In the first six months of 2016, there were 500 cyber breaches across a variety of industries, with more than 12.8 million records exposed, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Companies are fighting these cyber intrusions by deploying network security, device security, and access controls on their desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and sometimes, on their printers. Too rarely on their printers.
The deployment trend
According to a Spiceworks survey of over 300 IT decision-makers with small and midsize companies worldwide, security practices are deployed significantly less frequently for printers than for other endpoint devices. How much less frequently?
These numbers for printers indicate only a slight increase from a similar Spiceworks survey two years ago:
Companies are addressing the problem—but not nearly fast enough. After all, these printers and multifunction devices are just as susceptible to malware and hacker attacks as PCs and mobile devices.
The bad news
Printers lag behind nearly all other endpoints when it comes to endpoint compliance and audit practices, too. Nearly 90 percent of organizations in the Spiceworks survey have a security controls policy deployed, but across the board, those policies don’t extend to printers.
For example, while 57 percent of respondents have malware defenses deployed on their PCs, only 17 percent have them deployed on printers.
Printers need higher priority
“Many printers still have default passwords, or no passwords at all, or 10 are using the same password,” Michael Howard, HP’s chief security advisor, told Computerworld in June. “A printer without password protection is a gold mine for a hacker.”
Giving printers the same priority as other endpoints—and thereby ensuring printer security doesn’t lag behind—will cut down on breaches. But IT has to make the effort to prioritize printers, something that currently isn’t happening.
To learn more about trends in printer security and how the lack of protections impact companies, check out HP’s new infographic and download the white paper.