Standard Finishing
4Over

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

You've Been Hacked!

Collapse
CanonKonica Minolta
X
Collapse

  • You've Been Hacked!

    By Noel Ward, Editor @Large

    Well, maybe you haven’t been hacked (that you know of), but chances are one or more of your customers has, whether or not they are willing to admit it.

    I was getting a glass of wine at the One Canon event a few weeks back when Carlos Fernandes the head of Agile Cybersecurity Solutions came up and introduced himself. He asked how familiar I was with the issue of cyber security. I said that to be honest, I’d thought of data security as something important, but not always as a critical consideration for people in the printing business, outside my friends who run transactional service bureaus. Wrong answer.

    I learned more the next day when Mr. Fernandes (whose company is partnering with Canon) took the stage and explained the rather scary fact that many, if not most, U.S. corporations have been hacked in one way or another. We hear about the high profile ones in the news because they involve household name enterprises and millions of records, but most companies are much more vulnerable than most of us realize. Following up on this after the conference I found that data security is something to which every print provider should be paying attention.

    As it happens, I know a fellow who works in data security for IBM, so I talked with him. He agreed with all that Mr. Fernandes said especially the way some hackers operate. The bad guys don’t necessarily attack systems for a one-time raid on end-customer account info and identity theft. That “ex-filtration” of data may come later. More insidious, some of the bad guys install malware that goes after weak points in a corporate network, but remain fast asleep, hidden until needed. I bring it up to provide another thing to keep you awake at 3 AM.

    What can make this bad for print providers is that the data you may be working with for say, a variable content direct mail offer, can be a tad more exposed than you may like, especially when it is being printed. And, because your favorite NexGendigo digital press has its very own IP address, that data may be virtually naked to anyone with the tools to look at it. In many cases this IP address can be an onramp to lots of data that your and your customers would probably prefer to keep close to the vest.

    This vulnerability can be on display in your parking lot. Go outside with your smartphone or laptop and let it look for open networks. You may find that the guy who installed your NexGendigo didn’t bother to put any security on the press’s IP address or simply used a basic password like ‘admin’ or the press model and name of your business. With the right software—readily available on the “Dark Web,” access to much or all of your entire computer system can be gained through your printer. It is not necessarily simple but hackers, well they just slurp another Red Bull, inhale a new slice of pizza and crack your system.

    Various security programs offer ways to deal with this, usually by adding varying levels of encryption and security. Some, like uSecure from Transformations, keep the security fully in place even when a job is being printed. That particular tool is aimed at data centers and service bureaus that work with financial, insurance and healthcare data, rather than the average commercial shop, but in an age of security paranoia that level of protection has a certain allure. I’m just guessing here, but as a printer who may handle various forms of private data, you probably don’t want your systems to be easily accessed.

    Mr. Fernandes referred me to some of his extensive writing on these topics so I tapped into a trove of his work to find some key points to share. The first thing is what he terms “precognition” or forecasting future events based on historical patterns and knowledge. At first glance it seems like smoke and mirrors but it actually leverages technologies the bad guys use and even how they think, to identify ways that can stop them from doing things you’d rather didn’t happen.

    Within precognition Mr. Fernandes includes Predicting, or understanding threat potential; Preventing, or actively blocking intrusion into your systems or data; and moreover, doing this all Persistently because no attempted attack or intrusion is likely to be the only one. If they get in once your shop becomes low hanging fruit, and they’ll be back.

    It used to be that business owners worried about protecting their building and the contents. That’s still important and is the easy thing for which to buy insurance. But digital assets—yours and those of your customer for which you may be responsible—are often far more valuable. When is comes to digital security, you have to decide what you stand to lose if you don’t protect your digital assets.
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Categories

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Finishing Is Not An Afterthought
      MyWildIrishProse
      AccuLink’s Engineered Workflow Leverages Standard Finishing’s Automated Finishing Solutions
      by Sean O’Leary

      When long time trade printer AccuLink got the recommendation from Dscoop, Tom O’Brien understood right away it was going to be a game changer.

      One of the world’s largest digital print and design communities, the Dscoop organization links HP digital PSPs with designers, creatives and users. So when a major personalized print products company was looking...
      08-22-2018, 02:29 PM
    • Xeikon Café: Sharing Ideas and Experiences
      noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      Just about all the major equipment and software vendors these days hold annual events to connect with customers and prospects, talk about new technologies, and try to bring a personal touch to what can otherwise be a somewhat distant relationship. These shindigs span the globe, take on all formats and some are decidedly better than others. I’ve been to many of them over the years and have found some are crafted to address the needs of customers. Which, you’d...
      08-01-2018, 08:49 AM
    • Bringing the Bling
      MyWildIrishProse
      Duplo Taps Into Tactile With A New Digital Spot Coater
      By Sean O’Leary

      As printing markets continue to morph and mature, some existing choices disappear while new opportunities simultaneously arise. While there is no question there is an abundance of stress in the 21st Century printing world, it is also equally evident that things are as interesting as they ever have been for those of the intrepid and innovative persuasion.

      To thrive in this hypercompetitive new environment,...
      06-21-2018, 09:29 AM
    • How to Stop Chasing Color and Increase Profitability
      noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      Chances are, you’re seeing more and more jobs that require full color—it may be even most of the ones coming in, given the rapid increase in digital short-run printing. With that demand comes the need for color consistency, reliability and predictability, so you have to set and satisfy customer expectations for how colors will look on the printed page. And that is not always easy. Some familiar color reproduction challenges include:
      • Repeatability (matching
      ...
      06-08-2018, 02:10 PM
    • You, the Tax Man and Section 179
      noelward
      By Noel Ward, Editor@Large

      Owners of small to mid-size businesses—meaning just about any type of print provider—know first-hand how tough it can be to keep a business profitable and moving forward. You’re always looking to get the most favorable returns on every deal and you try not to leave any money on the table. And when it comes to taxes, it’s especially important to know how to work the rules. And right now, one of the best of the bunch is called Section 179. Your tax guy...
      06-05-2018, 08:12 AM
    • SGIA and NAPCO Media Engineer an Inclusive Trade Event for an Evolving Market
      MyWildIrishProse
      Sean O’Leary




      In October 2019, the Specialty Graphics & Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media will launch Printing United, a trade show and conference envisioned to reflect the dynamics of a convergent printing industry. The move is the most recent development in a process, first announced in February, that began with a split between Printing Industries of America (PIA) and the Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies...
      05-10-2018, 07:55 AM
    Working...
    X