If you are like most businesses, you don’t see any need to secure your printers but have put aside some resources to protect your computers from hackers. This is like locking all your doors and leaving your windows wide open. Do you know unsecured printer networks can expose your business to unmanageable problems and potential loss? In the past few years, there have been multiple attacks on these networks. A teenager recently hacked over 150,000 printers accidentally, and that has helped to sensitize people about the risk of leaving unsecured printers exposed online. As such, businesses need to use more sophisticated security measures to be able to cope with the new security threat. Here are major ways unsecured printer networks can expose your business to serious attacks.
Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Information
Every business has secrets, and companies consider any systems that can leak such critical informal their worst enemies. Unsecured printer networks might fall under this category as they can allow unauthorized individuals to access your sensitive documents that are being transmitted through a wireless connection to be printed. If they get your financial information such as Social Security and bank account numbers, they could engage in identity theft and eventually defraud your business or harm your business’s brand image. For that matter, failure to secure your printers could mean the end of your business.
Denial of Service
Hackers are also able to cripple users’ ability to access unsecured printers. They can jam your business printers and make them unhelpful to you. More sophisticated hackers may even be able to secure your printer so that you can no longer use it. While that is usually something you can fix, it will take a lot of effort from your IT department and it will be a huge waste of time and energy that could have been avoided by not using unsecured printers. For that matter, the security risk can lead to the loss of vital information as well as the affected machines, which can also have severe effects on the operations of the business.
High Cost of Doing Business
If hackers attack your business printers and cripple the users’ ability to access information in the machine, you could lose lots of vital resources, especially if you are in the middle of a job. The cost of recovering such information can be high. Additionally, if the hackers don’t lock you out, they may decide to use your printer for practical jokes. They may print off hundreds of pages of useless things, tying up the machine, wasting your time and money, and generally causing mayhem. Many of these useless print jobs often contain explicit materials, creating a huge problem for whoever first discovers the problem. In each of these cases, your business could suffer untold losses and also, potentially, close its doors.
You need the right security measures to meet your business objectives. While some people think only wasted paper and ink are the worst risk they could face, the security threat could damage sensitive information or give the criminals an opportunity to commit fraud. Given the potential of your unsecured printer networks to cost your business greatly, you need to ensure that you are always protecting your printers and any other technology that you are using.