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The “insider threat” leaves organisations exposed to compliance violations and big fines

Paul Mills, Vice President of Business Development at RINGDALE, reviews the Insider Threat and how leading Enterprise print management solutions are working with organisations to maintain regulatory compliance and secure data.

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), affecting organisations both in Europe and globally holding data from European Union citizens, has meant organisations have needed to implement measures to help them comply with new regulations. However, with over 400 million Euros in fines having been issued so far and with this number continuing to rise almost daily, it is clear that organisations have not considered everything in their compliance journey.

According to research from Risk Based Security, the total number of reported data breaches in 2019 stands at over five thousand. This is an increase of 33% from the same period in 2018, and has resulted in 7.9 billion individual records being compromised.

The “insider threat”

Organisations often focus their attention on the most obvious, such as building a secure malware strategy, with 70% believing this to be the top perceived threat*. However, with 32% of all reported security incidents being related to “accidental actions of internal users”, this is often the threat that is left unmanaged.

A recent study from HP** also shows that 34% of data breaches last year were caused by insiders (internal users). It goes on to reveal that 75% of insiders would look at unclaimed documents that they found left in a printers output tray. In addition, 40% who see confidential documents in the printer output tray admit they wouldn’t just ignore it, instead take the time to look it over and even save it by taking a picture, making a copy, or taking the document completely.

This suggests that organisations, more than ever, need to consider the growing insider threat, including how they can maintain compliance and safeguard against confidential documents from getting into the wrong hands, together with protecting their overall print environment.

High Profile Cases

An example of a high profile case from an insider was a breach that occurred at the U.S. NSA, National Security Agency. This involved a 25-year-old employee who was charged with leaking confidential information on Russian Hacking to the media. The employee was later identified from the reference printed on the document. Unfortunately though, many organisations do not even have this simple method to identify the perpetrator, leaving the insider undiscovered.

This demonstrates the importance of organisations having auditable processes in place, to first of all determine the perpetrator, and secondly to provide evidence that the organisation did everything they could to avoid a breach from occurring.

Why is office printing the problem?

As identified above, in too many organisations, paper output remains untraceable – printed data can be quickly and easily removed, often without the victim ever being aware that their data security has been compromised. Solutions that require users to authenticate themselves at a device before a document is printed, minimises the risk of a visitor or a contractor taking pages left in a printer’s output tray. But these on their own will not stop an employee from printing and removing corporate or customer data. To prevent insiders from stealing data assets you need something more than just secure printing. You need the means to forensically inspect and monitor the content of print jobs and, where appropriate, prevent them from being printed. This is especially important for organisations in the financial, retail, government and healthcare sectors that might hold identification details, sensitive personal information and credit card numbers.

Managing the threat

In order to have a complete solution beyond basic print management products, organisations should consider the following recommendations when ensuring their print environment is secure and compliant. These include:

+ Providing access management for user authentication/authorisation to print, copy, and send information electronically from printers and multifunctional products (MFPs)

+ Protecting documents across the network (data at rest and while in motion) by using industry-standard data encryption

+ Forensically inspecting and protecting content in documents including personally identifiable information

+ Providing accurate activity tracking and document archiving for ongoing audits to demonstrate they have done everything they could do to avoid a breach

+ Comprehensive reporting while leveraging data anonymisation to maintain user privacy and complying with country specific regulations.

Securing all printers and office locations

The critical issue mid-market and enterprise organisations face, which have a multitude of different printers across their headquarters, regional or branch offices, is how to support all printer makes and models while maintaining compliance and security.

According to Quocirca’s report, this is really important as 70% of organisations state they have a mixed vendor fleet of printers and MFPs.

FollowMe®, enables organisations from mid-market to enterprise to tackle these challenges head on, with its extensive focus on security and compliance. This ensures organisations can protect valuable data accessed by employees or guests from any device or location.

Take Action Now

For your free print security consultation please call  the RINGDALE team on:  01444 871349