The topic of security has received a lot of attention lately due to the recent hacks of several high-profile companies. It seems like we can’t turn on the news anymore without hearing about a recent hack of our personal or private data. Hacking attacks are on the rise these days, and criminals are looking at just about any entry point they can exploit to gain access to networks with sensitive information.
The hard truth is, printers are no exception, yet many organizations aren't aware of the critical vulnerabilities of their devices. Unprotected printers pose potential security risks for businesses and consumers that connect with them. The bottom line is, organizations can no longer afford to overlook print devices when it comes to their overall IT cybersecurity strategy.
Why are printers so vulnerable?
When companies assess their security threats, they usually focus on PCs and servers and overlook printers because their functionality seems so basic and internal. However, the primary functions of printing and scanning important documents make printers ripe for targeting by cyber criminals in the first place. Companies and individuals often print documents with large amounts of sensitive information, including tax forms, financial statements, medical information, employee data and more.
One way printers can pose a security risk is when the internal hard drives of network printers store previous print jobs in their queues. Someone who accesses the printer may be able to hack into the printer's OS and view those documents, which could contain sensitive information. If queued documents are stored on a built-in hard drive or flash memory, the printer can retain copies of the documents even when the printer has been turned off.
Another risk is that documents could be intercepted during wireless transmission. Many of today's printers, both wireless and wired, can connect directly to the web and have their own embedded web servers. Printer functionality can also include administration and remote control via a website, and if it's not properly secured, an unauthorized person could seize control of the printer from a remote location.
Experts are finding more vulnerabilities.
IT experts are starting to notice increases in security incidents involving printers, according to new data from HP. As outlined in the HP JetAdvantage Security Manager Solution overview, nearly 66% of IT managers now believe their office printers contain some type of malware, and nearly 75% of CIOs expect these devices will be the focal points of data breaches within the next few years.
With these issues in mind, it’s vital for any business to make sure their printers have the latest security software installed, and they stay up-to-date with how to keep devices as secure as possible to avoid security breaches in the future.
The good news is, imageOne can help.
imageOne specializes in helping organizations take control of their document management costs, efficiencies and security.
If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your organizations’ printer security, please schedule a complimentary discovery call.