Your company has gone to great lengths to protect yourself from cyber threats. You’re being responsible about security, which is the right thing to do in this day and age with all the risk we face from hackers and other ne’er-do-wells. However, you might be overlooking a vulnerability that exists in practically every office, one that puts your network and confidential data at risk. That’s your office printer. Once connected to a network, these venerable devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks like any other connected device. In fact, it may be the most vulnerable piece of equipment in your office. Unfortunately, this vulnerability is often ignored, which is a dangerous practice.
According to security research firm Quocirca’s Global Print Security Landscape, 2019, 60 percent of businesses suffered a print-related data breach in the previous year. Modern printers feature hard drives that store the data from print jobs sent to them. Just as someone hacking your computer can gain access to the files stored on it, a cybercriminal gaining access to your printer can help themselves to any sensitive information stored on its internal hard drive. Documents can also be intercepted during their wireless transmission to a printer. Perhaps most frightening of all, compromised printers can serve as the entry point to your entire network and be used to attack other applications and systems.
Thankfully, there’s no need to give up your printer for the sake of security. There are ways to ensure your printer is secured and no longer a weak link in your cybersecurity strategy. From changing your default printer settings, to regularly updating software and firmware, to encrypting your printed data, to keeping your printer behind a firewall, to isolating your printers on a separate network, to wiping your printer’s hard drive of data when it’s done serving you. Partnering with a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider will also shore up your defenses by turning over the management of your printing fleet to qualified professionals armed with the knowledge and solutions needed to keep your printers and your data safe and sound.
Are your printers the Achilles’ heel of your office? Contact Golden Gate Office Solutions and let us eliminate any vulnerabilities presented by your networked printers.