In light of new threat vectors and emerging digital communications, corporate data is often an easy target for cybercriminals. And that means, the rising tide of data breaches isn’t about to subside any time soon.
Okay, no surprises there. But what might be more surprising are the players that attempt to resolve the problem.
Printing and imaging firm Lexmark International, Inc. is taking a stab at security and compliance niches with the launch of a Security Content Monitor system, a tool that attempts to distinguish itself by automatically tracking and auditing sensitive information.
Specifically, the solution aims to address the groundswell of data breaches that occur via a myriad of compromised communications. And to that end, Lexmark hopes to gain ground in new security markets by extending protection to data housed on a variety of its own digital communications such as scanners, fax machines and copy machines, with capabilities that allow partners to effectively track and audit data in order to prevent it from exiting the organization.
That means new areas of opportunity for the channel to make a giant leap from hardware offerings to security solutions services — particularly around data protection — which at the end of the day, allows them to stay more relevant to accommodate shifting market tides.
The solution also helps pave the way for Lexmark partners already servicing industry verticals such as healthcare and education markets, to delve deeper with existing practices by starting conversations and introducing solutions and services around compliance.
Meanwhile, Lexmark’s concept for content monitoring — if not entrance in the security market altogether — has merit. Let’s face it – many organizations have some kind of data protection solution in place, such as encryption or more extensive data loss prevention mechanisms. Despite this, dozens of data breaches regularly grace the news headlines – and that’s usually not including hundreds more that affect SMBs and smaller organizations.
According to a June “Information Security Data Breach Report,” issued by the Privacy Association, the number of records breached from Q4 2011 to Q1 2012 increased by 35 percent, while the average number of records per breach increased 39 percent during that same time period. And most organizations, average post-breach costs totaled around $8 million.
The increasing risk around confidential data has given rise to a governance risk and compliance (GRC) niche and numerous dedicated solutions that have grown in fits and starts as regulatory compliance mandates have become more enforceable.
But now it’s also a niche that Lexmark hopes to crack, and could likely help expand. Specifically, the content monitoring system captures and collects information extracted from documents through an enterprise content management (ECM) system. It then provides access to electronic versions of documents exactly as they were copied, scanned, e-mailed or faxed, and sends proactive alerts that continuously searches and identifies content passing through the ECM system.
The solution also breaks into compliance niches by providing support for a myriad of compliance regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley and the Data Protection Act.
“Lexmark has deep industry expertise in markets such as healthcare, government, manufacturing and finance, where the management of sensitive and confidential information is critical to success in both day-to-day operations and interactions between these organizations and their customers, clients and users,” said Marty Canning, Lexmark executive vice president and president of imaging solutions and services.
At the end of the day, the solution underscores the growing alarm, if not panic, around data protection, attributed in part, to compliance regulations that are more easily enforceable. And resulting financial and other penalties have enabled organizations to feel the sting of non-compliance more keenly.
But moreover, the solution also calls out the fact that data protection solutions aren’t always doing their job, which have forced organizations to look elsewhere and at alternative solutions. And that’s where Lexmark hopes to make an entry.
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