Managed Print Services (MPS)

Lexmark Enables Security Excellence with Secure by Design Approach

| By Phil Carter, Director of IoT and Managed Print Services, Lexmark

Secure by Design gains industry traction as security rises to forefront of concerns

TAGS: Internet of Things , Managed Print Services (MPS), Thought Leadership, Lexmark Print Management

Around the world and across organizations, millions of connected devices are deployed – and each is a potential doorway that a cybercriminal could exploit to gain entry into a corporate network. While often overlooked as IoT devices, print fleets are targets that enterprise IT teams must defend. Recent findings show over two-thirds (68%) of organizations have experienced data losses due to unsecured printing practices.

Like all connected devices, the cyber risks increase as printers become smarter and more connected. If left unprotected, cybercriminals could gain access to information retained on a device after a print or scan job is processed. Other attack vectors could include supply chain attacks, malicious use of known hardcopy device exploits, and the printer being used in a relay attack to access other network resources or corporate assets. Regardless of the scenario, we have seen an uptick in threats for IT teams to manage with a limited number of resources.

Against this increased threat landscape, the print industry's leading market research firm, Quocirca, flagged as a trend a multi-layered approach to print security that incorporates software and service on top of hardware. This “secure-by-design” approach, where companies take the initiative to make device security intrinsic, is gaining traction across the tech sector with Jen Easterly and Eric Goldstein of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – the operational lead for federal cybersecurity and the national coordinator for critical infrastructure security and resilience – recently arguing for a similar approach.

Lexmark’s hardware portfolio is complemented by a broad range of security consulting services and robust cloud print service offerings that address the security needs of organizations of all sizes. This profile, along with Lexmark’s industry expertise and award-winning customer service delivers a competitive advantage when compared to other security solution and hardware vendors.

Power of Proactivity

At Lexmark, we not only agree with the arguments presented by Quocirca and CISA, but we have long adopted such security practices. Now, we are taking that secure-by-design approach one step further to allow an even greater level of proactive, real-time management of device settings, access controls, firmware and software to reduce customers’ IT burden – ensuring their fleets perform at the highest levels of security.

We do this with Lexmark Security Services, which is comprised of two pillars. With the first pillar, Security Assessment Services, we contract to help customers identify vulnerabilities and gaps by analyzing and scoring their existing print environment and offering recommendations on how to tighten and enhance their print security settings and process. Second, we offer Configuration Management Services. Here, we not only assess and score a customer’s print security environment, but we also monitor and actively manage the customer’s print fleet settings, firmware levels, access controls, and more. 

In an assessment for a retail operation with more than 350 devices, we quickly identified and implemented dozens of changes that significantly improved the retailer’s print infrastructure security. For a large logistics and distribution company with more than 1,700 devices, we conducted a remote assessment to minimize any burden on the customer’s IT team. Again, a number of security issues were identified and resolved, strengthening systemwide security. 

We find that a lack of firmware updates, use of default “out-of-the-box” settings, and lack of or inconsistent permissions sets are not uncommon, even among large customers with sophisticated IT teams. A Security Assessment can identify and resolve these issues, boosting infrastructure security while freeing the IT team to focus on other projects. With Configuration Management, Lexmark can help keep the print environment updated and secure.

These security services are among many ways Lexmark simplifies maintenance tasks to alleviate the pressure on IT teams and cut long-term costs that could come from confidential information leaks or compliance oversights.


Power of Partnership

When facing today’s threat landscape, it’s pivotal that organizations find a partner that strengthens their print security infrastructure and alleviates some of the burdens their IT team face.

As a leader in print security, Lexmark is proud to be that partner for our customers – designing devices with current threats in mind, plus the expertise and technology in place to identify, navigate and mitigate evolving risk.

Security Services, backed by our secure-by-design approach, helps keep our customers’ fleets running as smoothly and securely as possible – defending against maturing threats every step of the way.