Relevance of cybersecurity in online print industry

Tips from Initiative Online Print Europe

Left to right: Ulrich Schätzl (director Mass Customization of Elanders Print+Packaging Group), Bernd Zipper (CEO of zipcon consulting and chairman of the Board of the IOP), board advisor Sandra Bellof and Roland Keppler (CEO of Onlineprinters GmbH). Courtesy- Initiative Online Print

Artificial intelligence not only brings new technical possibilities, but also redefines the requirements for companies and as such, security concepts must be rethought and redeveloped, feels Initiative Online Print (IOP), an association of the leading small and large online printers in Europe. 

The association, which regularly deals with the topic of cybersecurity, among other things, offers a list of dos and don’ts for the industry.

Current legal issues raised by artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in e-commerce are much more closely linked than one might think at first glance. New technologies such as Apple’s recently introduced glasses or artificial intelligence bring opportunities and risks, but also new tasks for companies because only those who are really familiar with these trendy topics can also protect themselves from the dangers that accompany them.

Preparations for an emergency

Cybersecurity is becoming more and more relevant due to the increasing number of hacker attacks. For the IOP members, it is therefore clear that the topic must be a matter for the CEOs; especially since companies in the online print industry not only have to protect their own company, but also bear responsibility for highly sensitive customer data via their online shops. 

Therefore, it is the duty of every managing director to take the right measures, to inform themselves about their own precautionary needs and, if necessary, to take out an appropriate insurance policy. After all, an attack can quickly threaten the existence of a company, the association says.

Cybercrime will affect every business

Prevention means even more. It can be assumed that every company will become a victim of cybercrime over time — the only question is when and to what extent. According to a recent cybersecurity study by TÜV, 11% of companies in Germany alone were affected by hacker attacks last year. Cyber attacks have not only become more frequent since the war in Ukraine; artificial intelligence is also playing an increasingly important role.

Although there can be no full protection, it is possible to prepare. Checklists can be used, for example, to work out in which business areas the risk is greatest or the potential damage would be highest. For these areas, an emergency plan should first be developed that answers the most important questions in case of an emergency: How do I lock the business premises if the electronic door lock system stops working? How do I inform the employees if the computers have been blocked?

Employees should also be familiarized with the topic through training to increase risk awareness. Negligent short-circuit actions can thus be reduced and the team made aware of incidents and situations that they might otherwise not have considered. Or can you say with certainty that none of your employees would open the door to an IT technician who presents full of conviction that they need to carry out an urgent server update?

Emergency plans and checklists

Preparing for a possible cyber attack is a long process. At the end of this process, there is a checklist tailored to one’s own business that can be worked through in the event of an emergency. Even once this list is in place and the appropriate insurance policies have been taken out, the recommendations for action must be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that they correspond to the current circumstances.

The motto is: inform, exchange, act

Dealing with artificial intelligence and cybersecurity should be at the top of every company’s to-do list. Neither the developers of chatbots nor cybercriminals will take into account the extent to which a company or an entire industry has already dealt with these trends and taken precautions. Only one thing is clear: not taking action out of fear or for cost reasons will not help online printers either – or in the worst case, it will even cost them more than “just” money. This makes it all the more important to develop one’s own strategy for emergencies — and this is best done with the help of sparring partners such as the IOP members are to each other.

The Initiative Online Print member companies represent a total online print-driven market turnover of over 12 billion euros. Together, the members actively promote fair competition in online printing services and the perception of the online print industry as an independent sector in the global printing industry. The IOP sees itself as the mouthpiece of the online print industry and stands for the future viability of the entire print industry.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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