While most businesses have strong antivirus software in place, too many overlook the security vulnerabilities of their office printers. If not adequately protected, peripheral devices can be an open gateway for hackers and cybercriminals. Let’s review some common printer security issues.
Why you should be concerned
According to one study, 99% of companies surveyed experienced malicious code attacks in 2016. More than 50% of IT managers say their printers are vulnerable to cyberhackers, and more than 75% admit they’re likely already infected with malware . But, while 80% of companies surveyed said IT security was important, only 59% felt the same about print security. Because a large percentage of security breaches in offices have been tracked back to an unsecured printer, it’s obvious that networked print devices are prime targets.
How printers are vulnerable
Hackers know office printers are weak links. Access is often secured only with a default password like “admin.” WiFi access is left unconfigured and ports are unprotected. Once hackers are in the network, they can really do damage. Data may not be encrypted, or encrypted poorly, so hackers can intercept and read documents in transit on the network.
Hackers who know what to look for can also intercept documents printed by employees remotely or from home. Insider thieves can simply steal documents when employees leave them sitting in paper trays too long. More sophisticated attackers get around common malware protections to corrupt a device’s Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) and even alter its firmware.
You can imagine the potential risks to your business if hackers gain access to your data. Even a single data breach can be mind-blowingly expensive if it leads to identity theft, stolen trade secrets, or a loss of product licensing. If employee or customer personal information is stolen, personal lawsuits and litigation could result. If the company is under strict compliance regulations regarding information security, hefty fines because of a data breach could follow. If industry trade journals and other media spread news of a data breach, the company’s reputation could take a big hit. It’s little wonder that according to the U.S National Cyber Security Alliance, 60% of small companies that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months. Right now, there could be skilled cybercriminals probing your business for network printer vulnerabilities.
What you can do
Protecting your business data assets from skilled printer hackers can be a big challenge. Yeo & Yeo Technology can provide expert assistance and the latest security solutions. As an HP Silver Partner, we deliver the best-in-class security features of HP print devices that offer unprecedented levels of protection:
- Continuous updates: Keeps existing printers current with the latest security technologies
- Run-time intrusion detection: Constant monitoring of firmware and memory, automatic rebooting when anomalies are detected
- Self-healing: 24/7 scanning for malware attacks on BIOS, restores if corrupted
- Whitelisting: Checks firmware at startup to ensure that it’s authentic HP code
Contact the proactive IT specialists at Yeo & Yeo Technology today at (800) 607-1446 to discover how HP Print Security solutions work to provide the best protection from the threat of cyberattackers. Or check out the new infographic, “Defending the Digital Workplace with Print Security.”
 Ponemon Institute, “2016 Cost of Cyber Crime Study & the Risk of Business Innovation” Oct 2016.
 Ponemon Institute, “Annual Global IT Security Benchmark Tracking Study,” March 2015.
 IDC, “The Business Value of Printer Security,” Nov 2015.
 IDC, “User Perspectives on Print Security”, doc #US40612015, Nov 2015.