The specialist explains that these devices, so common in offices, have storage units, the purpose of which is to manage the documents to be printed; however, if they are not properly protected, they can also become the gateway for malicious files.
In addition, he points out that they usually include USB ports to enable direct printing of documents, but that is one of the most common ways of allowing malware access. “There are companies that don’t know how many printers they have or what they are connected to; ignoring that kind of thing represents a potential vulnerability”, mentions Escutia.
Among the most common attacks on printers specifically are stealing confidential documents, accessing the internal networks to which the devices are connected, or even sending anonymous emails from them with sensitive information attached.
According to data from the IBM report “Cost of a Data Breach”, worldwide, cybercrime represents an average annual cost of 4.35 million dollars for companies, including data recovery and possible business losses due to to diminished customer confidence.
Recommendations to protect your printer
Escutia highlights that at the corporate level, more and more investments have been made to improve the use of technology in companies, which are oriented towards implementation issues and adapting new resources to streamline processes. However, he highlights the need to improve education around cybersecurity.
Although the issue of digital security is becoming more and more important in organizations, it also highlights that a common dynamic in these is that employees learn to use technology and its protection methods on the go, which makes them vulnerable while adopting the technology.
Faced with the possibility of attacks, Escutia recommends that companies keep an inventory of the devices to find out how many may be at risk, in addition to having their operating systems updated so that they have all the security filters.
It also recommends implementing a printing service protected by a security key or password, in order to authenticate users, in addition to reviewing Wi-Fi security if the device is connected to the network.