Tell your IT security team it’s time to roll out the snacks

May 25, 20185 minute read

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How many times have you been pulled away from your work and into random meetings to fix a projector during a presentation? How many times have you seen employees yawn during your mandatory cybersecurity awareness trainings?

Don’t forget about those times when you and your IT security team try to set up meetings with business decision-makers to discuss cyberthreats and you’re given 30 minutes in conference room Z (that’s the one that may or may not be a converted storage closet—no projector, no coffee, and no snacks in sight). It’s not easy or fun being treated like you don’t matter beyond your ability to answer help-desk requests.

The Conference Room with No Snacks

Your IT security team is worth all the snacks

As an IT decision-maker, you understand the potential of your team. If given the opportunity, you could drive the business into the future with cutting-edge solutions, deliver strategic value to the bottom line, and transform into the IT hero your company not only needs but deserves—so you know you’re worth a tray of everything bagels, a carafe brimming with hot coffee, and a whole lot more.

Yet, chances are you still fight for attention to demonstrate the true value of your role to everyone in your business and beyond, but you’re not the only one.

Consider how print security advisors feel

HP Print Security Advisors face many of the same challenges when meeting with IT teams. When someone like HP’s Chief Security Advisor Michael Howard visits a business to present his concerns about the current state of print security in today’s world, he’s often met with some puzzled expressions.

Underestimating the value of IT print security

As someone who knows what it’s like to feel underestimated, you shouldn’t brush aside print security advisors. If you give them a chance, you might learn the true value of print security and the importance of locking down your print environment from intruders. Snacks aside, it’s worth paying attention to see where your business falls.

Do you think your business printer is secure?

Your colleagues probably think they know everything about phishing. Even if they feel sick and tired of your phishing simulation exercises, awareness trainings, and memos, you don’t have a choice: Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report says 22 percent of people still get hooked by phishing campaigns, and 4 percent of people consistently click on phishing links. Until those numbers hit zero, you can’t let up.

The same behavior can apply to print security. When an advisor arrives on site to talk about the value of print security, many businesses believe their endpoints are locked down. “What could they possibly tell us about security we don’t already know?” they might ask.

Who me? Our printers are secure!

The truth is printers are endpoints and should be treated with the same care as any other endpoint, like a notebook, server, or mobile device. Unprotected endpoints tend to be juicy targets for hackers, as many businesses don’t factor them into their larger security strategy. It’s not uncommon for IT pros to overlook printers, with the excuse that they’re “only printers.” But print security is a mature security discipline that needs your attention.

Think about network security like a hacker

David Hogue, the Technical Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), recommends businesses “think like the adversary.” HP Security Advisors have done just that, putting themselves into the shoes of hackers. When doing so, they realized the most financially motivated hackers are lazy, and they’re looking for the path of least resistance.

Once your IT team starts to think about print security in terms of network security, you’ll often begin to recognize gaps—and that’s where productive conversations take off.

How's your printer network security?

When you get down to it, what exactly is printer network security? For a good grasp, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. How new (or old) are the printers on your network?
  2. Are they kept up to date with patch scheduling?
  3. Do they have PC-equivalent security protocols?
  4. Are they responsible for sending and receiving PII, ePHI, or other sensitive information?
  5. Do sensitive print outputs have a tendency to sit unattended in trays for hours?

When a printer boots up, it has many of the same capabilities as a workstation or server. Without the same attention to security, access, or patching, it could become a high-risk endpoint on your network.

Flying donuts

Understand the value of print security

While you don’t have to invest in flying donuts for the boardroom, you should give HP Security Advisors, or any other well-respected certified print security advisor, the time of day to properly illustrate the value of print security when they come to visit. The information they can share matters, and listening could save your organization from falling victim to an easily avoidable threat vector. After all, your IT environment is only as secure as its weakest link.

Prioritize printer security

It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you prioritize print security as a key part of network security, you’ll be much better off, and luckily, there are a number of solutions offering embedded features to protect both the machine and the wider network from attacks. If you team up with solutions designed with security in mind, you’ll be able to sleep better at night—and it’s one less factor your team needs to worry about, so you can continue contributing strategically to the business’s bottom line.

Enjoy those boardroom snacks

IT teams don’t need to make it easy for hackers by falling prey to print security mistakes. You can protect your network by identifying risks, developing a custom print security plan, and defending your network with the world’s most secure printing.1

Security is serious business, and as a security professional, you’re responsible for coordinating people and systems in the fight against fast and increasingly sophisticated threats. That’s why you—and your print security advisor—are definitely worth the big conference room, an endless supply of snacks, and the respect you deserve.


  1. Based on HP review of 2016 published security features of competitive in-class printers. Only HP offers a combination of security features that can monitor to detect and automatically stop an attack then self-validate software integrity in a reboot. For a list of printers, visit: For more information:
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