Everyone these days is aware that a business computer network needs to be protected against hackers. Printers however as a part of the business computer network are often neglected when it comes to security. Although printers come with extensive security features most of them are unsecured due to wrong priorities in an organisation. Any business should be aware that printers need to be secured just as any part of a business computer network.
Printers are an easy target that are often overlooked by companies despite extensive security features on every printer. Research shows that these security features are rarely used or not properly used. Most companies outsource the maintenance and installation of their printers to external suppliers and often choose cost efficiency over security. This can make organisations vulnerable to malicious attacks.
Printers are configured on sensitive parts of business networks and are often used by hackers as a starting point for attacks. They process all kinds of information and are often seen as low risk for security. Printers are very common devices in all organisations however printer security is largely ignored by companies.
The problem often is that it is not clear who is responsible for the security of the printers. IT departments usually have little control over the printer roll out when a contract is awarded to an external supplier. And as stated before organisations try to save costs the security service is not always of a high standard.
A printer has many options and functionality
The irony is that most business printers these days have excellent security functionality built in which can be configured to meet the needs of most companies but they are often disabled by default to facilitate remote management for the supplier or another external organisation. This is a serious threat to security and compliance. Security issues are often organisational and not technical by nature.
A printer is not only a printer but also a fax, copier, web server with a network connection and contains a hard drive which stores sensitive documents from your organisation. Depending on the settings sensitive documents are often stored before and sometimes even after printing. This could potentially be a very large security breach if not handled correctly.
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Printers are vulnerable for cyber attacks
What are the consequences of failure to implement a high level of printer security. Having a lot of unsecured web applications running on a printer it should come as no surprise that many of these web apps are sensitive to critical web vulnerabilities. Printer web applications are vulnerable to Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and other attacks.
A major stumbling block in securing printers is that manufacturers often use proprietary software to achieve a vendor lock-in and different types of printers that cannot communicate with each other or even worse with the information security officer using standard protocols.
Market forces ensure that organisations are motivated from all sides not to opt for strong security. Companies must recognise this problem and put pressure on their suppliers to deliver more communication between different devices and software. If that is cannot be achieved it is vital that you choose a single supplier who can deliver security for you business.
Tech-Wales Business Hardware
At Tech-Wales we provide excellent business computer hardware for your business. We will make a tailor made computer network for your business. We will always ensure that your software and hardware will have the highest level of cyber security against attacks. Please contact us today to discuss your IT requirements.