When it comes to IT and network security, most companies don’t stop to think about their MFPs. Yet the vast majority of these devices are connected to a network, making them susceptible to attack. Learn more about how you can protect data that flows through MFPs and increase the overall security of your organisation.
It’s sad but true. The frequency of network attacks and unauthorised access to confidential information are so high that they have become inevitable. For proof, just look at recent headlines. For example, the story about hackers accessing investor reports to aid insider traders. Or another recent example of a cyber security firm’s intern using the company’s intellectual property to develop malware.
Yet while most companies are aware of these security risks and do all they can to protect themselves, many overlook a single technology that most companies rely on today: The multi-function printer (MFP).
The first, and most obvious, threat occurs when sensitive documents are left on printers, documents that can be picked up and viewed by any passerby. For a closer look at this example, we invite you to watch a new Nuance video on secure printing. Presented in a light-hearted, humorous way, this video highlights the importance of improving MFP security.
It is important to note, that unsecured MFPs don’t just present a potentially embarrassing risk, as shown in the video, consequences can be much more severe. According to the research firm, InfoTrends, there are over 30 million printers and multifunction devices in the U.S. and Western Europe today, and most are connected to a network. While this is great for worker productivity, it also means that these devices are just as susceptible to attacks as other corporate technology. Yet most companies don’t do enough to safeguard their MFPs, and as a result, may not be as secure as they may think. In addition to losing valuable information and the resulting backlash from the public, data loss can result in significant fines. For example, Broadband Company Talk Talk is looking at a potential data loss fine of £500,000 after hackers got hold of 157,000 users’ information.
One thing is clear: Adversaries, hackers, and disenfranchised employees are relentless in looking for opportunities to breach the networks for personal or financial gain. More, they could potentially use MFPs if these devices are not secure. For example, hackers could plant malware on mobile devices so any cloud-based interaction would infect the network. Traditional firewalls and intrusion detection tools can’t defend against these types of threats.
How secure is your organisation?
To assess overall MFP security levels in your company, we invite you to download our threat assessment test to see just how secure your document workflows actually are. The answer may surprise you, especially when you consider that your printers, copiers, scanners, fax machines, and email may all pose more of a security threat than you might have expected.