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Improving Printer Security: Understand the Vulnerabilities of Network Printers

2 min read

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Here's what you need to know about the dangers of printer hacking

Understanding the vulnerabilities posed by network printers is key to improving your printer security and protecting your business. Printer security is often a forgotten component of a network security strategy. While you might never leave a printed, confidential document in a shopping center food court, unsecured network printers can produce similar outcomes—leaving your confidential data exposed to anyone who wants to access it. In fact, network printers can be vulnerable to being hacked or infected with malware—making it possible for cyber criminals to access saved documents and other sensitive information, even send print jobs and spam. The risk is even greater now that many companies have employees working from home—all too frequently an unsecured, or under-secured environment. That's exactly why network printer security protocols are essential to your business.

Protecting your company equipment from the dangers of printer hacking

A recent report from IDC found that more than half of companies surveyed had experienced a security breach in the past year that included print security. In spite of all we know about the realities of network printers and vulnerability to cyber attack, HP reports that only 16% of the people they surveyed recently view printers as a high risk for a security breach. More, only an estimated 2% of network printers are secure. The mass migration to working from home has accelerated the need for a thoughtful, strategic approach to protecting company assets and shielding devices used by remote workers from attack.

What's at stake is profound. First, company resources will be required to address any print security breach, drawing staff away from primary responsibilities and revenue-generating opportunities. Some companies, particularly those highly regulated industries can face fines and penalties in the wake of a breach. And there is the immeasurable cost to your brand's reputation and your company's perceived trustworthiness to clients and prospects.

Signs it's time to secure your print infrastructure

With all of these risks and potential inefficiencies in mind, what are the signs it's time for you to examine the security of your print infrastructure? Here are a few that tend to raise this need to the forefront.

  1. The organization experiences a security breach that involves a network print device.
  2. The company experiences other compliance concerns related to their print infrastructure
  3. The organization is seeking to standardize security protocols across the organization.
  4. The organization is seeking ways to trim costs and discover IT efficiencies.
Benefits of a comprehensive print security solution

The benefits of having a comprehensive print security solution in place are many. Printer-related security breaches are shown to drop six-fold. Often businesses realize printing behavior is changed among staff, reducing printing demand and associated costs, including toner, ink and paper costs. Staff time to support your print devices often decreases by half. In addition, you'll gain increased understanding of how printing is being used within your organization, and those insights can fuel future decisions. More, you can reduce unnecessary print equipment and remove out of date devices, which can sometimes fly under the radar while exposing your organization to risk.

The dangers of printer hacking are clear, and the solution is improving printer security. When you're ready to move toward better security even in the age of remote work, we can help. Contact us to learn about how we can assist your transition to improving your printer security, and protecting your organization's network from the risks off printer hacking.

 

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