Your data is not as secure as you think

How your, and your customer’s data, is at risk from something you least expect.

Printers are risky because IT staffers aren’t taking the necessary steps to protect them or the data accessed through them. One of the most critical moves – changing the default password to something strong and unique – is too often never taken.

Recently in a single attack, hackers claim to have been able to access and link to over 100,000 machines in office and business. These hackers are estimated to have been able to do this in multiple countries. Users from the UK, US, Argentina, Spain, Australia and Chile have posted pictures on social media of the latest print-outs.

Ignoring that simple step gives almost anyone access to the printer. Modern multifunction printers (MFPs) face a range of threats and vulnerabilities, including the following:

  • Unauthorized access to print data – Someone walks over to the printer and accesses documents that belong to someone else.
  • Unauthorized configuration changes: Someone changes the printer configuration to route the print jobs.
  • Print job manipulation: This includes replacing the print content for others, inserting new content in the print jobs, and deleting logs to interfere with repudiation.
  • Print data disclosure: This includes accessing the print data from the memory, file system, print jobs and hard drives when printers are decommissioned.
  • Printer as an attack point: A compromised printer can be used to attack other applications, execute arbitrary malicious code or attack other systems (e.g., to launch a denial-of-service attack on the printer or network).
  • Cloud printing risks: The inherent risk in cloud printing is that the print job is rendered on public infrastructure and sent to the printer using something like PostScript. This approach is susceptible to middleman attacks or someone trying to gain access to the enterprise network through cloud printing channels.