Frequently, when a prospective buyer contacts Breezy about adding a secure mobile printing solution to their BYOD or EMM solution, we ask them to describe the primary problem that they need to solve. Over time, three primary reasons have emerged.
"Often, someone in IT will tell us that users have been asking for a mobile printing solution, but the CIO wasn't convinced that one was needed until they hit on the right message to convince them of the importance of securing mobile printing," says Prat Agarwal, director of business development at Breezy.
Most large companies and many rapidly growing smaller firms have already made significant investments into BYOD (bring your own device) or EMM (enterprise mobility management) solutions, Agarwal says. "But we hear it over and over again: "We're looking for ways to get higher usage and adoption.""
Consider the case of a company in the financial services, medical or pharmaceutical space where there is significant regulatory pressure to secure, audit, and track mobile usage. "Often, mobile printing is the last place within the enterprise where employees routinely violate company security policies just to get their job done. So the incremental spending on secure mobile printing unlocks the full potential of the investment the company has already made in the productivity and security of their mobile workforce."
The cost of a highly public data breach in terms of the company's reputation and customer confidence can't be overstated. A look at the list of legally required notifications after a data breach is enough to give any CIO nightmares. Companies are required to notify:
Even if the reputation costs can be managed, the hard dollar cost of a data breach are also substantial. The "assumed cost" of a data breach has been estimated at about $188 per file. So a man-in-the-middle attack that uses the "back door" provided by the IoT (Internet of Things) that includes printers, could be huge for a company with thousands (or millions) of records in its databases.
By and large, CIOs view cloud-based applications and BYOD as the starting points for workplace transformation. They're milestones on the road to a more productive, more efficient workplace where costs are linked directly to business priorities " not capital expenditures.
At the same time, according to a blog post by Steve Phillips, CIO of Avnet, "It's the CIOs job to make sure that employees have the tools that they need and want while still ensuring that every device and scrap of Avnet data is accounted for, backed up and secured."
Agarwal says that employee behavior remains the area of mobile security that companies have the most difficulty controlling. He cites a survey done by Harris Interactive that focuses on benign attempts by employees to get the job done that still could potentially expose sensitive corporate data. "Storing files on public cloud storage systems like iCloud or Dropbox, using personal email to send documents to an unsecured computer to print them, or accessing an unsecured public printer network in a business center or copy shop are all too common," he says.
"One of the basic realities facing CIOs is that any security system is only as reliable as the users make it. Employee behavior around mobile printing is a perfect example of this rule in action.
According to two surveys published in the last year or so, employees will print from their mobile devices. If there's no simple, easy way to do it within the company's secure network, they'll take whatever steps they believe are required to get the job done, including:
"These employees are trying to do the right thing by being productive, but can inadvertently leak sensitive data in the process," Agarwal points out. And that's the message that CIO's need to hear when they're being asked to invest in a secure mobile printing solution. "It's about improving regulatory compliance, empowering employees, and mitigating risk."
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