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What does zero trust mean for your printing?

Security models are changing, but what about your print environment’s security? Let's take a look at the concept of zero trust security and what this means for your printing in the face of sophisticated cyber threats and risks.

Stay secure and trust nobody 

We can all agree that security is imperative for keeping businesses safe and running smoothly. The old gold standard and more traditional security approach used to be “trust but verify”. However, this approach creates significant vulnerabilities as once the attacker has entered the network, they can then move freely throughout the environment as trusted traffic. This lateral movement enables attackers to enter data centers and cloud environments to gain access to high-value information. As with many things, security risks were blown wide open in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses were laser focused on getting staff working remotely and security sometimes took a back seat. In fact, according to reportsthere were over 800,000 attacks a month during the pandemic. Since then, many employees now work from a mixture of locations using various devices. The workforce has shifted to a flexible hybrid model and that shift has been accelerated. Businesses are using what they can to give staff the tools to stay productive and do their job wherever they are. This shift brings with it a whole host of new security challenges. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly skilled and strategic, and the risks of a breach are higher than ever. A change of approach is needed to respond to threats. 
The zero trust approach, created by John Kindervag, simply defaults to: trust nobody. Strict identity verification is required for everyone to gain access whether they are inside or outside of the network. The “never trust, always verify” approach of zero trust ensures users are authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated each time before access is granted to specific applications and data. Using various levels of protection against threats, the zero trust model expects a threat and is ready for it.

Benefits of Zero Trust

Using the damage-limiting approach of zero trust, data and resources are protected while modern flexible working is enabled. There are many benefits of using a zero trust model: 
Enhanced user experience: Using Single Sign-On (SSO) enables users to have to only enter their credentials once, rather than every time they want to use a different application. This enhances productivity, security, and ease of use. 
Increased visibility and control: You can grant access to specific data knowing that only the intended audience will be able to view what has been shared with them. This supports collaboration. You can also monitor and have full visibility of all requests, giving you details of what is actually happening and allowing you to identify any potential compromises. 
Supporting IT and security teams: With continuous monitoring and analysis, access requests can be evaluated automatically, giving your IT teams a break from such arduous and repetitive tasks. Your teams can be more productive and efficient using insights and reports.  
Improved and continuous data protection: This is achieved by limiting what a user can access. Preventing access to everything, zero trust reviews each request to ensure continuous and efficient compliance. 
Secure and seamless support for the hybrid workforce: Zero trust provides effective and continuous security for your workforce, wherever they may be. By using automated authentication, staff may access what they need quickly and without using a VPN. 

Zero Trust printing 

This approach has wide-ranging benefits, particularly for your print environment. Secure printing is vital for the hybrid workplace. Home and external printers may not comply with your policies, and a compromised printer can easily become a vulnerability.  
Using a distributed print infrastructure brings security into question. There is a real need for solutions and services to help organizations improve their print security and reduce risks. Steps must be taken to firm up the security of the print environment, whatever it may look like.  
This is where zero trust comes in. It ensures that the same controls applied to the network are applied everywhere, giving visibility and security regardless of location with advanced authentication and continuous monitoring. This is possible with cloud-based printing.

Ready to support you today 

The journey toward a zero trust print environment requires experts as well as advanced and effective security. With the print environment of the future taking shape today, you need to be ready to ensure you can protect your workers and data. Contact us today and let us show you how you can reap the security benefits of zero trust for yourself.
Jim Wieser
Jim calls New York home and, when not traveling to visit with partners and customers, he enjoys spending time with his family and scuba diving. As a professional scuba diving trainer and master dive instructor, he is literally under water a lot. When he comes up for air, he can tell you a lot about owning his own businesses and his previous work at OpenText, Xerox and Eastman Kodak.
View all posts by Jim Wieser

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