By the DynaSis Team
Of the many sources of organizational risk that business leaders envision, printers likely aren’t one of them. Admittedly, one could run out of paper or toner/ink right before printing a major presentation for a customer. But other than that, how much risk can a printer pose? In today’s connected environment, the answer is “a lot.”
If your printers are networked, which means employees can send jobs to them from their desks or devices, then your printer is tied in with your network, and anyone who can access your printer can access your network. If you are thinking, “but my printer isn’t connected to the Internet, so how could someone gain access?” think again.
If your personnel connect to the Internet, and they connect to your printers, then the two are tied together. Furthermore, some printers automatically send and receive information, such as driver updates, across the Internet without anyone’s knowledge. That creates an additional layer of vulnerability.
Another way your printer can expose you to risk is through storage. Do your printers have the ability to store jobs for later printing? If so, they can (and likely do) retain information after the fact. Most printers have a “cache” for storing information, if not a designated hard drive, and unless someone clears it, the information is there for the taking.
Even assuming no one steals data from the printer while it is at your office, what happens when you sell or trade the printer? Even if the drives and caches are wiped, in some cases it is possible to lift data images off drums and other printer components.
Protecting your printing transmissions and data is beyond the scope of this article, but we can refer you to a few good tips. Rather, our objective here is bigger. Your office printer is a concern, but it is just one example of how “risks” are all around business owners today, often in the most unexpected places. Savvy cybercriminals know this, and they are learning how to penetrate companies in odd ways, such as through a printer-driver update link that may not be detected by the “average” firewall.
We are not suggesting that business owners be cognizant of all these risks, themselves. We’re not even suggesting that they should take action to avoid all of them. Rather, business owners must be keenly aware that business risks can be anywhere and everywhere, and they must take prudent, considered action as risk relates to technology. That means:
To do anything less is to admit defeat. In that case, we recommend the business owner start planning an exit strategy, because that’s what he or she will need, next.
DynaSis has been Atlanta’s premier IT support services provider for more than 23 years. As an IT company working with small to midsized businesses (10 to 150+ users), DynaSis has developed a unique 12-layer approach to network threat protection, ransomware prevention and crypto virus threat elimination. The DynaSis Business Cloud functions through a highly secure environment with full real-time data backup. Please contact us at 678.218.1769 or visit our website at www.DynaSis.com.