Internet of Things: A Security Burden for Your Printers

Woman using her HP Chromebook 13 G1 to print to a HP PageWide Enterprise Color MFP 586z.

 In late 2016, the world experienced the real-world security implications of the Internet of Things (IoT). Attackers were able to compromise hundreds of thousands of internet-connected “things” to execute a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that brought down websites such as PayPal, Netflix, and The New York Times.

But what if this attack on a nationwide botnet happened on a smaller scale? We might think of IoT in terms of smart thermostats and smart cars, but your business is becoming increasingly connected as well.

Gartner predicts there will be more than 20 billion connected “things” by 2020, many of which will exist on your network. And one of the weakest links you have to pay attention to is your printing and imaging set of solutions.

Connected Printers Are Already Under Attack

You may not remember, but print security in the age of IoT connectivity has already been exploited.

In March 2016, a hacker launched an “experiment” to prove just how vulnerable IoT connectivity can make a company. The attacker compromised thousands of printers in multiple locations across the United States, printing anti-Semitic flyers at will.

While there was no data loss in this instance, the results are clear—attackers can easily gain access to your network if you aren’t more careful with print security. And it only takes one compromised endpoint to launch a more advanced attack that could cripple many companies.

The Truth About Print Security

Security leaders already understand the need for more effective cybersecurity. With 73% of CISOs expecting a breach in the next 12 months, many companies are spending more money to secure individual computers.

But did you know 26% of all security incidents reported by IT managers involve printers? Worse yet, 64% of IT managers believe their printers are already infected by malware. If you weren’t paying attention to print security before, it’s time to address this weak link in your network before attackers find a way in.

With the right print security products, you can create a foundation to assess, manage, and fortify security for:

  • Imaging and printing fleets
  • Data in transit and at rest
  • Printed documents
  • Cloud access
  • Printing from mobile devices

The only way to defend yourself against cyber-attackers is to get one step ahead of them. Hackers will be looking for weak links in your printing and imaging endpoints—but you can take that advantage away from them.

For close to 20 years, PKA Technologies has supplied IT solutions to state and local governments and K-12 and higher educational institutions. Contact us today for a free consultation and see how HP Print Security products can help you shore up your printing and imaging solutions before they’re exploited.