At the end of November, HP Inc. presented the third season of the cybersecurity series The Wolf: True Alpha with Christian Slater and Jonathan Banks. By its release, the company shared the results of a study conducted by Spiceworks in May-June 2018. A survey of 501 IT professionals from companies with 250 or more employees was conducted to analyze the security strategy of organizations.

How printers are hacked and why it's important to protect them

The study showed that compared to 2016 printers are 68% more likely to become a source of external threats and 118% more likely to be the source of insider threats or security breaches. At the same time, only 30% of IT professionals admit that printers pose a security risk. This figure has almost doubled since 2016, but is still too low. Many IT professionals have an outdated view of printer security, assuming that printers are safe inside the network.

“Vulnerabilities exist in all devices connected to the network, including a regular network printer. As a rule, we see a picture when the printer is forgotten and left unprotected. Companies can no longer afford to forget print devices when reviewing their overall IT infrastructure cybersecurity strategy.”

Ben Vivoda, director of printing systems at HP South Pacific

In the past year, 27% of organizations experienced external printer security threats. The hackers used an automated script to access 150,000 public printers, including a large number of receipt printers, and run malicious printing on them. An attacker who breaks into a printer gains free access to the organization’s network, applications, and data.

Unfortunately, the results of the study suggest that IT professionals still do not recognize the risks that printing devices can carry. They often neglect the most basic safety precautions for printers. For example, only a third of respondents update firmware regularly as part of their compliance efforts.

How printers are hacked and why it's important to protect themThe findings explain the importance of implementing integrated and automated printer security. Printing devices with built-in security features help you minimize risk while maximizing the return on your IT investment. Analysts at IDC agree: “Securing printers post-shipping is much more difficult, further highlighting the importance of choosing printers that already have basic and advanced security features.”

How printers are hacked and why it's important to protect themLuckily for IT professionals, today’s printers offer dozens of built-in security features, including threat detection, protection, notification, and self-healing. This makes securing the most vulnerable endpoints on the network—printers—easier than ever. This is also told by the new story The Wolf: True Alpha, which is already available for viewing on the HP website.

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