Operational Technology – Shared Printer Security Risk

Operational Technology – Shared Printer Security Risk

You've probably protected or encrypted your network, computer, and email. However, did you know that your printer and copier are just as much of a security liability as any other device in the office?

Network printers and copiers are the machines that often handle sensitive documents and information, providing an access route to other computers or networks. Printers have become more complex now able to connect to the Internet, have increased random access memory (RAM), integrated disk drives, and multi-functionality. Each of these is a potential security vulnerability that should be taken more seriously. Below, we've highlighted the five main threats to printers as well as how to step up your security for them.

5 Main Cyber Security Threats and Vulnerabilities for Shared Printers

The more advanced, business-class multi-functioning printers and copiers are subject to a greater number of threats since they are computers with their hard drive, operating system, and direct network connection. Below are a few liabilities to a lack of printer security: 

  1. Document Theft/ Snooping
  2. Unauthorized Changes to Settings
  3. Saved Copies on Internal Storage
  4. Eavesdropping on Network Printer Traffic
  5. Printer Hacking via the Network or Internet

These vulnerabilities range from the overly simplified to the expert hacker. It is easy for anyone to walk over to a printer and pick up a document that belongs to someone else. However, it can be just as easy to hack a printer if it is connected to a network. 

How to Protect Against Printer Vulnerabilities 

One of the easiest ways to prevent document theft, unauthorized access to stored documents, or a misuse of the printer's connection is to place the printer in a visible, open area. Additionally, try designating printers for management and other sensitive departments so that you can keep those machines more secure. Finally, buying a printer that requires users to provide some form of identification before it prints is another way to decrease the chances of a cyber hack

Carson Inc. Combats Cyber Threats

Don't sacrifice your security for convenience. Carson Inc. has been helping its customers fight the battle against cyber threats for more than 22 years. Our team consists of Information Assurance (IA) experts with advanced degrees and technical certifications, including CISSP, CISA, LPT, GWASP, and ISO 27001. Our staff has in-depth knowledge of IT security statutory and regulatory guidance. For more information email marketing@carsoninc.com or call (301) 656-4565.

You May Also Be Interested In