Part two of three
By Cassandra Balentine
Security is an area that print providers should consider. So, how does this come into play when dealing with print management information systems (MIS)? And, are cloud-based options more of a threat?
Matt Prusa, director of sales, Avanti and Print MIS, Software & Strategic Solutions, Ricoh U.S.A., for one, believes that data security is more of a perceived concern than an actual concern when it comes to cloud-based MIS. He suggests that business may be more at risk with self-hosted solutions.
“Data security as a whole has become complex,” shares Adam Witek, VP of operations, Print Reach. He stresses that cloud-based print MIS offers greater built-in security features, increased encryption—both in transit and at rest, while minimizing the risks for print/mail shops. “With on-premise, print MIS and infrastructure, the responsibility falls to the print/mail shops to protect their sensitive data.”
The responsibility to handle security is something some print providers are comfortable with. “For security, you are able to install extra data protection tools to data and programs based on an on-premises system rather than in a cloud-based one,” suggests Jack J Lafler, VP sales/technical services, HiFlow. “You decide on the configuration, the upgrades, and system changes. In other words, you, the company owner have more control and more options with a server-based, on-premise system.”
He adds that he does not feel security is as much an issue in either the server- or cloud-based systems. “It all depends on what cloud service you choose, what firewall you choose, and how they are maintained. A well maintained and updated security firewall whether on premise or in the cloud is the best defense to today’s security threats.”
“Data security is still a concern with poorly managed cloud software. Print shops have no real access to know if the software provider has set up security measures and backups to protect their cloud servers from data loss, hacks, etc. It is always good to opt for software that is certified by globally recognized organizations such as ISO, GDPR compliance, etc.,” cautions Vikash Bardia, sales director, PrintPLANR.
Tony Tarpey, COO, PressWise by Smartsoft, points out that security is a top priority for its company. “Our cloud hosting provider combines best-of-breed hardware/software, proven processes, policy management tools, and experienced security engineers for the 24/7 protection of IT infrastructure. Each PressWise system is hosted on a completely isolated server hosted in a top-tier SSAE 16 Type-II datacenter in one of four locations across the U.S. on a single tenant, Linux-based server. Single tenancy means each PressWise system serves only one customer so there is no sharing going on between your system and another client’s PressWise system.”
When payment processing comes into the conversation, security concerns are a primary consideration.
“The most critical point of payment processing is security, for both businesses and consumers. Choosing a processor that offers PCI compliance, tokenization, and can also manage all points of transaction—from walk-in print buyers to the checkout page of your website—means that your customers’ data goes to the same place, lessening connections and breaches,” notes Wtiek.
The good news is that most often, payment processing and security are part of a cloud-based package.
“Having a hosted cloud-based solution allows for experts to make sure these solutions are private and secure. Constant updating of software to keep the required security up to date is crucial,” says David Graves, sales and marketing manager, Aleyant.
“We do not offer payment processing software. With all of the third-party financial software on the market it is not necessary and we can integrate to any of them. These third-party choices that specialize in payment processing and security are far superior to anything that can be offered in an MIS,” explains Lafler.
Bardia agrees, commenting that payment processing is not a standard offering within print MIS, but happens more though integration with industry-leading payment gateway providers, which allows a print provider’s customers to accept payments from their customers. “To establish secure connections, the APIs are encrypted and always use HTTPS and TLS to ensure secure channels,” he explains.
Print providers should always consider security when handling customer data, whether it is hosted in the cloud, on premise, or a mix of both.
Read part one of this series.
Apr2023, DPS Magazine