Although most organizations have yet to realize it, their networked printers present a major cybersecurity risk to operations. Although manufacturers, network security experts, and previous victims had sounded the alarm in the past, many offices still use the original software versions and default passwords on their devices.
Research conducted in 2019 by NCC Group found remote vulnerabilities in printers from six major manufacturers. Using different attack types (or vectors), the team could use these devices as entry points into networks. The scary thing is that these exploits were ‘zero-day vulnerabilities’, meaning vendors knew it existed and hadn’t updated the security for the printing equipment. Using secure printing services can help businesses to overcome these types of vulnerabilities.
5 Benefits of Secure Printing Services That are Now Must-Haves
Cyberattacks continue to plague today’s businesses. In 2020, the number of attacks increased exponentially but the trend was already on the rise over previous years. A single unsecured printer can lead to a successful attack and cause major disruptions to the company’s operations. Because of these risks, the following five benefits are also essential business must-haves.
1. Protection against Malware Infections
Malware has been around since the days of floppy disks. As networks matured, coders wrote programs to move between two connected devices automatically, leading to first malware called Worms. When hackers started hiding these viruses in legitimate software, they created a new family of malware known as Trojans. Over the last ten years, these attack types grew in sophistication and the Cryptolocker exploit from 2013 ushered in the ransomware era.
Ransomware quickly became the preferred attack type for cybercriminals. The malware installs a program on all connected devices that encrypts the data and makes it impossible to restore the information without first paying a ransom to the hackers. Today, ransomware poses the greatest threat to businesses, with many having to close down if an attack succeeds. Increasing security for the printing environment can help prevent these kinds of cyberattacks using a network printer to infect the entire network.
2. Improved Personal Printer Security and Cost Control
Secure print management software enables companies to get additional security benefits without needing to invest in new printers. It’s common for businesses to think that improving printing security requires a fleet of new devices. Using secure print software, the company can shore up existing printers’ security features without needing to upgrade their printers.
The software also tracks all print jobs throughout the organization, making it easier to find and eliminate wasteful printing practices. Secure print management tools can help businesses to set up policies that prevent the misuse of company printers while also keeping information safe when computers communicate with the device.
3. Reduced Cost of Regulatory Compliance
Companies manage sensitive information that requires them to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations. Depending on what data the company retains, it may have to comply with acts like HIPAA or FINRA. In uncontrolled print environments, demonstrating compliance can take a lot of time and effort.
Print management solutions reduce the cost of compliance by keeping an audit trail of every print job down to the user, department, and device. With a complete history of every print job in the organization, the company can also investigate any incidents if a data breach occurred.
4. Enables Mobile Printing
Another benefit of print management services that are becoming essential is mobile printing. Employees already use their handheld devices to respond to emails or access other business systems, and with a mobile printer, it can help them to be productive even when they are away from their desks.
With solutions like “find-me” printing, staff can send a document or file to the closest printer directly from their phone or tablet device. Mobile printing can help staff be more efficient from anywhere in the office or even at a different location.
5. Prevents Data Leaks
An uncollected print can lead to a data breach in the organization. Even if the breach doesn’t fall under data protection regulations, every company has some sensitive information that shouldn’t be available to all staff.
Secure print release solutions can help plug data leaks by keeping information secure until the authorized user accesses the printer. To release the print, the authorized person will have to swipe an employee card or enter a unique pin. The print will also remain encrypted, making it impossible to access any sensitive documents from the printer queue.
Improve Printer Security with Secure Printing Services from Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises
Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises can help organizations to regain control over their fleet with our print security advisory services. Adopting a Managed Print Services model will ensure the organization always has access to the latest security tools and improve their overall print practices to reduce waste, improve compliance, and gain greater oversight over all imaging operations.
Secure Print Services can be essential for organizations to protect their print network and remain aligned with regulatory compliance requirements. Contact DME to find out more about how to secure your organization’s printed documents.