Dealing With Permanent Change.
That’s the header title Quocirca gave to their conclusion paragraph in this year’s iteration of their annual report on printer security. It’s yet another reflection of how COVID-19’s grand (and unwelcome) entrance not only stunned the world, but actually incited a seismic shift in its direction and development.
Obviously, the fact that in-person human interaction went from typical to potentially fatal in a matter of weeks caused the world to suddenly lean more on remote technologies. This somewhat hasty transition left many organizations exposed to cybercriminal activity, leaving printer security leaders (and other security specialists) to clean up the mess.
In compiling their report, Quocirca polled 508 IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) in the U.S. and Europe. Here are eight of the most fascinating things we learned from their odyssey, followed by a slightly deeper dive into each one.
77% believe printing will be at least “very important” to their businesses in 2021
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise on the surface. After all, pretty much every office in America has a printer or network copier of some kind.
The key word in this sentence is “very important.” Even with the wealth of tech tools available, the ever-growing use of tablets, and a shift to remote work drastically reducing the need for things like office memos, over three quarters of these ITDMs believe they’ll still rely heavily on good old fashioned paper printing.
What’s even more interesting is how that 77% breaks down. That figure includes 48% who described printing as “very important,” and 29% who went a step further, describing it as “critical.” This phrasing seems to indicate that these ITDMs believe the ability to print enables their business' success.
64% suffered print-related data losses in 2020
The fact that nearly two-thirds of these organizations experienced data loss is nothing to sneeze at, especially in the context of Quocirca's estimate that U.S. data breaches cost these organizations over one million dollars on average from printer security failures alone. Some of the reasons for these losses include improper disposal of printed materials, cyberattacks, and device malware.
As we dig into this mind-blowing statistic, it’s worth noting that Quocirca questioned whether this is truly the result of a massive uptick in successful cybercriminal activity since 2019, or that organizations are simply getting better at detecting and reporting data loss. In short, this may or may not be new to 2020.
78% will be increasing printer security solution spending in 2021
This comes as no surprise, considering the two previous statistics. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) like Marco are great bets to dramatically reduce costly data loss due to printer security failures, though some of these companies may elect instead to increase their internal IT security budgets.
15% trust their printer vendor for printing security solutions
This might be the most astonishing statistic yet, as the figure also includes Multifunction Printer (MFP) vendors.
Neither MFPs nor the concept of managed printer (and network copier) security are anything new. Marco and several similar companies have been providing both for many years. It’s possible that this could be more a reflection of who they’re buying their printers from, rather than an indicator of trepidation towards the general concept of trusting a printer vendor for security solutions.
Still, this underscores organizations' need for robust technology vendor risk management programs.
34% of all organizations are currently using cloud for all their IT requirements
It’s certainly no secret that cloud services are on the rise, but the fact that more than a third of all organizations are relying on it so heavily is yet more evidence of COVID-19’s impact on the business landscape.
That’s not to say we weren’t moving in this direction even before the pandemic, but it’s certainly given us an extra-strength shove forward.
63% of organizations are using a Managed Print Service (MPS)
While this may surprise some small business owners who are unfamiliar with the concept, MPS is becoming the way of the world.
According to the Vendor Profiles section of Quocirca’s report, “a managed print service is fundamental to ensuring that an organization operates a secure and cost-efficient print infrastructure.”
Certain things are more easily outsourced than handled internally. Print services (alongside printer and copier security) has suddenly become one of those things. Managed print service experts like Marco have the time and resources to think about print security, enabling businesses to focus more on everything else important for their success.
50% are using a cloud print service
Again, the shift towards cloud service has accelerated, and it just so happens that security printing is easily done through a cloud service. Work from home printing is an especially hot topic as we enter new challenges with increasing levels of fully remote employees.
When coupled with the stat above, this also implies that about 80% of managed print services are offered through the cloud. This number is likely to tick upwards as faith in cloud security continues to rise.
45% of U.S. SMEs surveyed have turned to MSSPs for printing security advice
This is largely another reflection of the egregious data losses suffered due to print security failures. By contrast, only 23% said they would turn to a print manufacturer, and 17% said they’d consult a MPS provider.
The report notes that, “this points to an opportunity for MPS providers and channel partners to collaborate more strongly with MSSPs.” So companies like Marco who are experts in both fields would seem to have a leg up on other MPS vendors in that regard.
COVID-19 was certainly a catalyst for the eyebrow-raising nature of these statistics, but while the pandemic will likely fade soon, its impact on printing and printing security is permanent. Quocirca’s report notes that “remote working is here to stay,” so while some business owners may be hesitant to make big changes based on a temporary pandemic, the smart move is to adapt, and adapt quickly. For those of you willing to do so, Marco is here to help.