Don’t Be Lulled By Firewall Security

You need to ensure that your printer and other devices don’t represent gaping holes in your network defense strategy

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A good firewall can produce a false sense of security. Users and even IT pros can be overly reliant on assurances of security, while in the meantime there are devices spread throughout the organization that can function as open access points to malicious intruders.

An oft-repeated truism of cybersecurity is that businesses have to be right all the time, but cybercriminals only have to be right once. Despite all the investments in cyber defenses, businesses are vulnerable to human error and often unintended security gaps.

Using sophisticated tools, cybercriminals can probe for gaps. Or, like the hacker portrayed by Christian Slater in the The Wolf: The Hunt Continues, someone can walk up to an unattended system and inject malware into an organization’s network that will give them access to highly sensitive information.

Access points inside the firewall

“Even if you have a firewall, there are several devices that might be on a network that are access points to that network,” writes IS security expert Robert Siciliano in a blog for Finextra. “When you don’t add your printer to your security plan, it becomes a welcome access point to hackers. Once they get in, the consequences could be terrible for a business.”

Advanced firewall security is no guarantee you’ll be able to spot a cyber-attack. Infosecurity Magazine tested next-generation firewall products from leading vendors and found that more than 80% missed evasions intended to bypass security measures.

Managing the problem is increasingly complex as organizations connect more and more devices to the network in an effort to increase access and bolster productivity. As an article in Chief Executive observes, “The proliferation of mobile technology and connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices creates an array of entry points to corporate systems. It also means that a great deal of corporate technology is outside the direct control of the IT department—including a lot of data and applications.”

Strategic consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Company surveyed approximately 400 IT executives across 19 industries and found that 46% of IoT security buyers have experienced an IoT related security intrusion or breach in the last two years.

Print security breaches

Network printers comprise part of that IoT environment and are particularly vulnerable due to oversight, inattention, or lack of resources. Yet a report by market research firm IDC concluded that more than half of companies surveyed had experienced an IT security breach that included print security within the previous 12 months.

“Although many IT departments rigorously apply security measures to individual computers and the network, printing and imaging devices are often overlooked and left exposed,” says HP. “When there are unsecured devices, the entire network can be exposed to a cybersecurity attack.”

To find out how to ensure your printer and other devices don’t represent gaping holes within your network defense strategy, go to HP Print Security.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.