How safe is your printer?
Printer hacking: Exploiting network printers
Left unsecured, the print environment can be the weak link in the security armour of any business. Many businesses operate a mixed printer fleet, often a patchwork of old and new devices, several of which may employ weak or default passwords or run outdated firmware. It only takes one rogue device to expose a hole in an organisation’s security defence, allowing hackers to disrupt operations and wreak havoc on the company network. Leaving an IoT device such as an MFP unsecured is the digital equivalent of leaving the back door unlocked. The threat is real: previous Quocirca* research published in 2017 showed that 60% of organisations had experienced at least one data breach due to insecure printing practices.
Today’s advanced MFPs have evolved to become sophisticated document processing hubs, bringing convenience, improved productivity and efficiency to the workplace. However, MFPs have the same security vulnerabilities as any networked device, and the risks are compounded by their ability to capture, process and store a vast amount of confidential and sensitive information.
An unsecured MFP can provide external cyber attackers with an entry point to the network and enable unauthorised users to access sensitive printed or scanned documents – either accidentally or intentionally. The impact of such a data breach can be monumental, leading to lost customers, lost profits, reduced productivity and damage to reputation and the brand.
* Quocirca’s Global Print 2025 research