How your unsecure printer can fall prey to hackers

HP DeskJet GT 5820
Most of us may not realise this but as cyber security threats rise globally, even a non-secure, multi-function printer can fall prey to hackers who can break into an organisation’s network to steal confidential information, global PC and printer major HP India said on Tuesday.

According to a survey, 92 per cent companies have reported security breaches leading to financial as well as reputation loss, of which nearly 60 per cent took place due to an unsecure printer in the company’s network.

“The importance of upgrading a printer’s firmware on regular intervals, lack of which can lead to a hack in its system code and compromise it in accepting malicious lines of code. That code can then be used by the hacker to get access to print jobs and to the user’s computer where the print job was initiated,” Raj Kumar Rishi, Senior Director, Printing Systems, HP India, told reporters here.

The need to include printer security as part of the government policy guidelines and recognise them as a vital network end point that is critical to the IT managers worldwide.

Keeping these threats in mind, Rishi elaborated on HP’s efforts in developing products and technology to provide secure printing to their customers.

HP now offers various secure features like “HP Sure Start”, “HP Future Smart Firmware”, “HP Jet Advantage Secure” and “Private Print” to prevent exposure of sensitive documents and unauthorised access to the printer and the print jobs.

HP also has secure “Managed Print Services” through which, it offers secure printers that are pre-configured for security to prevent outside networks from hacking into the printer using the lesser used ports.