GDPR: Don’t let print provide a weak spot

businessman hand locks in screen on white background

GDPR: Don’t let print provide a weak spot

10:14 17 March in Uncategorized

businessman hand locks in screen on white background

A topic you’ll have been hearing a lot about over the past couple of months is GDPR – or General Data Protection Regulations to give it its full title.

In a nutshell, GDPR is the result of four years of work by the EU to bring data protection legislation into line with the new, previously unforeseen ways that data is now used.

The key problem was that the UK relied on the Data Protection Act 1998, which was enacted following the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, long before digital technology became the everyday norm that it is now. While addressing a need for clearer rules that are more in line with today’s workplaces, it also introduces tougher fines for non-compliance and breaches (a fine of up to €20 million, or 4% of your global annual turnover, whichever is greater) and makes data protection rules identical throughout all 28 EU member states. It also gives people more say over what companies can do with their data.

GDPR came into force in all EU member states on 25 May 2018 – and just because of Brexit, don’t think you are immune from it in the UK – it’s very much enshrined into UK law. In fact, the rules actually came into force on 24 May 2016, after all parts of the EU agreed to the final text, with businesses and organisations having until 25 May 2018 before the law actually applied to them.

Time for action

With the May 2018 deadline already passed – and with the threat of the big fines looming large – now is the time for organisations of all sizes to get their houses in order. And that includes the print and document management infrastructure – a confirmed weak spot when it comes to security and protecting data. Take a moment to think of how much information, potentially containing personal data, is either printed off or scanned using Multi-Function Printers (MFPs). This data needs to be tracked and adequately protected.

The print estate is just as important when it comes to security as any other part of an IT network.  Yet, it is often unclear whose remit and responsibility it is.  As a result, many companies are guilty of unprotected printing features or ensuring their print devices are safeguarded from threats.

Without adequate protection, cyber-attacks can easily gain access to MFPs and the data on them via malware – one of the fastest growing forms of cyber-attack and one of the most dangerous. From the MFP attackers can then gain access to unencrypted data available across entire IT networks, bypassing company firewalls in the process. It’s like leaving your back door wide open to burglars.

Print protection

The good news for those looking to ensure print security is that KYOCERA MFPs are GDPR ready, thanks to many innovative in-built security measures.

Plenty of additional print, scan and copying security tools are also available, helping to make print and document management cyber secure. Biometric identification and user authentication such KYOCERA Net Manager that only releases print jobs once a user has identified themselves at an MFP, data encryption, data overwriting processes and automatic deletion processes are examples of the measures available to ensure security.

Print management tools also have a role to play in security. Only when you have full visibility of your print and document infrastructure – and what’s going on with it – can you confidently put in place the right controls to protect your business, employees and customer data.

Printing and data go hand-in-hand – so cyber-security protection is absolutely vital. The new GDPR regulations and punishments are now a reality, so there has never been a better time to look at print security than right now.

Austin Clark

Austin Clark
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