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Green Office Blog

Are your printers vulnerable to a Cyber Attack?

Posted by Riaan Jansen van Rensburg on Jul 3, 2019, 10:00:00 AM

This question often comes up, and the answer to it is certainly yes. Your printing devices connect to nearly every device in your corporate network and most printers are not even designed with cyber security in mind. If hackers are hungry enough for information they will use any possible way to get “inside’’ your network. Their intent is to get access and control of your printer and from there your network. If they have access to the network, they will have control over your data.

The hackers want data that contains sensitive information that they can use to harm your company financially or place malicious software on your network to bring your business to its knees, harming your company’s IT infrastructure.

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There are multiple software programs that can-do searches of internet connected devices and specific devices with security flaws, giving you a starting point in securing your devices.

What are the vulnerabilities for your devices?

  1. Document Security & Theft
    Sensitive printed data left for all to see can potentially end up in the wrong hands resulting in a breach of the GDPR and PoPI Act and ultimately lead to fines that can cause reputational damage to a business.

  2. Device Settings & Device Theft
    Non-secure device settings and controls can lead to intentional/accidental rerouted print jobs, data breach through accessing saved copies of documents or resetting a device to factory defaults, wiping all previous settings. If a device has been stolen, there is a great risk that stored print jobs, scans, copies and faxes can be recovered from the internal disk drive.

  3. Network Security
    Hackers can “eavesdrop” on network traffic and capture documents sent from computers to printing devices, or hack into network-protected devices if they are not password-protected.

So,how do I secure my printing devices?
  • Password Protected
    Make sure your printer is password protected. Most network printers can be accessed remotely. Change the default password!

  • Network Security
    Make sure your network is protected by having firewalls in place that will protect you from outside access and WiFi Access.

  • Secure your Data
    Make sure that you have a good encryption in place when sending a print job to your printer (like AES 128, for example). You can also secure your print jobs by enabling secure release on the device. This will keep your print job on the print sever until you securely release at the device. There are multiple applications that can assist with this, like nddPrint 360, PaperCut, Y-Soft and Equitrack to name a few.

Finally, as with all cyber risks, it’s important to acknowledge that security technology can only go so far. Organizations can have state-of-the-art security systems/processes in place, but reducing the threats still comes down to the people who are using those tools.

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Why not book a free POC (Proof of Concept) for your business where we install the nddPrint/PaperCut Software on your devices for a month, test and report on findings? If you are satisfied with the reported findings, we can submit a proposal and deploy. To book a Free POC, contact a Green Office Consultant for more information on how we can help you protect your devices and data.

Book a Free POC and one of our Consultant will give you a call.

Book a POC

Topics: printers/copiers, POPI Act, Innovation, Efficient, Office Solution, Green Office, Office Printing, Printing Industry