With recent breaches like the Ransomware cyberattack making headlines around the world, it’s no surprise that businesses of every size are more concerned than ever about protecting their most valuable asset – their information.

Typically, it is big business and large enterprises that make the headlines, but that doesn’t mean that small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) aren’t affected. When it comes to SMBs many underestimate the risks to their data, or look for leaks in all the wrong places. A 2016 study carried out by Cyber Streetwise and KPMG revealed that less than a quarter of small businesses perceived cybercrime as a threat. What’s more, many SMBs are losing sensitive information because of simple, avoidable mistakes.

SMBs consider their channel partner to be an expert when it comes to managing their print environment so you need to open their eyes to the risks around them, and help them choose the right products and solutions to minimize that risk.

Starting that conversation can be uncomfortable – here are four unappreciated facts to challenge their perception and help you uncover opportunities where you can protect them from becoming the next big headline.

    • It’s not just a problem for the big guys. As we mentioned earlier, the media typically focuses their attention on the headline grabbing breaches happening at big companies, like the infamous 2013 breach at Target, giving SMBs a false sense of security (pun intended). In reality, security should be a top priority for every business, no matter how big – or small. But in 2015, 43% of all cyberattacks targeted small businesses. It’s a trend that is growing. A survey by Keeper Security and Ponemon Institute found that half of all small businesses in 2016 had experienced a security breach within the past 12 months.
    • Serious risks are hiding in plain sight. Most SMBs will be surprised to learn that everyday office equipment can be the source of a security breach. In fact, a 2016 survey from Coleman Parkes Research found that a shocking 46% of businesses do not include their MFP in their security strategy. As offices increasingly boost their productivity by using connected printers to scan and email documents, the risk of being hacked increases. 70% of organizations have had an accidental data breach through printing1. The total cost of all data breaches (including print breaches) to business is enormous – $400m annually at one estimate. And 60% of breaches can compromise data within minutes.That’s why Xerox’sConnectKey Technology uses McAfee Embedded Security protection to ensure that all of the information that makes its way into a customer’s MFPs remains safe and secure. Wireless keyboards are also an unexpected threat to a business’s security. Make sure your customers understand the importance of using keyboards with built-in encryption.
    • The biggest threats are inside their doors. When you talk about security threats, most customers’ minds will immediately go to nameless, faceless hackers. In reality, a security leak is more likely to come from their own employees, and it’s usually caused by simple human error. Enabling security checkpoints across every employee point of contact will help mitigate that risk. That means securing everything from WiFi, to their website, business-related software (like a CRM or finance management tool), and all of their connected equipment.
      Customers also need to have a comprehensive BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy that outlines their expectations for their staff, and puts the necessary protections in place. Employees expect to be able to print anywhere, anytime, from any device. Solutions like Mobile Print from Xerox make it easy, so that employees won’t be tempted to download and installing unauthorized apps to make cloud printing easier, a scenario which leaves businesses vulnerable to a breach.
    • Paper is a problem. Most customers are surprised to learn that 25% of print jobs are never collected2. They’re even more surprised to discover the security threat this presents, as valuable data – often commercially sensitive, or even confidential – is left in plain sight for anyone to see. Even when print jobs are collected, the threat doesn’t end there. Printed documents need to be stored securely, and unfortunately, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Customers routinely store sensitive information in unsecured filing cabinets, available to anyone, at any time. The more a business prints, the more they store, and so the problem grows. It is a problem that is also negatively impacting productivity. According to a 2016 Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) survey, poor content management practices result in taking too long to find content (62%), duplicated efforts (52%) and insufficient re-use (46%)3. But now you can offer them a better way. With the new Xerox® DocuShare Flex platform, you can help your customers digitize processes such as invoicing, sharing files, editing, efficiently managing business content and storing documents, saving them time and money, while also giving them a much needed security boost.

As a channel partner, your customers are relying on you to help them navigate the security concerns that threaten their business. By sharing your knowledge and guiding them toward the right products and solutions, you can help them protect their sensitive information, and keep their businesses running smoothly.

1. Verizon 2015 data breach investigations report
2. Nuance – Based on Nuance Customer data / Internal Study of Help Desk Calls
3. AIIM: Information Management – State of the Industry 2016, 2016. www.aiim.org

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