Quocirca Global Print Security Landscape 2023 finds that increasing print volumes and growth in hybrid work create security risks, as the average cost of a print-related data breach rises to £743,000

25th April, 2023: IT decision makers are less confident in the security of their print network than they were a year ago, finds Quocirca’s Global Print Security Landscape Report 2023. Only 19% are completely confident that their print infrastructure is protected from security breaches and data losses today, a drop from 23% in 2022. This is despite the fact that organizations are becoming more mature in their approach to print security, with a greater proportion having implemented key protection and policy measures.

Louella Fernandes, Research Director, Quocirca, said: “It is encouraging that organizations are adopting more print security measures and growing in maturity, although this is not fully translating to confidence. With 70% of organizations remaining dependent on print and 68% expecting growth in office print volumes as employees return to the office, work is still needed to ensure that print security gets the right degree of attention. Print-related breach and data loss risk remains high, so businesses must continue working to address gaps. However, our research shows that progress may be impeded by differing perceptions of print security risk between CIOs and CISOs.”

Quocirca’s Print Security Landscape 2023 is based on the views of 507 IT decision makers in the US and Europe. The findings also include:

  • 42% of organizations report suffering a cybersecurity incident in the past year, rising to 55% in mid-market companies and 51% in the finance sector.
  • 61% say they experienced a data loss related to unsecured printing, rising to 63% in the UK and 67% among retail businesses. Although some breaches involve malicious device compromise, many are attributed to human errors such as printouts left in output trays.
  • 39% say it is becoming harder to keep up with print security demands.
  • The average cost of print-related data breaches has risen to £743,000 from £631,915 in 2022
  • 79% expect to increase print security spending over the coming year, rising to 86% in the US, and 85% in professional services and retail organizations.

Approaches to print security are maturing in the US and Europe

Quocirca now classes more than a quarter (27%) of organizations in its research sample as Leaders in its Print Security Maturity Index, a rise from 18% in 2022. These organizations have implemented six or more measures to protect the print infrastructure. A further 59% are Followers who have adopted 2-5 measures and the remaining 15% are Laggards, with only one or no measures in place.

The study reveals regional variations in print security maturity, with the US having a higher proportion of Leaders (31%) than the UK (27%), France (26%), and Germany (18%). Germany has the most Laggards – firms that have implemented one or no measures – at 29%. Company size is also a factor; 30% of firms with more than 1000 employees are Leaders, while only 23% of smaller businesses reach that level.

CIOs and CISOs are disconnected on print security

CIOs and CISOs have differing views on the level of challenge and risk associated with staying ahead of print security issues. CISOs are more positive – only 28% say it has become harder to keep up with print security challenges, compared to 50% of CIOs and an overall average of 39%. Similarly, only 45% of CISOs are concerned about the risk of unsecured printers, compared to 72% of CIOs. These figures indicate that the two key influencers over security and data protection in the enterprise are not aligned in their perception of the risk residing in the print infrastructure.

Louella continues: “Our research identified a significant disconnection between the views of CIOs and CISOs on print security, which may be preventing companies from determining the true level of risk. Independent, in-depth risk assessments are a vital tool to give senior leaders objective evidence of print security gaps across devices and document workflows and enable consensus on the actions needed to protect the enterprise.”

Maturity and MPS adoption relate to levels of reported data losses

Almost half (47%) of print security Leaders reported one or more data losses due to unsecure printing, but this rose to 65% among Followers and 68% among Laggards. Almost two-thirds (63%) of firms operating a mixed fleet reported at least one breach, while only 56% of those operating a standard fleet experienced a breach.

Louella comments: “There is a clear opportunity here for MPS vendors to reduce breach risk by moving clients to a managed, single-vendor fleet. Interestingly, however, users of MPS were more likely to report security breaches than those with no MPS. This may be due to the fact that MPS is more likely to uncover a data breach.”

In fact, MPS users are generally happier with the security capabilities of their supplier than those not using MPS. 39% are very satisfied, compared with 23% of non-MPS users. Satisfaction is much higher in the US (50% very satisfied), and lowest in Germany, where only 17% are very satisfied.

Louella concludes: “As more employees return to the office and the long-term shape of hybrid working unfolds, businesses need to work to improve confidence in print security. Now is an ideal time to draw on the expertise of suppliers and conduct comprehensive print security assessments, allowing organizations can gain the insight they need to address security gaps and move forward with greater certainty.”  

Quocirca’s Print Security Landscape 2023 includes recommendations for buyers and suppliers of print infrastructure and services. It also contains detailed information about the security provision of print vendors Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Ricoh, and Xerox. For a complimentary executive summary and infographic click 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 specializes in analyzing 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 are at the forefront of the rapidly evolving print services and solutions market, trusted by clients seeking new strategies to address disruptive technologies.

Trusted by global industry organizations, 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 program.


SOURCE Quocirca

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