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Is your printer putting your business at risk?

Lionel Ch’ng,Managing Director,HP Inc. Singapore | Oct. 5, 2016
As hackers continue to exploit unsecured printers, using them as initial footholds to gain access into the IT network, firms continue to lose big, be it in terms of money, data, trust or reputation.

While the above issues are addressable, what makes printers most vulnerable is the lack of importance attributed to their security.  In fact, less than 44 percent of IT managers include printers in their security strategies and less than half of these people were applying admin passwords to the printers.

Approach to Printer Security

As the examples above illustrate, printer security breaches are only likely to increase and organisations need to take immediate steps to secure their print fleets as part of the overall IT infrastructure.

According to the Australian Government's Information Security Manual published by the Department of Defence, printers are included in the list of ICT equipment and media that need to be secured.

In Singapore, the Government has established the Cyber Security Agency, demonstrating the strategic importance of cyber-security to the city-state. Increasingly, printer security will need to be considered when developing a comprehensive strategy to protect the organisation.

Here are some of these key guidelines to help you secure your print fleet:

  • As a starting point, conduct a risk assessment to understand how secure your print fleet is.
  • Ensure your print fleet is included in your enterprise security policy.
  • If there is a security operation center, printers should be monitored for security events.
  • Enforce and regularly review the security policy.
  • Include Managed Print Service providers into your Vendor Risk Management framework.

It is never too late to take stock of your business's print security risks and invest in measures that address points of concern.  You can start by asking your print vendor questions around printer security - what is the current state of your print fleet's security? How big is the threat? How can it be addressed?  Start today.


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