Confidence in print security drops and data breach costs rise

As cyberattacks continue to increase, capitalising on the new vulnerabilities of remote working, securing the print infrastructure – across the office and home environments – must be a strategic priority. Quocirca’s Print Security Landscape 2020 study reveals increasing concerns around the risks of printing, and declining confidence in the ability to protect the print infrastructure against security breaches. The attack surface has now expanded to encompass remote endpoints such as home printers, which may fall through the gap of traditional print security measures.

Confidence in print security drops

This heightened exposure to possible data loss is leading organisations to lose confidence in the security of their print infrastructure. Just 21% of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) say they are completely confident, compared to 33% prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past six months, 64% have reported a data loss as a result of unsecure printing practices, with reasons ranging from improper disposal of confidential information by employees to device malware. This is leading to an average cost of a data loss reaching £1.2 million in the US and £825,000 in Europe, significantly higher than in 2019. This can be attributed to the likelihood that organisations are improving their capabilities around detecting and reporting on data losses.

Print security remains low on the IT agenda

Despite the significant levels of data loss and associated cost, ITDMs still place print security much lower on the IT security agenda. While email, networks and cloud are ranked in the top three, securing printing is in seventh place. With 77% of ITDMs indicating that printing will remain critical (29%) or very important (48%) to their businesses in the next 12 months, organisations cannot afford to be complacent.

Less than 20% have adopted robust print security measures

While many are implementing a range of measures such as risk assessments, pull-printing, analytics and content security, adoption varies widely by region. According to Quocirca’s Print Security Maturity Index, based on the number of measures implemented, just 19% of organisations are considered Print Security Leaders. This rises to 28% in the US and falls to 12% in the UK and Germany. Print Security Leaders are more likely to spend more on print security and report higher levels of confidence.

Organisations must prepare to secure printing in the hybrid workplace.

Adapting to any crisis requires action. As remote working becomes a permanent feature for many organisations, ITDMs cannot ignore the potential threats and vulnerabilities from printing in the home environment. As more organisations turn to a zero trust model to enforce more stringent access controls both inside and outside the network perimeter, the print infrastructure must adapt accordingly. The hybrid workplace is here to stay and it is imperative that organisations mitigate the risk of data loss by protecting printing endpoints in both the home and office environments.


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