OnGuard System's cloud-based innerActiv solution to provide a full view of document usage and behavioral risk to prevent malicious or accidental data leaks via either digital or hardcopy. innerActiv can monitor all files accessed, sent to print from the endpoint to any printer, or handled at the printer itself. Optical character recognition (OCR) can also be used to flag any key words or phrases that might make an individual printed item worthy of concern. For example, innerActiv could detect and alert if a user:
- Accessed an unusually large quantity of customer account information over a set time
- Printed account information from an unapproved home device
- Printed a document directly from an MFP device, bypassing the network
- Scanned or copied a secure document, creating additional hardcopies or saving a new digital copy
Work-from-home rules have accelerated digital transformation in the finance industry but as we continue to transition to a new hybrid way of working, print security must be part of the strategy.