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Businesses around the world have rapidly become more serious about security in recent years, and with good reason. The threat posed by cyberattacks has been well publicised, and the cost of an attack is exorbitant. According to the 'Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020' by IBM and Ponemon Institute, the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is $150. The average cost of a data breach in the United States is a stunning $3.86 million. These figures don’t even take into consideration the damage a breach causes to a company’s reputation. 

Turning a blind eye to cyber threats.

In an experiment conducted by CyberNews in 2020, cyber security experts identified 50,000 networked printers, accessing and hijacking 56 percent of them.

Despite the high cost of a cyberattack, many organisations continue to ignore a major security vulnerability that can pose a serious threat to their data: their printers. Modern printers have evolved into powerful solutions that can have a tremendous impact on workflows by automating manual tasks. These smart devices are essentially networked computers that serve as file servers in many workplaces. Like any other networked device, your printers must be protected against unauthorised access to keep your sensitive data out of the wrong hands. However, printers are commonly overlooked when it comes to security. In an experiment conducted by CyberNews in 2020, cyber security experts identified 50,000 networked printers, accessing and hijacking 56 percent of them. Similarly, Quocirca's 2019 "Global Print Security" report found that 59% of businesses in the UK, US, and Europe had experienced a print-related breach in the past year.

Relax, it’s not all doom and gloom.

While your office printer poses a security threat that should not be ignored, there’s no need to disconnect these venerable and valuable devices. Like any other risk, those presented by modern printers can be mitigated through awareness and diligence. Your printers can be secured through a number of security measures, such as firewalls, disk encryption, Secure Sockets Layers (SSLs), firmware updates, and regular patch management. Replacing older printers with newer models will also help protect your data, as these devices typically come equipped with embedded security features to help mitigate risks. 

Unsecured office printers can indeed put your company’s sensitive data at risk. Are you taking the appropriate measures to secure these devices? Get in touch to book a chat with a Toshiba Specialist.

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