Confidence in print security drops and data breach costs rise as businesses adapt to hybrid working

64% have suffered a print-related data breach in the past 6 months, reporting an average breach cost of £1million 

10 December 2020: Quocirca today published its Print Security Landscape, 2020 report, which reveals growing concerns over print security and a drop in confidence in the ability to protect the print infrastructure against security breaches.

The report analyses the views of 508 IT decision makers based in Europe and the US. It found that organisations are increasingly concerned about the potential for data breaches as a result of unsecure printing, with almost two thirds reporting a print-related data loss in the past six months. While some organisations are taking steps to protect the print infrastructure, Quocirca’s Print Security Maturity index reveals that fewer than one in five organisations rank as print security leaders.

Key findings include:

  • Falling confidence: just 21% of ITDMs say they are completely confident in the security of their print infrastructure, down from 33% before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Costly data breaches: 64% have had a data loss due to print security failures in the past six months compared to 66% in the 12 months preceding the onset of the pandemic. Causes cited include documents not being securely disposed of by home workers, device malware and confidential information being left on output trays. The average cost of these breaches was £1.2million in the US and £825k in Europe
  • 78% expect print security spend to increase in the next 12 months
  • Adoption of print security measures varies:  48% have a formal procedure to respond to print security incidents but only 34% have implemented a zero trust architecture and integration with a SIEM platform
  • Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are the primary source of print security advice: 37% of ITDMs consult MSSPs for print security advice

The study also quantifies the extent of the long-term shift to remote working; the proportion of employees working fully or partly from home has risen from an estimated 39% before the pandemic, to 48% once offices fully reopen.  Home working has changed the risk environment, with 32% of ITDMs reporting concern about the security of employee-owned printers.

Commenting on the research findings Louella Fernandes, Quocirca Director, said: “The risks caused by the shift to hybrid working, the sustained frequency of print-related breaches and the associated costs have lowered confidence in print security. Our research indicates confidence would be restored by a more comprehensive approach that includes policies, processes, technology and analytics to secure the extended print environment. With 78% of respondents saying that they intend to increase print security spend in the coming year these should be the key areas of focus to ensure print-related data risk doesn’t fall through the gaps.”

Print security “Leaders” have higher confidence

Quocirca’s Print Security Maturity Matrix analysed the adoption of ten print security measures including pull printing, the implementation of a zero trust architecture, print-specific risk assessments and formal print security incident reporting processes. 19% of organisations had adopted six or more measures and are rated print security “leaders”. 59% had implemented between two and five measures, making them “followers”, while 22% are “laggards” having adopted one or no measures.

A formal process to respond to print security incident is in place at 48% of organisations, while 43% have revised BYOD policies to include employee-owned printers and 42% have conducted print security risk assessments. Pull printing is in place at 38%. Zero trust architecture and SIEM integration is less common, implemented at just over one third (34%) of organisations.

Confidence in print security was significantly higher among leaders, with 58% completely confident before the pandemic and 47% remaining so now. By contrast only 18% of followers remain completely confident, a drop from 33% before the pandemic. Just 7% of laggards are fully confident now, a drop from 14% before the pandemic.

MSSP influence on the rise

The study also highlighted the growing influence of Managed Security Service Providers, who would be the first port of call for print security advice for 37% of ITDMs surveyed. 23% would turn to a print manufacturer and 16% would consult a manager print service (MPS) provider. Louella Fernandes comments: “MSSPs are building trusted partner status with customers. This is an opportunity for MPS providers and channel partners to work more closely with MSSPs on print security challenges.”

The Quocirca Print Security 2020 Report contains in-depth profiles of print security offerings from the major print manufacturers and key ISVs as well as practical recommendations for organisations aiming to improve their print security posture. Read an executive summary and view in infographic here.

About Quocirca:

Quocirca is a global market insight and research firm providing strategic market analysis and intelligence to print industry business and technology leaders. Quocirca specialises in analysing the convergence of print and digital technologies in the future workplace.

Since 2006, Quocirca has played an influential role in advising clients on major shifts in the market. Our consulting and research is at the forefront of the rapidly evolving print services and solutions market, trusted by clients who are seeking new strategies to address disruptive technologies.

Trusted by global industry organisations, Quocirca offers a wealth of specialist knowledge across the connected print ecosystem. Our extensive research activities are backed up with rigorous analysis and a robust primary research programme.

SOURCE Quocirca