Cybersecurity Awareness In the Printing Industries: Variable Data and Direct Mail Enterprises


Document ID: 
Dr. Carl Blue and Dr. Charles Weiss


Digital, Non-Member: 
Photo, Member: 
Photo, Non-Member: 


The variable data printing (VDP), and direct mail (DM) markets are witnessing impressive growth due to its high adoption rate and rise in digitalization. This continuing trend toward designing and delivering individualized mail and targeted printed materials is dependent on accessing computer databases of personal, demographic, and geographical information. This increasing reliance on computer databases by these data controllers and data processors heightens the need for comprehensive approaches in expanding data security awareness and mitigating risk. In VDP and DM operations where production controls were relatively insecure in the past, there is now a heightened need for developing approaches to mitigating risk and implementing comprehensive contingency plans for responding to data breaches in these highly competitive industries. Furthermore, our educational centers associated with the diversity of graphics industries are encouraged to implement curriculum on security awareness and training for secure data management. Academic programs that ignore these dangers of not implementing security awareness are putting their students' reputations and future employers at a disadvantage. The goal of this report is to bring cybersecurity awareness to the graphics industry and those in academia on the increasing need for knowledge of the risks involved in keeping data secure.

This paper has been developed by two faculty members collaborating on data security in the variable data printing and direct mail services. This work includes a shared focus on developing curriculum and educating students for careers in the graphics industry. It also includes working with industry partners in enhancing their variable data printing and direct mail services. This collaboration links the scholarly pursuits of those connected to the graphics industry with those in the information security of an increasing need for awareness of the risks involved in keeping data secure. With the increase of data breaches across the spectrum of industries and organizations that compile and use data, a heightened awareness of the risks involved in keeping data secure is the goal of this paper.

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