The Cost of Print Security for the Insurance Industry
By Team Pharos | April 17, 2023
Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, and insurance companies are hardly immune from attack. In their 2022 Cyber Insurance Risk report, Black Kite found that 82% of large insurance carriers are susceptible to phishing attacks, and 20% are highly susceptible to ransomware attacks.
Cybercriminals have broadened their efforts to compromise corporate networks, leveraging the highly interconnected nature of insurance IT environments. By compromising peripherals such as printers, it’s possible for attackers to access confidential client, financial, or operational information, which puts insurance companies at risk of financial and reputational damage.
The bottom line? Inadequate printer security can have very real negative consequences, often leading to big financial impacts on the organization and their clients
Print Security Challenges of the Insurance Industry
When it comes to print security, we see three common challenges:
Unauthorized Access of Networked Devices
Malicious actors can gain access to networked printers, allowing them to access sensitive information or remotely execute code. In early 2023, for example, Tech Radar reported that thousands of Lexmark printers included a security flaw that could allow attackers to access print queues, reveal Wi-Fi network credentials, and gain access to other devices on a network. Just a few months earlier it was discovered that more than 150 different models of HP printers were similarly vulnerable. Hackers are increasingly seeing printers as a weak point in the defenses of most corporate networks.
Physical Data Theft
Consider this common scenario: An employee sends a set of documents to the printer down the hall, intending to pick them up immediately. They get sidetracked, and those print jobs sit unattended for hours. This opens the door for physical data theft; documents left sitting in printer trays become easy targets for attackers.
The two challenges described above lead to a third –compliance. If digital documents are stolen by attackers who have managed to circumvent network defenses, insurance companies are responsible for the loss of this data. That, in turn, puts them at risk of non-compliance. Depending on the type and amount of data stolen, this could lead to audits, fines, or even operational sanctions.
Cost-Effective Print Solutions for the Insurance Industry
Insurance leaders can’t afford to skimp on securing their print environment. At the same time, of course, they need to keep costs under control. Here are some cost-effective print solutions they can consider:
Cloud-based print management reduces hardware costs by eliminating the costly ongoing maintenance of print servers. For one global insurance company, the move to cloud-based print workflows and print analytics delivered $61 million in savings over 8 years.
Comprehensive print policies
Company-wide print policies ensure that employees know what should be printed, what can be printed under certain circumstances, and what should stay digital.
Print management software
Well designed, cloud-based print management software include comprehensive print and fleet analytics providing visibility into print behavior—helping teams identify potential cost savings.
Access control and secure release printing
Access controls allow only authorized users to print, while the use of solutions such as Pharos Secure Release ensures that documents are only printed when the document owner has authenticated at the printer.
Regular patching and updates
Ongoing updates to printer firmware and printer software help reduce the risk of known vulnerabilities without incurring excessive costs.
By teaching some basic best practices such as only printing when necessary, defaulting to black-and-white or two-sided output, and minimizing the use of duplicate documents, insurance companies can better control total spending.
The Benefits of Investing in Print Security for Insurance Industry Leaders
Investments in print security aren’t simply a smart risk mitigation strategy; they also deliver meaningful operational benefits for insurance companies.
Needless to say, failing to adequately protect confidential information can be harmful to a company’s reputation. This is especially true in the case of insurance and financial services. According to KPMG, 68% of US consumers are concerned about the increasing amount of data collected by businesses.
Proactively securing the print environment improves compliance with important regulations and industry standards regarding the handling and protection of data, in turn helping insurers avoid costly and time-consuming audits or reviews.
Improved print security reduces the risk of data breaches and theft, freeing up IT teams to focus on strategic change, including digital transformation initiatives that drive revenue and save money.