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Securing your printer environment | MPS Series

May 13, 2021

Securing your printer environment | MPS Series
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With cyberattacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, device-level security is more critical than ever, especially in IoT devices like printers.
In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, Shelby Skrhak speaks with Ben Timms Print Security and Solutions Specialist at HP, about:
  • The 3 Ds of print security
  • Often overlooked vulnerabilities in printers
  • How businesses can be more aware of potential threats
  • How HP helps protect printers

The 3 Ds of print security

Print security can be broken down into three segments:
  • The device itself
  • Its data
  • The documents it produces

Security vulnerabilities of a printer

In those 3 Ds, there’s a lot to consider when looking at a printer’s potential security vulnerabilities.

Device-level security

A printer has the same processing power and capabilities of a PC, server or any other endpoint a network has. We spend an immense amount of resources securing desktops and laptops, but none on printers, which makes them the Achilles’ heel of any connected network.
Firmware is another important aspect. For an IoT device, it’s a lot like an operating system. Think about how often a PC’s operating system gets updated—for Windows 10 it’s once a week. But printers don’t get automatic firmware updates and over time everything becomes less secure.

Lack of policies

The most common vulnerability Ben sees is companies not having a written policy detailing how to keep their print environment secure. Not only is this important from a security standpoint, it also has legal ramifications too. For example, with most HIPAA violations, having a written policy lessens the fine.
Policies should also detail how people should interact with printers and how printed documents—especially those with sensitive information—should be treated.

Starting your security journey

First, have an assessment done to learn the extent of the problem.
Once you have an idea of the scope of your security needs, plot out how you want to tackle the problem. You’ll want to address low-hanging fruit first followed by the remaining vulnerabilities.

How HP can help

HP views printers as endpoint devices. Because of that, they have a different approach to security. Their printers include built-in security tools that help you manage the security of your print environment and remove human error.
Security means different things in different places to different people. HP makes specific recommendations vetted by security professionals, so that each company can feel secure in the knowledge that each customized solution was designed with their unique circumstances in mind.
Contact the MPS team at Ingram Micro at mpsorders@ingrammicro.com and learn more by visiting HP Secure Managed Print Services or listening to episode 151.