It took a hacker only 60 seconds to find 29,000 internet-connected printers. Then, hate-filled messages spewed out of the devices on at least 12 college campuses. The intruder easily gained access through an open internet connection and unsecured ports on the printers, bringing awareness to the necessity for proper security strategies.
The scope of this incident is unusual, but the vulnerability the hacker exploited is way too commonplace. More than half of the information technology (IT) security professionals surveyed by the Ponemon Institute ignores printers in their endpoint security strategy. This finding is shocking, considering IT professionals at 60 percent of these organizations acknowledge that a data breach involving a networked printer has likely occurred within their businesses.
The cost of cybercrime
Regardless of the source, security breaches are expensive. According to the 2015 Cost of Cyber Crime, the mean annual cost to resolve a cyber attack was CAD$19.9 million. Unsecured printing jeopardizes private information, especially when you think about all the confidential memos passed among the C-suite, and the sensitive documents about customers and employees that accounting and human resources handle daily. The potential ramifications—lawsuits, penalties, theft of confidential data, and a tarnished brand—disrupt business operations and the bottom line. Intelligent security strategies are not an option.
Organizations devote increasing resources to safeguard their data centres and internal networks. But IT security strategies fail to address printers and multifunction prints (MFPs) even though they present many of the same security risks as any computer, server, or cloud-based service connected to a company’s network.
Take the HP Secure Print Analysis survey to self-evaluate your security plans.