Are your printers included in your cyber security strategy?

Data security has been a big talking point in the business world recently, with high-profile hacks making headline news. Hack attacks are on the rise and every company, including yours, is at risk, in a way you perhaps hadn’t thought of before.

Network devices such as printers are often overlooked when security is set up on a business’s network because people see them as simple devices with purely internal functions.

However, because printers connect to the computer network and print plenty of information such as financial statements, contracts, tax returns, employee information and other sensitive data, they’re attractive targets for hackers, who can intercept them if they gain access to your network.

Cyber security experts at CyberNews recently hijacked 28,000 unsecured printers in an effort to promote awareness of printer security issues. They found around 800,000 vulnerable printers and targeted 50,000 of them with a friendly hijack. The hack forced the printers to print out a guide on printer security.

Without needing to access any other files, the ethical hackers managed to get 28,000 of the 50,000 targeted printers to print the document, meaning they had a hit rate of 56%. If they’d decided to target all 800,000, then 447,000 printers may have been exposed.

Luckily for the 28,000 printer owners, this incident went down as a lesson rather than a disaster, but next time they or you mightn’t be so lucky.

Are your printers secure?

Keeping your printer software up to date and making use of two-factor authentication are good first steps at keeping your printers secure, but you should also consider implementing a network security solution to prevent them from being intercepted.

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