This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HP MPS. All opinions are 100% mine.
We live in the information age is a very overused cliché. However, when you think of your routine it probably involved accessing online blogs, YouTube and scanning various social media timelines looking for news (as in 2017 that is where we get our news from). It hard to argue that everything isn’t just data especially when you have bots streaming Fake News, and manipulation of social media to influence public thoughts and companies listing on the stock exchange for millions of dollars and yet the app makes no money.
And the data is just growing exponentially as we create more content with more emails, documents, and selfies which are stored in the cloud making them available to us across any device from anywhere in the world. With the Internet of Things, smart homes, personal voice assistants and connected cars, the data production and consumption is simply overwhelming.
Protection of our data is taking center stage and security has moved from a vague IT function to a position around the Executive table. Corporate CEOs are being held accountable for information they suppose to manage and keep safe from the hackers.
Hackers look for any vector to gain access to information which they can sell and while we are getting more educated about not opening email attachments from strangers, hackers have discovered a simpler and usually overlooked method to gain entry into the corporate network – the printer.
|The Wolf – Nothing is safe|
Yes, that device that people only care about when it runs out of paper is no longer just a “simple printer” that spits out a document when you press print. The printer has evolved into an integral part of the corporate network allowing you to print and scan documents even when you are not in the office.
Hackers love the printer too as most companies don’t bother to protect their office printer like they do their computers and servers. Therefore, the printer is a great entry point to the network. In fact, there are millions of printers in the corporate world and yet less than 2% of them are secure. Hacker use the printer to monitor every document that is printed and scanned and they use that information to either sell to the company’s competitor or they use the info to gather more confidential info about the network and systems.
in October 2015, the Ponemon Institute’s research titled “Insecurity of Network-Connected Printers,” found that more than 60% of companies surveyed have experienced a data breach involving their printers, and of all significant data breaches reported by IT managers, 26% involved their printers according to IT and Print Security Survey 2015,” access the IDC Spotlight article
Why are printers left unguarded?
Printers tend to be classified as low-priority-set-and-forget devices by the IT support team. Typically they are set up once as part of the network and are painful to manage when “DJ” uses the wrong paper on the 13th floor.
There are far more pressing tech issues that need to be addressed so typically, as long as the users can “print and scan”, the printer is left alone and forgotten. When was the last time you were told that the printer was not going to be available as IT is updating the firmware? Eh…never.
HP Secure Managed Print Services.
This is why HP Secure Managed Print Services are a must for every business. HP takes the burden of securing the printing infrastructure and makes it simple to detect real-time threats with automated monitoring, and even validation of the built-in software – something that no one else offers.
HP Secure Managed Print Services (MPS) focuses on safeguarding the business’ devices, data and documents.
These start with the core delivery of managed print services which hardens and sustains device security. Then the credentialed security advisors build and deploy a security plan with each client. HP places a large focus on helping customers optimize their document workflow and business processes with an industry-specific focus. HP’s systems is made up of comprehensive security services including planning workshops, HP Imaging and Printing Security Center, and the hands-on Security Advisory Services.
So in summary:
Leaving your printer infrastructure unguarded and focusing just on the firewall, is like adding burglar bars to every window in your home but leaving the back door unlocked. Hackers look for a simple way in – and your printer is that way in. Most worrying is that you are not even going to know they were in your system until they have siphoned off all the information they want…and that means they can be in your system for years! In fact, let me ask you this: are you sure they aren’t in right now?