Data Security for Print


Ok, how can you have data security for something that is going to be printed and most likely sent out to everyone/anyone. The truth is it is not about what is printed for the most part but rather the Users data as they order that piece of print and thereafter and how/where that data is then stored. So, while we may just need to dip into a website to order some must have product, we are already very used to entering our most valuable details in order to achieve our goal (name/address/bank details maybe even DoB). Most of us never even know where that data is being stored or who has access to it.  [I tried to put a question in here and answer it at the end, maybe too complex your way better]

For decades now rather annoying IT people have been telling us to change our passwords, recent formats often require numbers and special characters, just to make it even harder for us to remember, then they force to us do this periodically in order to stop us having the same password for all our accounts and devices – surely this is just to make our lives harder and worse. Actually no, despite online fraud being a regular thing in the news these days most of us believe it will never happen to us, they are (and we know this) genuinely trying to protect us and the business they support.

Twenty years ago it was all about your phone/fax number, if it got out then you would be bombarded with texts and who did not arrive into an office with no fax paper due to all the meaningless adverts sent through during the night. Since then it has been email junk with more and more dodgy links to nasty sites and .exe links that will only do harm to your network security.

The real problem though is that as our technology progresses at an ever-increasing rate, so has the methods used by unscrupulous people to steal our details or worse, in using our simple mistake as an access point to hold our businesses to ransom (this happens a lot more than you may realise). It is in the victim’s interest for you to never hear about this should it happen.

So print, how do these security issues come across to our industry, as always if we want to print something for general consumption, then there is nothing to worry about in regard to the actual printed matter as it is going out into the world, nothing has really changed, however if it is a DM (Direct Mail) campaign or some internal targeted work, then we need to be sure that only the identified recipients are going to see it. We can either painstakingly and rather costly create each job/version ourselves, encrypt it and send to a responsible printer manually or we can utilise the right online platform to facilitate this, saving time, cost and increasing accuracy/security.

It is estimated that 60-70% of print is now online both B2B (most effected by online change with ERP/CRM applications) and B2C, as the pandemic has driven Digital Transformation to what is now the ‘New Normal’ after long periods of being locked down but expected to work (for some of us) remotely. In going online it meets our fundamental requirement “convenience”, we can order what we want, when we want as many are not working normal hours or going into the office. So by going to a website or into a Web2Print portal to support that much desired convenience your details are stored, and while not all of those details can do harm, some can. But also you have a right to ensure you know what is happening to those details (your data) and that they are being managed in a responsible way, enter GDPR. I think GDPR has been discussed enough by many who are better informed so for the purpose of this article I wanted to keep it light, I will only summarise that while GDPR maybe a pain, it ultimately is a good thing for us all giving us some much needed protection and reassurances.

Killer question for any print provider or print customer – where is that data stored, knowing the Web2Print market well and the solutions available here in Europe, I can confirm that it is either in Eastern Europe (Moldova/Ukraine (Slava Ukraine)/Belarus), Asia (India/Pakistan) or in some cases as with Vpress in Europe it is here in the U.K. under regulated data security. This is not so much to bang the Vpress drum here but to highlight that it as is everyone’s right know WHERE that data is stored and companies have the responsibility of securing this data and making sure there are no privacy breaches.

SO, where is our/your customers Web2Print data sorted then? For Vpress users all the data is stored in a UK based server regulated under ‘The Data Protection Act 2018’. Where is your data stored?

For twenty years Vpress have been providing cutting edge solutions to the print market globally. Being U.K. based it provided us with having in-depth knowledge  of our industry and the benefits that automation and online offer in order to make print a sustainable and available medium to interact with.

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