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KYOCERA arms customers in the cybersecurity fight

James Chantler, Product Marketing Manager – Software and Solutions at KYOCERA Document Solutions, spoke to PrintIT Reseller about the launch of KYOCERA SecureAudit, a solution that allows users to quickly and easily identify potential security weaknesses within their printers

The development of Secure Audit was a direct result of the upcoming GDPR

Thought to be a world first, KYOCERA SecureAudit is designed to help organisations better manage the risks posed by complex cyber threats to corporate networks and adapt to strict data protection safeguards required by the forthcoming introduction of the GDPR next May.

Developed in the UK by the OEM’s product development team, it provides a simple method for users to scan their KYOCERA MFP for any potential vulnerabilities, such as devices set with default admin passwords and open ports, flagging any weak spots.

KYOCERA SecureAudit will be offered within the OEM’s suite of application software, powered by HyPAS. Developed around real business needs and challenges, there are now a number of off-the-shelf or custom-built HyPAS apps, many of which are available free of charge or on a trial basis to customers.

Chantler said that the company has launched SecureAudit as part of its ongoing drive to do the right thing by its customers. Just like other IoT devices, printers are now connected to the internet as well as corporate networks creating a massively expanded threat surface. Without adequate protection, cyber-attacks can easily gain access to unencrypted and other (personal) data available across entire IT networks.

Weak spot in security

Now, more than ever, security is paramount for any business. Recent research by Quocirca estimates that of the millions of business printers in the world, only two per cent are secure. The study confirms print and document data management infrastructure is a weak spot in security, with 63 per cent of businesses surveyed experiencing one or more print-related data breaches.

“The development [of SecureAudit] was a direct result of the upcoming GDPR and the recent increase in stories about printer hacking. We quickly identified that an easy to use app could really help advice customers on best practice when setting up a device on a network,” Chantler explained.

“When it comes to the security of our devices in particular, there is a great deal of noise being made in the industry and even a certain degree of fear-mongering,” he added. “At KYOCERA, we want to be an advisor to our customers, giving them the tools which will enable them to make informed decisions when it comes to protecting their devices, rather than scaring them with stories of what will happen if they don’t.”

According to Chantler, MFPs and printers are often installed without anyone thinking about how many devices still have the default admin password; have all ports open, even if they do not intend to use them; and have documents saved to the hard drive, but not encryption.

“Historically, these kinds of questions have not been asked, but SecureAudit helps busy IT administrators easily identify possible vulnerabilities like these and then gives them access to advice on how to overcome them,” he said.

SecureAudit can be sold in a number of ways depending on the opportunities that present themselves.

“It can be simply installed on a device and an administrator can run the application. This may then form the policy for all other devices,” Chantler explained, adding: “Another option is to include this as part of a device audit, provided the end-user is running compatible KYOCERA devices. The application can then be run and recommendations made from the results.”

Positive reception

The application has only been available for a few weeks, but Chantler confirmed that the company has several partners evaluating the product (with positive feedback) and some end-user installs are scheduled. “The reception has been very positive. Security is such a key topic for end-users at the moment and the launch of SecureAudit has not only raised awareness in the channel, but has also confirmed to many that we are taking this topic seriously and that we want to work with our partners and their customers to ensure they consider all of their security options,” he said.

The imminent arrival of extensive potential fines, of either four per cent of turnover or Ä20 million, imposed by the impending GDPR is a huge incentive for organisations to sort out print security now. “Data and printing go hand in hand and so it only stands to reason that a regulation which will transform the way organisations think about personal data should also transform the way that they think about print,” said Chantler. “By adding SecureAudit to our existing security measures, we are providing businesses with greater peace of mind that they are doing everything they can to ensure data security.”

KYOCERA offer various print, scan and copying security apps helping print and document management to be cyber secure. Biometric identification and user authentication such as Net Manager, which only releases print jobs once a user has identified themselves at an MFP, data encryption, data overwriting processes and automatic deletion processes are examples of the measures available to certify security.