Canon recently published a really insightful report on the IoT (Internet of Things), examining the current security landscape and outlining steps that organisations must take in order to improve their office security. We’ve summarised one part of the report here and we’ll follow it up with more in the coming weeks.

It goes without saying, organisations are faced with ever-growing security threats as a result of the innovations that are constantly being introduced to the workplace. With developments such as the cloud, mobile working and the Internet of Things (IoT), businesses are in fact at a higher risk than ever before. Security has of course become a huge focus for businesses in recent years – particularly since the new GDPR in May 2018 – but it comes as no surprise that many are struggling to keep up as the sheer volume of security threats increase and diversify.

The report states that 32% of businesses were victims of cybercrime in 2016, according to the Global Economic Crime Survey in 2016, and significant repercussions faced those businesses that lose or have data stolen. Information security management has been focused primarily on computers and online processes for some time, but what many businesses are failing to realise is that valuable information lives everywherenow.

One of the questions raised in the report is: “Why does this issue exist?” Part of it is down to a lack of knowledge around the fact that office devices do in fact fall into the IoT category. Whilst IoT devices feature many applications designed to make life easier and more simple – which they most definitely do – this data exchange over the internet brings significant security issues.

So, in an office environment, unless appropriately managed, printers can represent some of the easiest targets and are increasingly being recognised as critical weak spots in enterprise security. They contain large amounts of corporate data and are connected to an organisation’s network, so they need to be protected against these risks.

Here are five risks that can be associated with your office printers and what you can do to avoid them…

  1. Document theft or invasion of privacy

Ensure that you are using your print and scan management software effectively to control the publishing of confidential documents and data. Making sure not just anyone is able to pick up a document that belongs to someone else from a printer, is one example of this.

  1. Unauthorised changes to setting

Check that your printer settings and controls are secure. If they’re not, anyone could mistakenly or intentionally alter or re-route a print job, open saved copies of documents, or even reset the printer to its factory default and wipe all of your settings.

  1. Loss of documents

If your printer has an internal drive, it has the ability to store print jobs, scans, copies and faxes. This means that if for some reason your printer needs to be restored, saved documents can easily be recovered.

  1. Eavesdropping on network printer traffic

Encryption is key where your printer is concerned! Hackers can eavesdrop on network traffic and capture documents that are sent from computers to printers if they are not properly encrypted.

  1. Data transferring across networks

With remote and flexible working, employees now use personal devices as well as in-house printers and computers. This modern way of working has led to data transferring across multiple networks, which means regular network health checks are important, to identify any problems.

On a positive note, IoT security has risen up the government’s agenda with organisations calling for set security guidelines to be put in place. If you have any questions or need advice on anything we’ve mentioned, contact us now.