The Importance of Secure Print in the Financial Sector

In February 2016, a printing error in Bangladesh’s central bank led to the stop of an attempted $1 billion financial theft. After realizing that the printer tray, which traditionally held confirmations of SWIFT financial transactions printed overnight was empty, an investigation lead to the discovery that four unauthorized SWIFT messages were sent. These unauthorized messages resulted in an illegal $101 million transfer to the Philippines and Sri Lanka. As a result, stop payment orders were sent to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Bank of New York Mellon, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Pan Asian Banking Corp. in Sri Lanka.  Economies across the world were affected.


While in this instance the printer played only a minor role in the error, other financial breaches can center around a printing error. For example, imagine you step into your local bank and ask to speak to your banker. During your conversation, you ask for a printout of your recent transactions. Your banker pulls up the files, hits print, and collects the files from the main office printer. Unbeknownst to him, his colleague recently printed the mortgage information of her client, and left it on the printer. Your banker hands you the papers, which include the confidential information of the other bank client, including address, social security number, and other personal information needed for a full identity theft.


This example may be small scale, but secure print breaches can be much more extreme. To limit these threats, financial institutions can turn to an authentication solution that ensures data only gets into the hands of its intended user. Single- and multi-function printers can be equipped with an RFID reader that requires the user to authenticate a print job before it is sent to print. Beyond security, these solutions have cost-savings and environmental benefits which include:

  • Security: Limits sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
  • Day-to-Day Cost Savings: Manages paper and ink costs, as well as maintenance costs for efficient cost-savings measures.
  • Overall Cost Savings: Reduce the number of printers in the overall fleet.
  • Flexibility: No more carrying heavy bundles of presentations across country.
  • Going Green: Reduces use of paper and ink.

From large-scale security breaches to unintentional breaches at your local bank, secure print solutions for the financial sector help protect some of the most vulnerable assets.


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