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Office security risks discussed

November 24, 2016

Focussing too much on small things in the office increases the risk of a cyber attack.

Printer-security reported that in the UK there is an ongoing battle against cybercrime, and that data security is a high priority, but that due to the shortage of “skilled employees” the answer to reducing risks may “lie in intelligent budgeting and resource management”.

A research project conducted with 500 IT managers showed that they are being “distracted by a steady stream of requests for low-value support”, meaning that the time and money spent on high level tasks like “ensuring data security” was being reduced, and that time spent by IT staff performing “low-skilled tasks such as changing printer cartridges and troubleshooting low level hardware and software issues” is costing £4.2 billion ($5.2 billion/€4.9 billion) a year.

These tasks should be “evaluated” and condensed to “allow skilled employees to service other areas of the business”. Cybercrimes are proven to be of real concern to businesses, and in the second quarter of 2016 “four in five FTSE 100 companies were victim to potentially malicious domain registration”, where fake websites were set up to “trick users into providing private data”, and the recent publicity concerning data breaches by Yahoo, TalkTalk and Tesco Bank has caused “reputational and financial damage” to those affected.

74 percent of IT managers said they “do not believe their company is doing enough” to prevent cyber attacks”, and 81 percent “want more time and resources to devote to cyber and data security”, while four in 10 say that they are overstretched. The shortage of IT skills is an ongoing issue and will get worse as the “demand for digital experience grows”.

A recent government report added that “systemic problems with education and training need to be urgently addressed”, and “predicted that the UK will need another 740,000 workers with digital skills in 2017”. Low-level tasks need to be outsourced either to external businesses or delegated to junior members of staff, freeing up IT staff for more important jobs, but IT managers said “they would like greater control over IT-related outsourcing decisions”.

Using services like MPS can save money and “free up” senior staff as well as improve security data, while improving the organisation’s environmental footprint. There are still 75 percent of businesses that are “unaware of their printing costs”, which MPS can reduce by a quarter as well as freeing up staff for other tasks. Print Me and Follow Me are software programmes that require PIN codes at the printer, which prevents sensitive documents being left in the tray.

The article concluded that skilled IT professionals need to be freed up from low-key tasks to do the job they are best at, minimising cyber attacks and risks to security, and they must be “allowed to act alongside finance and procurement teams to make intelligent outsourcing decisions – only then can the cyber threat be adequately addressed”.


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