Is Printer’s Security Overlooked?

Printer & Multifunction printers (MFPs) can be the weakest link in the IT security, don’t overlook it.

When it comes to IT security, most business professionals today still follow the traditional definition of IT security and focus on protecting computer systems from the theft or damage. But, the thing they fail to notice is that smartphones, tablets and PCs are not the only devices on networks that can compromise critical infrastructure. There are many more.

In business circles, it is often acknowledged that the human intervention (intruder) can risk company’s data knowingly or unknowingly. Human fraud, malicious attacks, spam, DOS attacks, etc. are given more importance than the major vulnerabilities within Internet-of-Things devices, such as – Printers.

Weakest link in the security

The printer is an essential piece of equipment in any business. But it’s easy to forget about it until one actually needs it or it stops working abruptly. These fringe devices, or peripherals, can pose the greatest security risk as they’re not usually managed with nearly the same security protocols and standards as other devices in the IT networks. For this reason alone, they’re an appealing target for hackers and other malicious attacks.

According to research firm Quocirca, 63 percent of businesses surveyed admit to experiencing one or more print-related data breaches. However, only around half (59 percent) of companies surveyed by the Ponemon Institute say print security is important to their business processes. Most of the security policies which are adopted by businesses don’t cover printing as basic asset.

How printing can leave businesses vulnerable to costly attacks?

It is believed that when company opt IT security, the senior management is almost 40-50 percent more likely to be involved in decision-making for overall IT security than for print security. This lack of attention can leave businesses vulnerable to costly attacks from inside and outside their organizations.

Apart from IT professionals overlooking print security, the other top reason of contributing to losing valuable data via printer could be employees with risky printing habits, unsafe disposal of sensitive documents and most obvious underestimating the role of printers in IT network security.

Even when businesses understand the vulnerabilities, creating a complete printing security strategy can be complicated. For example, there are more than 200+ configurations and security-related settings in the typical MFP. Securing devices require coordinated protection of hardware and software, plus comprehensive monitoring and management solutions.

Printing is here to stay, protect it!

We are living in the 21st century – a digital era. An increasing number of companies are heading towards digital channels. However, the importance of printing is still high and is not going anywhere soon. Many of our personal as well corporate work is still paper dependent. For example, passport application, appointment, govt. docs etc.

Printing devices should be protected through a number of security controls, including user authentication safeguards, hard drive encryption and clearly defined security protocols and policies. Also, keep in mind that it’s not just the devices themselves that are a concern, but the documents and the information they contain. You need to control not only that is able to access the printer network, but minimize the chances of documents and data falling into the wrong hands.

Lastly, as technology continues to advance and computer networks grow bigger and more complex, more robust and sophisticated print security solutions are needed to manage all connected devices. Working with a MPS provider can help in giving the full visibility to organization needs for comprehensive printer monitoring, maintenance and security.

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With WeP’s Managed Printing Solutions, organizations can reduce cost associated with printing and copying, overcome IT staff pain points and reduce staff time in managing and supporting imaging devices, improve the level of support to end users, Focus on other business critical priorities and contribute to environmental objectives.

WeP provides innovative solutions focused on making document management and paperwork-heavy business processes in offices and public authorities more efficient, effective and economic. Their solutions ensure document security, productivity and sustainability. Transform MPS with WeP, by visiting website URL.


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