New approaches to minimizing security risk

Today, cybersecurity is growing, both in terms of the threats we need to manage as well as companies’ spending for security technologies. This blog examines the exploding Internet of Things trend, describes why it represents a significant security concern and offers strategies for minimizing IoT risk.
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Minimize security risks posed by printers and other IoT devices

It doesn’t take much more than a quick glance at the news to realize that cybersecurity is a top priority for companies today.

Worse, the cause for concern is growing. According to research conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Global State of Information Security Survey companies detected 38 percent more security threats in 2015 than they did in 2014.

According to a recent CIO article, this is in part because the number of vulnerabilities and entry points that can be used to access networks is rising, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) trend. With IoT, an increasing amount of devices are now designed to connect to the Internet and communicate beyond network perimeters. These devices – things that include printers, scanners, and MFPs – represent new entry points that adversaries can use to access your network.

Not surprisingly, IoT security risk is also on the rise. The same CIO article cites research from Gartner that estimates that the number of connected “things” will hit 4.9 billion this year and 25 billion by 2020. This is a lot of devices – and a lot of security risk.

 

Better security starts now

All of this leads to the question, “What can we do to minimize our security risk, especially as it relates to IoT devices?”

Security experts recommend an effort they call “infrastructure hygiene,” stressing that it is important to examine normal, core business operations that occur every day and attempt to improve security related to those processes. This is in contrast to the ideas of trying to provide security fixes for random or one-off examples.

In this case, companies should look at various endpoint devices and question whether or not they present a security risk. Servers and back-up processes may seem to be the most obvious place to start, but companies should also consider new examples of IoT-enabled endpoint devices, such as printers and MFPs.

The perfect example is to use print management solutions, like Nuance Equitrac, to manage printers as network endpoint devices. For example, print management solutions offer functionality to make sure orphaned print jobs aren’t left in a tray to be intercepted by hackers and thieves. Additionally, print management solutions can provide other security-focused functionality, such as requiring user authentication, restricting access based on user authorization, and encrypting data, to continue to improve security. You can learn more by downloading a Nuance white paper, “Security Made Easy,” today.

 

Level the security playing field

It doesn’t matter how big your company is or what industry you’re in. From the biggest blue chips to the smallest boutique firms, security is critical, especially when you consider how many ways sensitive data can become exposed, leaked or stolen. By more tightly controlling the physical end of the network – printers and the print queue – you can now close one of those big open doors that worry security pros to such a great extent.

IT professionals commonly refer to security as a race, and one where the bad guys always get a head start. Discover how technology solutions like print management can give you the advantage you need.

Minimize IoT security risk

Download our whitepaper, “Security Made Easy,” for nine tactics you can employ to address security vulnerabilities in printing, scanning and faxing.

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Jeff Segarra

About Jeff Segarra

Jeff Segarra is the Senior Director of Product Marketing for the Nuance Document Imaging Division. He is responsible for the global team that delivers industry product positioning, messaging and content to help our customers around the world identify how Nuance solutions can meet their needs. He enjoys speaking and writing about business process improvement, The Internet of Things, document security, document conversion technologies and personal productivity. He has an MBA from Iona College, Hagan School of Business and has been working with software technology for 20 years. Jeff is an original New Yorker and, therefore, a staunch Yankees fan – in the heart of Red Sox nation.