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Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.
Microsoft Print Spooler Vulnerability

Financial Institutions and Their Many Challenges

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Over four decades in business, we’ve served thousands of customers in just about every industry. Each has its own set of challenges, but the financial services sector may just be the most complex of all. Why? Although every business has obstacles to overcome, it’s not too often that a single business has to tackle so many challenges simultaneously. In financial institutions, however, it’s not at all uncommon.

For example, many of our financial customers not only have to overcome document-related process and technical hurdles, they need to maintain compliance with strict laws regarding information access and data transfer at the same time. When issues occur, it causes an array of problems that must be resolved in short order. Recently, we received a call from such a bank with just such an urgent request.

Before discussing that specific customer, let’s stop and think about the typical needs of any financial institution. In many years of work with this vertical, we’ve learned that the top three problems involve data loss protection, data security, and cost reduction. But lately, we’ve noticed a fourth area of concern: mobile access to data. Gone are the days when customers visited banks in person; today, bank employees are expected to offer most banking services remotely (read this article from my colleague Eva for a good example). These changes have added another layer of complexity to the way financial services institutions conduct their business. On top of everything else, they now must support flexibility in where and how confidential customer data is accessed, processed, and printed.

We recently had an urgent customer situation at a global financial corporation. They had conducted an internal audit, which uncovered the potential for an embarrassing data breach. Obviously, this unacceptable situation needed to be addressed and resolved quickly. It was a true “all hands on deck” situation.

Often, when large corporations like this customer approach us for help with a pressing issue, they maintain a singular focus on that specific problem. That’s understandable, but we often find that during the process of solving one problem, we find other issues that could be addressed with little additional time or expense. In fact, sometimes solving those “extra” problems can generate significant savings. This willingness to think beyond the immediate has earned us a lot of credibility as a partner.

In this specific financial institution, we provided the compliance team a way to monitor and control all output that was printed by employees from their workstations. After implementing LRS software, every time a user printed a document, a copy of that print job was captured and stored in an electronic repository for audit purposes. But during the process of implementing this solution, LRS and customer staff noticed that their original environment required two separate solutions for printing and scanning, which were heavily reliant on print servers. Jackpot!

This discovery led to a server consolidation effort resulting in the elimination of 90 (!) print servers and related components. The new, simplified LRS environment offered a single solution for all print and document scan activity, which the IT department could manage from a single interface. The reduced administration overhead and elimination of unnecessary infrastructure saved both time and money.

In the end, we were able to fulfill the original requirement presented by this financial institution. But going the extra mile resulted in unexpected cost savings. Our solution for the original document security requirement — including content audit capabilities — worked seamlessly with the print and scan solution. This hand-in-glove integration minimized the risk of a security breach during document capture and output delivery processes.

Cases like these are not uncommon, and we’re proud of our field teams’ ability to resolve security and compliance issues. In some situations, financial institutions come to us after having been issued warnings for violating one or more data security protocols. Organizations in such a predicament need to secure their systems ASAP or face severe penalties for being in breach of data confidentiality laws. We understand this urgency, yet always look for opportunities to deliver additional benefits.

Whatever the reason for opening up a particular can of worms, everyone is always happy to see the lid get closed again. Both LRS and our customers do whatever is needed to ensure a stable and secure IT infrastructure that can support the changing needs of end users. And whatever the customer challenge, LRS offers a wide range of solutions to enhance security, improve efficiency, and generally improve print processes. Especially for customers with complex environments. We like a challenge!

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