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The Printer; The Often-Forgotten Security Hole

IDG Contributing Editor | July 3, 2017
IT decision makers are rightfully concerned about PC security, but only 18 percent are concerned about printer security ...

For instance, BIOS protection is critically important. If the BIOS in a piece of hardware is corrupted, then any other layers of security are rendered pointless. Anti-malware has no opportunity to scan the BIOS prior to the operating system loading, for example, meaning that the threat can’t be caught until it’s too late. If the BIOS is infected, malware can be loaded into the OS during boot, and Infected BIOS instructions in the SMM are almost impossible to detect. In short; once the BIOS is infected, the best security solutions that sit on the operating system itself can be easily bypassed. 

Modern printer technology should feature BIOS with run-time intrusion detection as standard best practice. A dynamic security solution that can detect BIOS attacks in real time and instantly restore the BIOS to a custom state, protecting and restoring BIOS setup variables, policies, and data, is one that will be able to cope with the increasing number of threats that are targeting the printer.

The security of endpoints such as printers are an often-ignored challenge that businesses simply won’t be able to ignore much longer. However, it should be incumbent for both the vendor of the endpoint – regardless of the form it takes - and the business itself to take this challenge seriously, by developing, and then using, advanced security solutions that address the areas in which endpoint devices are most vulnerable. For more information on this approach to security, please visit


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