Print security is the remote working cyber risk very few saw coming

Printers could become the next frontier in cyber warfare, as hackers move to leverage unsecured networks and home printers. This is according to a new report from Quocirca, which argues that securing printers, both in the office and at home, needs to become a strategic priority for businesses next year.

IT decision makers are aware of the security risks that printers pose and it’s causing them to lose confidence in the security of their print infrastructure. The report states that just a fifth (21 percent) of IT decision makers are completely confident in the security of their print infrastructure, compared to 33 percent before the pandemic.

Over the course of the last six months, almost two thirds (64 percent) reported losing data to unsecure printers. Sometimes employees erred while disposing of the data, and sometimes the printers were rigged with malware. Whatever the reason, businesses in Europe have lost more than $1 million to data breaches, which is “significantly” more compared to last year.

The figures, disheartening as they may be, do not necessarily mean the number of breaches rose. The report also states that businesses have become better at detecting and reporting data breaches.

Given the threat, though, it’s surprising to see printer security relatively low on the IT agenda, placing seventh on the priority list, behind factors such as email, cloud and network security. Less than a fifth have robust security measures for their print infrastructure set up.

At the same time, more than three quarters (77 percent) consider print either very important or critical to their businesses, going forward.

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