Device Age and Security

Computer screen displaying purple malware warning

The office printer and copier are cubicle staples that most people overlook. After all, the most thought you give to either device is whether it will finally print your document. Lack of consideration leads to printers and other multifunction devices aging well beyond the rest of your office equipment.

According to Cartridge World, the average life of a small business laser printer is two to three years. However, businesses often hold onto printers long past that point to save money. Older devices create several potential threats for businesses.

The internet accessibility of older devices creates vulnerability. The older the device, the more out of date the software. This insecurity allows hackers to find increasingly better methods of remotely accessing your device. In 2015, a study by the Ponemon Institute found that 64% of IT managers believe their printers are infected with malware.

This vulnerability does get exploited. In 2018, a hacker caused 50,000 printers to print a message supporting the YouTuber PewDiePie. According to the hacker, more than 800,000 online printing devices suffered similar vulnerabilities.

Beyond promoting Youtubers, printer hacks can access more sensitive information. Tax files, client info, and other classified information that ends up printed or scanned are stored in the device’s hard drive.

So how should you protect your devices? Start with monitoring your fleet’s device age. Tools like Asset Advisor from Cartos Suite allow you or your MPS professional to find out device age and compare device specs quickly.

Another option is adding a secure print solution. A secure print solution offers many benefits that can help improve your device fleet. Primarily, a secure print solution provides end-to-end data encryption, which protects sensitive data from hackers.

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