Companies Make a Lot of Printer Security Mistakes. These Are the Most Common, According to One Cybersecurity Expert.

Find out what steps you should be taking today, and every day, to prevent hackers from easily breaching your corporate network via your printers. (It happens far more often than you probably realize.)

Ask the Cybersecurity Expert
by Mark Butler
November 14, 2022

Every year in October, companies, government agencies and hackers around the world come together to talk about cybersecurity. With technology utilization increasing by the minute, we must ensure we’re doing everything we can to thwart bad actors. But talk doesn’t always seem to translate into action. For example, we’ve been talking about how vulnerable printers are to cyberattacks, yet I bet most companies haven’t checked, much less changed, the security settings of their printers since they were first set up. 

That’s why close to 28,000 unsecured printers worldwide were easily hijacked by (good) cybersecurity experts a few months ago and why printers are the devices that hackers are most likely to use to maliciously breach corporate and government networks. Most people aren’t managing printers the same way they manage other technology devices.

Why are they not being managed the same way?

Though the reason is likely different for everyone, I’ve found that it’s either because: 

  1. Too many people think their printers are more secure than they are – that security is automatically updated.

  1. Many people downplay printers’ vulnerability to cyberattacks because printers aren’t viewed as the data-rich devices they are, simply because they aren’t used in the same way as traditional communication devices (i.e., phones, laptops, tablets).

So, I asked Junaid Rehman, a Senior Security Advisor for HP Managed Print Services, to walk you through the steps you should take today to secure your printer(s) and help ensure you aren’t accidentally opening your companies up to hackers. In our 25-minute discussion (which took place at the beginning of Cybersecurity Month), he also went into great detail about:

  • The most prevalent security issues seen with enterprise printers in particular. When was the last time you changed your printer’s password? Updated your firmware? Thought about printer security, period?! 

  • The security features you’ll commonly find with enterprise printers, including some that may be “hidden” in plain sight. Plus, he tells you how to find someone who knows how to use them if you don’t want to have to worry about one more thing right now. 

  • How often you/your company (or the third-party managed print services provider) should be checking and updating each printer’s security.

  • The biggest mistake people make with printer security (besides failing to enable or update it).

  • Why printer security policies and governance are best handled in a collaborative manner with printer suppliers and/or third-party managed print service providers. 

  • The best way to test your company’s printer security (besides hiring hackers to try to breach the devices or network).

LISTEN NOW

If, after listening to what Junaid says, you want a printer security assessment or assistance securing your Zebra printers, please reach out to your HP or Zebra representative. They can get you in touch with the right experts to help you protect your devices, data and business. 

You can also check out the Zebra and HP websites for more security tips and tools, and check out past Your Edge blog posts and podcasts for additional cybersecurity insights from Zebra’s Chief Security Officer Mike Zachman.

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Mark Butler
Mark Butler is a Global Partner Manager within Zebra’s global partners team. As the lead for Zebra’s global partnership with HP since 2019, Mark is an evangelist for HP Managed Print Services and the evolution of MPS within Zebra’s portfolio of thermal barcode printers.
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