Secure Printing Solutions
Even though security threats are increasing every day, there are still blindspots that are being ignored by IT teams.
Is your printer fleet a back door for hackers?
In a recent *survey conducted by Spiceworks, printers are the source of an increasing number of security threats. Today, a printer is 68% more likely to be the source of an external threat or breach than it was in 2016; it is 118% more likely to be the source of an internal threat or breach. Yet only 30% of IT pros recognise that printers pose a security risk, perhaps hanging on to the legacy perception that printers are safe inside the perimeter of the network.
Printers are an easy target
In an era where new security threats emerge every hour, a printer can make for an easy target. Modern printers are essentially advanced, specialised network hosts, and should be given the same level of security attention as traditional computers. According to IDC, “Most printers have broad access to an internal network. An attacker who compromises a printer can have unfettered access to an organisation’s network, applications, and data assets”. It is essential to start addressing the risks unsecured printers pose to your broader IT infrastructure and overall company risk and governance.
What does an under-protected network printer look like?
- It is not ‘hardened’and therefore left wide open to a wide range of network protocols.
- It requires no access controls (even setting an admin password is often overlooked).
- It allows sensitive documents to be printed without authentication, where they can languish in the output tray all day.
- It sends unencrypted data over the network.
- It runs outdated firmware, or is not monitored for security threats.
Despite the threats, IT pros are still behind in acknowledging the risks that printers pose. In North America, not even one-quarter of IT pros (22%) recognise printers as a security risk, whereas across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), that number is still barely more than one-third, at 35%.
CCE Secure Printing solutions
No single solution is sufficient to truly secure your printer fleet. A firewall alone is not enough, for example. As with any network device, printer security must be addressed from multiple angles. As with any security strategy, the most effective solutions will be integrated, automated, and easy to use and manage. Exacerbating the challenge is the fact that each brand of printer has its own proprietary software and operating systems. Many IT pros may not have sufficient knowledge to configure printer software to meet their security policies. A range of security measures need to be implemented including:
- Document security
- Network security
- Access control
- Device security
- Security Monitoring and SIEM implementation
- Data protection
Within these categories, certain fundamental steps should be taken such as closing unused open ports, enabling the “sent from” feature, securing printer repair access, implementing privacy (“pull”) printing and routinely erasing printer hard drives.