Companies need to understand that today’s multifunction devices are more sophisticated than older generation printers are. In many ways, new multifunction printers are just like computers. Since the use of company networks became widespread in the 1990s, connecting and sharing a printer became easier than ever before. These devices now help companies to streamline their print workflows and maintain a productive office environment, but it could also pose a risk to operations.
Cybercrimes have only increased over the last decade, and hackers now target any node on a network. At the beginning of 2019, Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report cited that 58% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses. A successful attack could put a company out of business due to the high costs it takes to recover. As printers now face additional scrutiny from network security professionals and cybercriminals alike, ensuring they are part of the company’s Managed IT Services and security policies will be essential for the sustainability of a small business.
How Hackers Target Multifunction Devices
Hackers use a variety of techniques to infiltrate company networks. Since printers and multifunction devices now easily connect to a network, they are just as vulnerable as any other piece of connected equipment. To demonstrate the vulnerabilities in printers, a teenager from the United Kingdom hacked 150,000 internet-connected printers in 2017. While this wasn’t an evil attempt at exploiting networks, it did show just how lax some companies were in regards to printer security.
The truth is the older the printer and software are, the more vulnerable they will be to an attack. However, even new models could suffer an attack if the technical staff does not configure them correctly from the beginning. By viewing these devices like the powerful, network computers they are, companies can ensure they cover their bases and reduce the risk of an attack from succeeding.
Managed IT Services for Multifunction Devices
It remains a balancing act for companies as the more a printer or multifunction device can do, the more of a threat they become in the workplace. While they are great for keeping an office productive, they also create havoc if an exploit succeeds. Additionally, the ineffective management of these devices can overburden IT departments and create bottlenecks in the company. Here are three reasons why including the company’s multifunction devices as part of a Managed IT Services solution is beneficial to organizations.
1. Draining IT Resources with Printer Related Service Tickets
IT departments regularly face staff shortages and could suffer from technological lag. If IT teams periodically have to deal with print-related issues, it could put them under additional stress. While the devices themselves use networking protocols and integrate with Active Directory (AD) solutions, they do require additional expertise to ensure they function correctly.
By including these devices in a Managed IT Services contract, companies can free up their IT resources to focus on more strategic initiatives for the business. The more different devices the company uses, the higher the burden on their IT departments. Ensuring all printers, copiers, and scanners are part of an IT service agreement can help the company reduce its overheads while providing reliable, secure printing operations for its employees.
2. Device Complexity is on the Rise
Keeping up with the latest features, capabilities, and integrations of multifunction devices is a full-time job. As devices become more sophisticated, they require experts to configure, integrate, and administrate them. Having dedicated support and trained professionals available to troubleshoot issues and ensure the correct configuration can save the company hours of downtime.
It’s common for manufacturers to ship devices preconfigured with lax security settings. This makes it easy for non-professionals to connect and set up printers once they arrive at the office. However, this is exactly what hackers are hoping for, and they will try to use the default security settings to deliver an exploit to the device once it’s on the company’s network.
3. Increased Oversight and Control
By including the company’s multifunction devices in their Managed IT Services solution, they gain greater oversight and control over their print fleet. While this will help them establish effective printer security policies, it’s also important that devices receive the necessary software updates from the manufacturers.
Using Managed Print Services, coupled with Managed IT, will ensure that every connected device falls under the same network security policy. This will give the organization access to modern devices and make their security the service provider’s number one priority.
Streamline Office Operations and Secure Multifunction Devices with Managed IT Services
With the risks modern companies face when it comes to cybersecurity, using a Managed Services partner can help them bridge the gap. Blue Technologies provide managed print and IT services to companies in Ohio who need access to reliable and secure technologies. Since 1995, Blue Technologies have worked with organizations to improve their operational processes and reduce their office overheads.
For companies in Ohio that need to include their multifunction devices as part of a Managed IT Services strategy, speak to Blue Technologies for more information