Are printers your biggest security blind spot?

Businesses have a range of vulnerabilities when it comes to data security, but research has revealed that IT departments don’t prioritise printer security, despite over 60% of businesses admitting they have experienced a print-related data breach.

Multi-function devices such as printers and scanners are often overlooked when it comes to cyber security. This is because printers historically have been viewed and treated as external components that perform a single function. Businesses often leave them out of the security loop – leaving a gaping hole in an otherwise tightly secured information network but, with GDPR now in effect, the need for printer security has never been greater.

How Is Your Printer At Risk?

Research has shown that of all the printers and multi-functional devices, only 2% are secure, and as a result, they have been highlighted as a weak spot when it comes to protecting data. These devices are used daily to print and scan all types of personal data and therefore pose a data threat:

  • The devices themselves provide hackers easy access to embedded system data and networks. Hacked devices could be infected with viruses in the same way as any other computer device
  • Often, printed documents containing data are left and not retrieved for long periods of time making them easy to intercept
  • Most environments have few, or no, restrictions on who can print what, when and where
  • Most print environments are not able to provide accountability or an audit trail of what has been printed and by whom
  • Devices can store a history of all documents that have been printed or scanned during the lifetime of the machine

With this in mind, it is no shock that your printers and scanners are capable of becoming the weak link in your company’s cyber-security defence.

What Can You Do?

Updating office technology is important for GDPR compliance. All printers must meet with the EU demands and, if not, then these will need to be replaced.

Today’s modern printers feature easy to use, built-in security that combats many of these printer threats. These include:

  • Automatic attack detection, protection, and healing
  • Tracking use to prevent unauthorised use
  • Simple sign-in options such as PIN or smartcards
  • A proximity card reader that lets users quickly authenticate and print securely at a printer using their identification badge
  • Secure encrypted printing for sensitive documents

GDPR is never going away and if you’re late to the game we can still help you. Speak to one of our experienced MPS professionals today about how we can help you become GDPR compliant.

Info via Spicers, 2018