Printers as a security risk

Printers as a security risk

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Corporate printer fleets are increasingly becoming a blind spot and pose enormous problems for their efficiency and security. In the past twelve months, more than six out of ten companies worldwide have experienced data loss due to poor printer security.

The long-standing neglect of this device class compared to mobile devices has resulted in only two percent of all printers worldwide being considered secure. An underestimated security risk that could be solved by remote printer maintenance. But less than one in three (33 percent) companies in Germany are able to do this, as the current SOTI study When work is distributed locally: The role of technology in the distributed workforce shows.

The reasons for this development are diverse. On the one hand, moves and other changes can lead to a loss of control over the printer inventory. A SOTI study found that 90 percent of companies worldwide do not know how many printers they have connected to their network and where they are located. This makes them an easy target for cybercriminals, who can access a large amount of user information and sensitive data such as passwords and disrupt business operations. “This is not just an inventory problem, but also a critical operational and safety challenge,” says Stefan Mennecke, VP of Sales, Middle East, Africa & Central, Southern and Eastern Europe at SOTI.

Printer security on the sidelines

Further SOTI research found that 77 percent of organizations worldwide are confident in their ability to protect mobile devices from threats, but this does not apply to printers. Only 19 percent of companies also focus on printer security, while 56 percent of companies exclude printers from their security strategy entirely. All modern printers are just as vulnerable to security risks as any other mobile device with Internet access. Leading mobility experts advise companies to introduce IT strategies that support printer management.

“Similar to how the telephone has undergone a massive digital transformation and is used in the company as a data processing computer, printers also store confidential information and are an important part of the company network. “Printers can provide unauthorized access to a company’s network, so companies need to monitor and protect their industrial and mobile printers like any other device,” said Mennecke.

More devices mean more IT support

According to the SOTI study, 50 percent of German IT professionals stated that their companies have introduced a home office model. In addition, almost 23 percent of companies have expanded the possibility of using employee-owned devices in the company network (BYOD). Companies are also expanding the number and mix of devices used to support the relocation of employees and the devices needed to complete their jobs. The report shows that the number of devices used in an organization has increased by 30 percent. Additionally, the mix of device types such as scanners, rugged devices, printers, smartphones and mobile computers increased by 28 percent. It is estimated that 69 percent of all companies worldwide will have to manage more than 2025 devices by 1.000.

At the same time, only 34 percent of companies in Germany are currently able to remotely monitor and manage all devices owned by employees; only 32 percent of organizations can do this for all company-provided devices. Additionally, 33 percent of IT professionals confirmed that their organization can manage and deploy printers remotely.

“In today's rapidly changing technology landscape, having a complete view of mission-critical printers, whether on-premises or off-site, is essential. The use of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions is essential for companies in 2024. Advanced EMM and Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms provide companies with an overview of their device landscape and the resulting business intelligence to make quick decisions. With management solutions like SOTI Connect, companies retain essential control over the industrial and mobile printers they use. Otherwise, you risk not only logistical problems, but also compliance violations or reputational damage,” concludes Mennecke.

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About SOTI
SOTI is an innovative and industry-leading provider of smart, fast, and reliable enterprise mobility solutions for businesses. With SOTI's innovative portfolio of solutions, companies can streamline their mobile processes, maximize their ROI and reduce device downtime.

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