May 31, 2019

10 common printer security risks and how to solve them

You may not think it – but your company printers could be a huge breach of your security and data protection responsibilities. ABC Managed Services have the solution.

Today’s printers have made an evolutionary leap from the office equipment we used even five years ago. Modern printers have many of the functions of your laptop computer – with the additional feature that they can print.

For many of us, the days of having a printer on the table that our desktop computer was tethered-to by a cable, are long gone. Instead, most offices now have a central printer, or bank of printers, that everyone can send print jobs to, wirelessly.

Yet, we tend not to think of printers, when we’re considering data security.

You should! Think about the features of a computer that you need to secure, then think about your online printers in the same way.

The Printer turned laptop

When you send a document to be printed, wirelessly, you are opening it up to all the same security issues you can experience on your computer, or your phone.

If it is not properly and robustly secured – your printer fleet can be vulnerable to attack by:

• Hackers attempting to disrupt your business.

• Competitors snooping on your sensitive commercial traffic.

• Fraudsters wanting to steal identities and secrets.

• Disgruntled ex-employees determined to undermine your reputation.

GDPR – Getting Data Protection Right

All of the new GDPR regulations – boasting fines higher than Mount Everest – apply just as much to your printers as to your computers, storage and mobile devices.

Here are just some of the weak-points you may have in your existing printer setup.

BIOS and Firmware: Compromised and out-of-date firmware can leave a device and network vulnerable to attack.

Control Panel: Canny operators can change settings and exploit device functions, unless the device is carefully monitored.

Input Tray: Special media – such as watermarked paper – can be tampered with or stolen.

Mobile Printing: Employees, out in the field, can expose data to security vulnerabilities by printing on unsecure devices.

Multi-Function:  Unsecured MFP (multi-function printers) can be exploited to send data anywhere.

Network: Jobs -and sensitive documents – can be intercepted enroute to and from a device in an unsecure network.

Output Tray:Uncollected items are vulnerable, anyone can see them or take them.

Ports: Unsecured ports (whether it be USB connectors or network access) can put the device’s security at risk.

Scanner: Sharing functions like scan-to-cloud or scan- to-email can be vulnerable to exploitation.

Storage: The printer stores the information it prints or scans – this can be insecure.

HP Security Solutions

ABC work with HP to ensure that security is fitted as standard in any and all of our printer systems. It’s like you get a free security guard with every printer system.

ABC and HP can protect both your devices and data with some of the most powerful tools on the market today. These include:  

HP SureStart: Which checks BIOS integrity with every start-up, self-diagnoses and self-heals any vulnerabilities.

HP Secure White Listing: Our devices will only load validated and known firmware.

HP Run time Intrusion Detection: Constant self-monitored for malicious attacks, any incursion is immediately flagged-up to SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management).

Download free guide to printer security

Protect your Printers, Strengthen your Security

Here at ABC Managed Services, we’re HP’s premier UK partner – so you know you’ll get the best, most consistent service, featuring the most up-to-date software and state-of-the-art solutions.

If you’d like us to help you find a printer solution that can save you money, time, resources – and shore up your security – get in touch.

Email, or ring us on 0333 016 3036 or fill in the form and we’ll contact you.

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Toni Gibiino

Toni is the Marketing Director at ABC Managed Solution. The digital, sales enablement and strategic partnership expert, excels in digital transformation of business.