Feeling insecure: Ponemon survey reveals risks posed by network printers

September 19, 20161 Minute Read

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The Insecurity of Network-Connected Printers,” sponsored by HP, highlights the security risks created by insecure printers and other peripheral devices. The survey of more than 2,000 global IT security practitioners revealed that printer security is a frequently (and problematically) overlooked risk.

In this report, you’ll find:

  • An overview of the state network connected printer security
  • The risks that unsecured, network-connected printers pose to organizations
  • The three biggest gaps and challenges organizations face in securing their printers
  • The best practices organizations can adopt to ensure their printers are as secure as possible

The majority—62 percent—of respondents in the survey are pessimistic about their ability to prevent the loss of data contained in printer mass storage and/or printed hard copy documents. The reasons for these security gaps are:

  1. People issues and printer insecurity: 56 percent of respondents believe employees in their organizations don’t see printers and hard copy documents as an area of high security risk. While they might not know which printers are at risk, respondents can identify the areas where the greatest printer security measures should be applied.
  2. Process problems and lack of governance: A majority of respondents say their companies don’t have security policies and processes in places that include network-connected printers. Deploying digital certificates, encryption, and anti-virus/malware solutions would improve security.
  3. Technology challenges: Most respondents predict a data breach resulting from insecure network-connected printers in the next 12 months. Technologies that help pinpoint high-risk printers, such as those containing malware, are critical.

Printers are an integral and ubiquitous part of the workplace, but as the Ponemon survey shows, many companies are ignoring the security risks associated with printers. To learn more about what organizations can do to reduce these persistent threats, read the executive summary.

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