Should an IT Security Strategy include MFD’s?
According to InfoTrends, there are almost 30 million printers and MFDs in Western Europe and the U.S. and most are connected to a network.Read The Article
According to InfoTrends, there are almost 30 million printers and multifunction devices (MFDs) in offices throughout Western Europe and the U.S. and most are connected to a network. This means they are just as vulnerable to malware and hacker attacks as PCs, but for a variety of reasons they are often overlooked by IT professionals and used without proper safeguards by employees.
I have been working in the managed print services (MPS) space for over 15 years and have been warning of the dangers of MFD security. In the last couple of years the demand for printer security has finally increased. I’m often asked the question by customers, if their IT security strategy should include MPD’s and the answer is "100% yes". However, I still see holes in the print security of many organisations.
Security threats are real, and as printing and imaging devices become increasingly sophisticated, they offer greater opportunities for attackers to compromise the device or the entire network. This is due to the lack of security on networked devices which are not controlled by network firewalls, leaving printing and imaging devices often overlooked and exposed. In Europe, Quocirca research showed that 70% of organisations have suffered a print security breach.
The first step in making sure that your company doesn’t fall prey to such a data breach is to understand the risk your print environment poses and then develop a strategy to manage this risk.
Step 5 is key as these technologies help to safeguard the printing and imaging devices from attacks, creating ease of mind for IT managers and removing the need for intervention from IT staff. Any notifications regarding risks can be sent to IT directly. HP are leading the way in this space and have developed and deployed an end-to-end printing security strategy, an industry first in security management.
The HP FutureSmart firmware includes these 3 functions as standard. To increase security for your business the benefits of the FutureSmart firmware and current devices should not be overlooked. It is useful and productive and brings multiple benefits for IT operators. HP Jetadvantage Security Manager is an application that comes as standard on the latest HP FutureSmart enterprise models. This gives the customer a continuous assurance of security policy settings. These settings are deployed through the use of a security compliance tool. Within the application, the IT department can create policy templates to be distributed to devices in their print environment. It allows numerous tasks to be run within the policy editor including:
By implementing these types of solutions for clients, we are starting to see that users are no longer scared of the risks that MFDs pose. Security assessments and workshops help identify and target specific security risks within your current fleet and also help with a standard security policy for the future. We soon should see a time where the MFD is considered a “real” piece of networked hardware rather than an “outsider” and taking the time to protect it is just as important as all other networked devices.
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