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Is printing a security risk?

June 17, 2016

Security concerns for businesses are high as breaches of network security and cybercrime increases.DELL

S.C. Magazine reported that 90 percent of organisations have been victims of security breaches in 2015 but that most, according to Wes Mulligan, CEO of Danwood, “overlook the potential risks posed by the many printing devices that are connected directly to their network”.

Over looking print security puts businesses at risk, and according to research firm Quocirca “63 percent of businesses surveyed admit to experiencing one or more print related data breaches”, and another research survey from Danwood showed that 27 percent of office workers have “thrown away printed documents without shredding them”, and that another 24 percent leave printed documents at the printer with one in five picking up someone else’s work.

Many companies do not provide secure printing or protect their printers from threats, and the report says that according to the Ponemon Institute “64 percent of IT managers believe their printers are likely to be infected with malware”, while “56 percent of enterprise companies ignore printers in their endpoint security strategy”.

Securing printers is relatively simple, says the report, as monitoring printers no matter how many, can be done by remote management software, and this will automatically keep records on devices. MFPs have encryption as an extra and other software can be downloaded. This prevents theft from the hard drive, which is why documents should be stored on a secure hard drive. Pull printing is a tool that only allows authenticated printing, and each user has a code or a print card which means that the printer will not print unattended documents, and lowers the risk of leaving documents in the print tray.

MFPs and associated devices that are connected to the network need to be taken into account when putting security in place. Ensuring that all employees are aware of the data protection mandate and a strong security policy will ensure that businesses can work safely and securely, and by managing the printer process from beginning to end will help prevent information getting into the wrong hands.





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