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    Are Your Printers an Open Door to a Hacking Wolf?

    By: Dan Larkin
    September 30, 2019

    As the nation’s largest independent HP dealer, Marco knows the importance of printer security. Left unprotected, a multifunction printer can serve as a gateway to hackers. Now, I could spend 6 minutes of your time explaining how this works, but HP has already done a masterful job telling the story — with the one-and-only Christian Slater as THE WOLF. It’s a must-watch.

    The Weakest Link

    The multifunction printer (MFP), with its advanced connectivity and capacity to store large volumes of data, is unanimously regarded as the "weak link" in a company’s IT infrastructure — and no business should ignore it.

    Closeup photo of a wolf with yellow eyes

    Not-So-Fun Facts

    Quocirca, a research firm that analyzes the workings of print and digital technologies, recently published some shocking figures. They surveyed 200 U.S. and European companies and discovered that more than half have experienced data loss linked to printers. 50% of those breaches came from intercepted print jobs; 44% were linked to documents mailed to external sources via printers that were hacked to gain network access.

    Almost 4 million records are stolen from breaches every day. That’s 158,727 per hour, 2,645 per minute and 44 every second! With the number of connected devices expected to top 200 billion by 2020, those numbers will only go up if companies, universities, government institutions and other organizations don’t beef up printer security.

    12 Ways to Beef Things Up

    1. Locate printers in open areas that are easily monitored.
    2. Prohibit employees and visitors from using management printers that handle sensitive information.
    3. Shred sensitive documents when you are finished with them.
    4. Change default passwords to passwords that are unique and intricate.
    5. Implement user authentication to eliminate the risk of unclaimed output being left in printer trays.
    6. Ensure that printers are part of an overall information security strategy for the entire printer fleet.
    7. Constantly update and upgrade printers with the latest security features.
    8. Manage the use of network protocols and ports to prevent potential viruses and malware.
    9. Enable features like secure watermarking, digital signatures or PDF encryption.
    10. Use auditing tools to track usage at the document and user levels.
    11. Before selling or transferring an old printer, clean or destroy the old hard drive.
    12. Trust an expert like Marco to evaluate your printer’s vulnerabilities and help you prevent attacks.

    At Marco, we only source printing hardware that employs the finest security software. The brands we trust to protect your operation include HP, Sharp, Konica, Canon and Toshiba. Contact us any time to find out which system is right for you, and close the door on hacking wolves forever.

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    Topics: Managed Print Services, Security